German Continuers

NESA documents

Stage 6 German Continuers syllabus

Assessment and reporting in Continuers Stage 6

Support materials – including past HSC papers

Advice for students

HSC examinations in Continuers language courses – advice for students (DOCX 86KB) – generic advice to support students of the Continuers course to prepare for the oral and written HSC examinations.

Text types in Continuers

What are ‘texts’ (text types)?

‘Texts’ (text types) are various forms of spoken and written language, such as articles, conversations, letters and so on. Each text type varies in its characteristics of format, style, and language. In the German Continuers HSC written examination, the following text types are specified for production:

  1. article
  2. diary entry
  3. email
  4. letter
  5. message
  6. note
  7. notice
  8. postcard
  9. recount
  10. report
  11. script of an interview
  12. script of a speech/talk.

Note: In the oral examination, you participate in a conversation.

In the written section of the HSC examination, you are required to produce 2 different styles of writing:

  • the first style is informative or descriptive
  • the second style is reflective, persuasive or evaluative, and could require you to explain or justify a point of view.

Using the correct text type and including the correct style of content is important.

Sample tasks and practice questions

Past HSC papers can be downloaded from the NESA website.

Some past HSC questions have been used as sample tasks in this document.

For each task, identify the following:

  1. What is the purpose?
  2. Who is the audience?
  3. What is the context?
  4. What is the required text type?
  5. What is the style?

The ‘texts’ (text types)

1 – article

Purpose

  • to sustain an argument
  • to describe
  • to inform, persuade, amuse or entertain

Structure

  • titles/headings (if appropriate)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas
  • statement of conclusion or advice

Language features

  • range of tenses/modality (present, perfect, imperfect/indicative, conditional, imperative)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the article)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in GERMAN. You have just been on a camping trip for two weeks and didn’t take your mobile phone. Write an article for the school magazine reflecting on how this affected you.

2013 HSC examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 14(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2013

2 – diary entry

Purpose

  • a personal reflection on a theme, place or situation

Structure

  • date (Mittwoch, den 15. Juni)
  • opening (Liebes Tagebuch, or no salutation)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas
  • concluding statement (for example, Das soll für heute genug sein. Wir werden sehen…)
  • sign off with name (optional)

Language features

  • written in the first person (ich)
  • usually written in past tense (perfect and some use of imperfect)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal register

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in GERMAN. You have recently been to a family celebration. Write a diary entry describing why you did not enjoy it.

2014 HSC examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2014

3 – email

Purpose

  • to use technology-based methods of communication
  • to send greetings
  • to retell events
  • to inform
  • to seek a response

Structure

  • email conventions (you are not usually required to write an email address in the exam)
  • specific details without elaboration
  • salutation (for example, Liebe/Lieber…, Sehr geehrte(r)…)
  • conclusion (for example Alles Gute, Dein(e)…, Mit herzlichen Grüßen, Ihr(e)…)

Language features

  • range of tenses/modality (present, perfect, imperfect/indicative, conditional, imperative)
  • descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal or formal register depending on relationship with the recipient (be consistent throughout the email)

Sample questions

Write approximately 200 words in GERMAN. You are a German exchange student in Australia. The exchange is not going as you had expected. Write the text of an email to your parents, reflecting on how you plan to make the most of the exchange.

2015 HSC Examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015

A friend has declined your invitation to accompany you to see a German band. Write an email to your friend persuading him/her to come with you. Write approximately 200 words in GERMAN.

2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 12(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

4 – letter

Purpose

  • to communicate in writing with acquaintances, friends or family
  • to inform, amuse, persuade

Structure

  • your name and address on the left side with the address to which you are writing underneath (formal)
  • date and place of writing after the addresses on the right side of the page
  • salutations (for example Liebe/Lieber…, Sehr geehrte(r)…)
  • letter conventions (for example Ich möchte Ihnen für…danken. Liebe Grüße an deine Eltern.)
  • ending (for example, Alles Gute, Dein(e)…, Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Ihr(e)…, Tschüs!)

Language features

  • range of tenses/modality (present, perfect, imperfect/indicative, conditional, imperative)
  • descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • formality of language will depend on relationship to recipient (for example letter to a friend or letter to a newspaper)

Sample questions

Write approximately 200 words in GERMAN. Write a letter to your grandparents, whom you don’t often see, persuading them to let you live with them next year.

2009 HSC examination, German Continuers © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2009

You have recently chosen a new flatmate. Write a letter to your friend explaining why you have chosen this person. Write approximately 75 words in GERMAN.

2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 11 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

5 – message

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type, such as voicemail message, text message, email, social media post.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the message)
  • frequent use of colloquial language if to a close friend/family member

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in GERMAN. You are meeting your idol tonight. Write a message to your friend about your idol and how excited you are to meet this idol.

2015 HSC examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015

6 – note

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type such as voicemail message, text message, email.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • frequent use of colloquial language (does not necessarily mean informal register)

Sample questions

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in GERMAN. Write a note to your new neighbour inviting him/her to a function at your place.

2011 HSC examination, German Continuers,Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2011

Your grandparents bought you tickets to a sporting event. Write them a note of thanks after attending the event. Write approximately 75 words in GERMAN.

2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 11 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

7 – notice

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to seek a response (for example looking for a pen pal or looking for a roommate to share accommodation)

Structure

  • heading/addressee
  • specific details without elaboration
  • statement of conclusion or advice (for example giving contact details)

Language features

  • often written in present tense
  • language can be descriptive, factual, emotive or persuasive depending on context
  • informal or formal register

Sample question

Write approximately 75 words in GERMAN. A famous sportsperson is going to visit your school and make a speech. Write a notice for the noticeboard.

Adapted from 2009 HSC examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 12(a) (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2009

8 – postcard

Purpose

  • to provide information, amuse or entertain
  • to retell events and experiences (for example who, where, what, when)

Structure

  • salutations (Liebe/Lieber…)
  • brief description or message
  • formulaic ending (Bis bald/Tschüs!)

Language features

  • descriptive language (Das Outback ist groß und trocken und fremd.)
  • personal impressions (Ich finde Uluru sehr beeindruckend.)
  • present or past tense (Es ist ganz schön hier in Australien. Letzte Woche bin ich nach Berlin gefahren. Gestern war ich in Prag, heute bin ich in Österreich – Wahnsinn!)

Sample question

Write approximately 75 words in GERMAN. Write a postcard to your friend, explaining why you have to come home early from your holiday.

Adapted from 2008 HSC examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 12(a) (6 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2008

Note: This question is now worth 5 marks.

9 – recount

Purpose

  • to inform or entertain
  • to retell past events or experiences
  • to retell a series of events

Structure

  • introduction/orientation (set the scene – who, what, where, when)
  • events sequenced in chronological order
  • closing statement

Language features

  • often told in the first person (ich)
  • descriptive language
  • often told in past tense (simple past)
  • time words to connect events (for example danach, früher, dann, endlich, zuletzt)
  • words which tell us when, where, with whom and how
  • linking words (for example da, deshalb, deswegen, trotzdem, obwohl, weil)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in GERMAN. Write a recount for your school blog reflecting on a special family celebration.

Adapted from 2013 Higher School Certificate Examination, Korean Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2013

10 – report

Purpose

  • to present information about a class of things (to classify) OR
  • to describe the way things are
  • to organise facts
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • general statement or classification
  • series of paragraphs that describes
  • logical progression
  • concluding statement or summary

Language features:

  • supporting evidence, such as statistics, examples
  • factual
  • language specific to the topic
  • objective language
  • linking words (for example aber, sondern, weil, obwohl, weder…noch, deswegen)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in GERMAN. You recently completed a month of work experience. Write a report for the school newsletter evaluating whether the experience was beneficial.

2017 Higher School Certificate Examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 12(b) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017

11 – script of an interview

Purpose

  • to find out information (for example a story or a response)
  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • salutations
  • clear idea of the purpose of the interview (opening statement clarifies the topic and purpose)
  • question and response sequence (initials followed by a colon, for example A: and B:)
  • use of filler expressions (ach so, ich glaube schon/nicht, na ja, also, oder?)
  • conclusion (for example, Danke für deine Zeit. Herzlichen Dank für Ihre Bemühungen.)

Language features

  • question forms (Warum? Wieso?)
  • register – use appropriate language for relationship (for example, Sie in formal interviews)
  • phrases to delve deeper (for example Was denken Sie über…?, Was meinst du…?, Können Sie noch mehr dazu sagen?, Wie fanden Sie das?, Wie ist es weitergegangen?, Beschreiben Sie doch mal...)
  • transition strategies when switching topics (Sprechen wir jetzt über…, Und jetzt gehen wir weiter…, Als nächstes möchte ich gerne wissen…)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in GERMAN. You interview a new student for the school magazine. Write the script of your interview, in which the student reflects on the move to your school.

2010 HSC examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2010

12 – script of a speech/talk

Purpose

  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to entertain
  • to persuade
  • to welcome
  • to thank

Structure

  • salutations (for example Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, Liebe…)
  • introductory statement of purpose (for example Ich möchte Ihnen heute dieses Thema näher bringen. Ich möchte heute unsere neue Austauschschüler begrüßen!)
  • ideas and information organised and linked
  • concluding remarks (for example Ich danke für eure Geduld und Aufmerksamkeit. Vielen Dank für Ihre Aufmerksamkeit.)

Language features

  • choice of expressions to engage the audience
  • descriptive words
  • range of tenses

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in GERMAN. As a Year 12 student, you have been asked to give a speech to the parent body to persuade the parents to become more involved in school life. Write the script of your speech.

2016 HSC examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 12(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

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