• The Open University

Intermediate German: Festivals and Traditions

Discover traditions and festivals in German-speaking countries and gain the language skills to speak and write about them.

Fairground carousel lit up at German festival
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 3 of 3
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Explore German traditions, festivals, and public holidays

On this four-week course, you’ll explore some of the traditions and public holidays that are celebrated in Germany and other German-speaking countries, and the festivals that punctuate people’s private lives and community life throughout the year.

You’ll learn vocabulary and structures to describe traditions and celebrations with a focus on Christmas, rites of passage, carnival, and a number of other festivals. You’ll consider the feelings they evoke, and the key role these traditions and customs play in the diverse societies of the 21st century.

Develop your knowledge of German grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation in the context of traditional celebrations

You’ll practise using language to give instructions using the passive, revise the use of the verb werden, and work on your pronunciation of some common diphthongs and syllables.

You’ll also focus on the language and structures used to talk about traditions celebrated in the past, revising and extending your knowledge of the perfect and imperfect tense.

Finally, you’ll refine your skills to use the past tense in German by learning to talk about memories of traditions from the past that are important to you.

Improve your German writing skills by producing your own written account

You’ll have the opportunity to produce a written account of a tradition you have celebrated in the past, accessing a wide range of authentic source materials such as audio and video clips to enhance your linguistic skills. This will be further developed by researching and writing about a tradition in a country where German is spoken, equipping you with the skills to research using original German texts and to confidently discuss your findings using your German speaking skills.

What topics will you cover?

  • Important traditions and celebrations in German-speaking countries
  • Festivals that are important to you
  • Pronouncing diphthongs and special syllables
  • The formation and use of the perfect and imperfect tenses
  • Understanding the different uses of werden
  • Revising the use of the passive voice

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

Download a PDF

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Communicate with enhanced confidence in written and spoken German
  • Apply your knowledge of basic German grammar and use a wider range of vocabulary
  • Draw on new insights into the traditions and customs of German-speaking countries 

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for those with a good basic knowledge of German (fully at Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ‘Elementary’) who want to improve their German language skills and deepen their knowledge of German culture.

This course will be useful to those who wish to improve their competence in German to help further their career or have a general interest in contemporary German-speaking societies and cultures.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Susanne Winchester is an Associate Lecturer in German at The Open University and has authored on various German modules. She has a special interest in learning theory and vocabulary learning.

Who developed the course?

The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

About this ExpertTrack

Strengthen your German language skills and grow your knowledge of everyday life in German-speaking countries.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...