A Level German

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started27th Apr 1987
ended6th Jun 1990
last rpt10th Nov 2001(as part of The German Collection)
16 school years
duration20 mins
age rangeAge 16-19
languagedeIn German

BBC TV GermanHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious series: Mach's Gut! Next series: Lernexpress HierarchyNext.gif

Advanced Level Studies: German is a German-language BBC schools TV series from the 1980s and 1990s, covering German Language for further education students.

Exposure to advanced, contemporary use of the German language by native speakers, through a mix of focussed documentaries and (in the second episode) a studio discussion on the environment with teenagers giving their views on acid rain.

Rather than West Germany where most German language programmes, books and courses would concentrate, this series visits Austria and East Berlin to give a varied experience of German pronunciation and culture.

A debate on the environment

The first episode is set at the World Bodybuilding Championships in Graz Violet-marker.png . The third follows a trainee kindergarten teacher in Liezen Violet-marker.png , both in Austria. The fourth and fifth episodes look at life in East Berlin Violet-marker.png while the country was divided. An on-screen presenter links the original run of episodes.

Original presenter Klaus Römer

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the uniting of Germany in 1989, the fourth and fifth episodes were quickly replaced in time for the next broadcast of the series with two new programmes using news footage from a German TV station to tell the story of the five weeks in autumn in which the wall fell. These two programmes would be repeated for over a decade until the early 21st century.

The series was originally billed as Advanced Level Studies: German for its first two years, aligning with earlier Advanced Level Studies series such as those on Statistics and History.

As A Level German this series had more contemporary (i.e. less boring) graphics and music, with a similar design to the accompanying GCSE series Treffpunkt: Österreich and Encounter: Austria.

In 1993 the series was rebranded again, alongside many other BBC series for A level students, as The German Collection. In its first year The German Collection consisted entirely of a repeat of A Level German. From 1994 it introduced new episodes of its own but retained repeats of the 1990 programmes about the fall of the Berlin Wall.


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Episode List

# Title Broadcast
Original series
1. It's a Man's World #1987-04-27-00-00-0027 Apr 1987
2. Umwelt - Schütz oder Schmutz #1987-05-11-00-00-0011 May 1987
3. Gabriele Stiegler #1987-05-18-00-00-0018 May 1987
4. Peace Address #1987-06-01-00-00-001 Jun 1987
5. Der andere Teil Deutschlands #1987-06-08-00-00-008 Jun 1987
Replacement episodes
6. Fünf Wochen Im Herbst, Teil 1 #1990-05-23-00-00-0023 May 1990
7. Fünf Wochen Im Herbst, Teil 2 #1990-06-06-00-00-006 Jun 1990


Year Term Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Channel Details
1986-87 Summer 1987 Monday, 12:00pm BBC2
1987-88 Summer 1988 Friday, 10:15am BBC2 not Northern Ireland
1988-89 Summer 1989 Wednesday, 11:55am BBC2
1989-90 Summer 1990 Wednesday, 9:45am Friday, 11:55am BBC2
1990-91 Summer 1991 Tuesday, 9:25am Wednesday, 9:40am BBC2
1991-92 Summer 1992 Monday, 12:15pm Friday, 10:00am BBC2
1992-93 Spring 1993 Wednesday, 2:00am+ BBC2 10 Feb, rpt 17 Feb
1993-94 Autumn 1993 Wednesday, 2:00am+ BBC2 3 Nov


Presenter Klaus Römer (episode 1-5)
German narrator Michael Seyfert (episode 6-7)
English narrator Harriet Cass (episode 6-7)
Music Bob Foster
Graphics Linda Sherwood-Page
Script editor Ingrid Hassler (episode 6-7)
Sound Bob Roberts, Adrian Bishop-Laggett
Camera Godfrey Johnson, Dieter Herfurth, Rainer März
Editor Luis España (episodes 1-5)

Al Gell (episodes 6-7)

Production assistant Karen Laws (episode 1-5)
Executive producer Stefan Aust (episode 6-7)
Producer Godfrey Johnson & Susan Paton (episode 1-5)

Len Brown (episode 6-7)


Teacher's Notes

Teacher's notes for A-Level German, like most other BBC language series of the era, were provided independently by the Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (CILT). The notes include transcripts of the programmes.

The full notes were not available to accompany the first transmission of the series in 1987, with the BBC informing the Times Educational Supplement at the time that this was a new policy for language programmes to be broadcast as soon as possible after filming to keep them topical and for the first broadcasts to be regarded as a "preview." Further, "the idea is that the notes are compiled by a panel of teachers on the basis of practical classroom use of the programme's first transmissions. Notes are then made available for subsequent transmissions."[1]

Related programmes

  1. Coverage of the missing teacher's notes for the first transmission of the series in the 'Off Air' column by Nick Baker, Times Educational Supplement dated 29.6.87, p.30.


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