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German Syllabus



The learner’s language skills should be developed to a level that enables
him/her to comprehend simple spoken German, take part in a basic conversation with a native  speaker, read simple authentic texts with understanding and communicate in simple written


By the end of the course the learner should be able to:

  1. communicate through speaking and writing;
  2. express his/her intentions adequately and appropriately in specific communicative situations.

These communicative abilities can be applied in monologic,  dialogic and polylogic encounters with German-speakers; such as:
a. individual and class-correspondence with German-speakers
b. basic mediating and interpreting processes
c. real-life conversation in German-speaking countries
d. simple presentations and discussions, contrasting for instance Kenya
and Germany;
3. appreciate closer cultural, political and economic links between
Kenya and the German- speaking countries;
4. show creative use of the language;
5. display basic standard German necessary for further studies of the
language in institutions of higher learning;
6. demonstrate basic communicative skills;
7. read and listen to authentic oral and written material in German;
8. show understanding of the German way of life and thus enhance the
understanding and appreciation of the learner’s own culture;
9. show appreciation of the German culture, its values and views with
respect and tolerance;
10. show appreciation of such benefits of traveling as broadening one?s
horizons and varying one’s outlook;
11. develop critical and rational thinking on his/her environment;
12. display a responsible attitude and behaviour with regard to  life, nature and its conservation;
13. develop a future-oriented outlook towards industrial and technological development of the nation;
14. develop social skills;
15. develop skills and strategies to locate and retrieve information from
print and electronic media on subject-relevant topics;
16. demonstrate knowledge of the implications of pertinent national and
global topical issues at the individual and societal levels;
17. appreciate the importance of global peace through the understanding
and appreciation of other people’s cultures.


1. Listening Comprehension

Listening is an integral part of communication and the understanding of what is heard forms the basis of the resultant response. Its significance in academic and general life cannot therefore be over-emphasized. Listening comprehension entails detailed, extensive and selective listening either singly or in combination

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

a) display a detailed understanding of questions, instructions and statements and respond accordingly.
b) display a detailed and extensive understanding of fictional andnon-fictional narrated or recorded listening texts.
c) display an understanding of prosodic elements and interpret the
intentions and the emotional state of the speaker in different simply-structured
communicative situations, and develop the ability to decode the emotional state of the speakers.

2. Speaking

Speech production is the most widespread means of communication between
people of the same language system. Lack of accuracy in expression can lead
to misunderstanding; therefore all aspects of speech production need special attention for the learner of a foreign language.

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

a) read out - with correct pronunciation, clearly and fluently - unknown texts with new words and word combinations;
b) make and respond to requests;
c) issue and follow instructions;
d) formulate and ask questions on written texts and give answers based on the texts;
e) use and respond appropriately to prosodic elements and some few
stylistic devices;
f) formulate observations and rules on linguistic structures and their functions;
g) engage in role plays on conflict resolution;
h) play out situations which call for an interpreter;
i) present talks about themselves and their immediate environment;
j) engage in guided discussions on topics taken from the Kenyan socio-cultural background.
k) present prepared short talks on topics within the Kenyan background
and express opinions on some aspects of the Kenyan reality;
l) engage in discussions on similar or contrasting socio-cultural aspects in Kenya and Germany;
m) present prepared free talks on topics from the Kenyan and German
realities within a given time limit;
n) sing songs or recite texts, e.g. poems, with basically familiar
linguistic elements and present them with appropriate gestures;
o) present texts, e.g. short plays, with predominantly familiar linguistic elements, and perform these appropriately;
p) extract simple information from maps on geographical and political features of Germany, Austria and Switzerland;
q) evaluate some similarities and differences between Kenyan and German
geographical and political features e.g. climate, seasons, federal states;
r) put pictures in sequence and verbalise the content with the help of given expressions revealing a plot, characters and settings.

3. Reading Comprehension

Reading enhances retrieval of information from different types of printed
media. This makes
reading an indispensable skill for effective functioning in the modern

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

a) read aloud texts with correct pronunciation and intonation;
b) carry out skimming and scanning strategies in texts;
c) display a detailed and extensive understanding of texts, i.e. topical or narrative, descriptive and argumentative texts, chosen from within or without the learners’ cultural background with some unknown words whose meaning can be inferred from the context;
d) display a fine understanding of written questions, instructions and explanations, e.g. in a questionnaire for an au-pair job application, on a German visa application form etc. e) display an understanding of linguistic terminology;
f) utilise reading skills to support listening comprehension (through the use of worksheets);
g) deduce the meaning of new words in a text e.g. narratives;
h) recognise the structure of German texts through the structural and linguistic signals learnt; i.e. paragraphs, reference words, additional cohesives, connectors, and transitional devices.

Writing is an expressive language skill that requires a high degree of
organisation. It affects to a large extent our way of thinking and of acquiring knowledge and is a cornerstone of academic success. This skill is required by the learner in order to express his/her own ideas in written form.

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

a) write unknown German graphemes and typical German letter
combinations, e.g. "quot;,"sch", "quot; ;
b) write answers to questions on texts or topics;
c) complete open ended fictional texts directed by questions or other guidelines e.g. pictures; d) fill in a detailed questionnaire, e.g. an application form for an au-pair job (functional writing);
e) utilise the structural and linguistic devices e.g. paragraphs, connectors for main and subordinate clauses, transitional devices and reference words for own creative writing; f) express in writing personal position/stand and judgement on topical issues; g) transform texts by changing the perspective (tense, subjects, location), e.g. from a program of events to an invitation, or from a fairy tale to a skit;
h) write openings or endings to short fictional and non-fictional texts;
i) plan, organise and write texts on opinions/ conflicts/contrasting aspects of the Kenyan and German realities using the writing skills developed throughout the course (formal, informal letters, articles for a school magazine);
j) write short simply-structured more creative texts directed by questions or stimulated by pictures e.g. long dialogues, short narrative and descriptive texts on own experiences, informal letters, formal letters e.t.c.Content and intercultural topics
The topics to be covered in the learning of German from Form 1 to Form 4
- greeting friends and adults
- making contacts, introducing oneself and others
- school/school items
- family life
- friends
- hobbies, leisure activities
- likes and dislikes
- career wishes
- alphabet
- cardinal numbers
- food and shopping
- telling time
- daily (school) routine
- describing rooms and places
- holiday activities
- ordinal numbers
- health and health conditions
- describing people/characters
- making appointments and dates, exchanging presents
- visiting people and places
- giving directions
- geography of Kenya
- agricultural and other typical produce of Kenya
- Kenyan/German fables
- biographies, curriculum vitae
- tourism in Kenya
- basic geography of Germany
- travelling in Germany
- family life in Germany
- leisure activities in Germany
- school system, school routine in Germany
- youth and their varied lifestyles
- job opportunities and job training
- environmental awareness
- political life in Germany
- role and impact of media and technological innovation on society.


The grammar requirements define the basics for mastering a multitude of
situations. The list below shows the required grammar items for the
4-year course.
- question words
- prepositions ?in ? and ?au s? follow ed by info rmation without
- countable nouns and their plural forms
- nominative case: definite, indefinite articles (singular and plural)
- nominative case: possessive articles (singular and plural)
- simple questions with and without question words
- subject pronouns/ nominative case
- conjugation of regular and some irregular verbs in the present tense
- auxiliary verbs ?k?nn en ?, ?w o llen ?, ?m ? en ? (p resent tense)
- negation of verbs and questions
- word order in simple sentences (main clauses)
- main clause conjunctions ?aber?, ?und ?, ?oder? an d ?denn ?
- some adjectives (in predicative use)
- equal and unequal comparisons of the adjective: positive/ comparative/
(in predicative use)
- countable and uncountable nouns
- nominative case: negative article
- accusative case: definite, indefinite, negative and possessive articles
- dative case: definite article/singular and plural after prepositions
- prepositions governing the accusative
and dative cases (wechselpr?osition)
- prepositions governed by accusative case ?ohne?, ?durch ?, ?f?? and
?gegen ?
- formation of the present perfect tense, using the auxiliary verbs ?hab
en ? and ?sein ?
- verbs with separable prefixes (present tense and present perfect tense)
- auxiliary verbs ?m ?sen ?, ?(nicht) d?fen ? (presen t tense)
- imperative mood of the verb in main clauses (regular and irregular
- articles as pronouns in the nominative and accusative cases
- word order in subordinate clauses
- m ain clause conjunctions ?dann ?, ?danach ?, ?so ndern ?
- the conjunctions ?w eil?, ?dass? (subo rdinate clauses)
- subject and object pronouns (nominative and accusative cases)
- descriptive adjectives (in predicative use)
- dative objects (all articles/ singular and plural)
- prepositions of direction, location and m eans ?n ach ? ,?zu ? ,?von
?, ?b ei?, ?aus?, ?m it?
and ?seit? governed by the dative case
- conjugation of the verb in the simple past tense (regular and irregular
- infinitive constructions w ith zu
- verbs followed by the dative case
- the auxiliary verb sollen
- all auxiliary verbs (past tense)
- imperative mood in the reported speech (subordinate clauses)
- the temporal conjunction s, e.g. nachd em, seitdem , bevo r,
solange, bis,
als, w enn , obw ohl and w rend (subordin ate clauses)
- the conjunctions um ....zu , ohne..zu (infinitive construction),
dam it, ohne dass
(subordinate clauses)
- the question w ord w elch - (all cases, singular an d plural)
- reported speech (questions) w ith the conjunctions dass, ob and
all question words
- object pronoun in the dative case
- reflexive and reciprocal pronouns
- adjectives (attributive) in combination with the definite, indefinite,
negative and
possessive articles (nominative and accusative cases)
- sequencing of the syntactical elements, e.g. objects, dative and
accusative pronouns,
- adverbial qualifiers
- some nouns with special declension
- nom inative, accusative and dative cases o f the dem onstrative
articles, e.g. dies-
- the genitive case (all articles, singular and plural)
- the genitive attribute
- prepositions governed by the genitive case, e.g. trotz, w egen , w
- verbs w ith prepositions governed by the d ative an d accusative cases,
e.g. w arten au f
(acc.), and the correspo nding question w ords, e.g. w orau f
- special negation forms, e.g. "niemand", "kein-", "nie(m als)",
"nirgendw o", un -, -
- subordinate clauses with a relative pronoun (nominative, dative and
accusative cases)
- adjectives (attributive) in combination with the definite, indefinite,
negative and
possessive articles (dative and genitive cases)
- adjectives (attributive) in combination with nouns without articles
- unequal comparisons of the adjective (attributive) comparative /
- receptive command of the passive voice

Pronunciation and intonation

The pronunciation norm underlying the German course is that of Standard
High German. By
the end of the course the learners should be able to:
 recognise and pronounce typical German sounds, e.g. the Umlaute and
the different

differentiate between relevant phonological characteristics,
e.g. voiced - voiceless,
short -long, stressed - unstressed
recognise and articulate patterns of intonation in questions and
 understand the meaning and functions of rhythm, stress and emphasis
and use prosodic
elements appropriately according to the communicative situations.


The syllabus recommends the use of the orthography of Standard High
German. The correct
spelling is a prerequisite for successful written communication. The
practice of spelling is of
significance ? especially in areas where the German orthography deviates
from English and or
Kiswahili orthographic rules ? and where the pronunciation differs from
the spelling.


What it takes