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A Complete Guide to A-Level German Individual Research Project (IRP)

Updated: Apr 3

The Individual Research Project (IRP) is a crucial milestone for A-level German students, offering a unique opportunity to explore a topic of personal interest while honing their linguistic and research skills. Having prepared hundreds of students for their A-level German exams, I know what is required to excel in the IRP. In this comprehensive guide, I'll delve into the criteria for the IRP, explore topic selection, offer advice for preparation and presentation, and provide tips for anticipating and answering questions during the Q&A session. Let's dive in!

Understanding the Criteria:

The IRP is a two-minute presentation followed by a question and answer session, totalling around 8-12 minutes in length. It requires students to conduct independent research on a topic related to the German-speaking world and present their findings in German.

Choosing the Right Topic:

When selecting a topic for the IRP, you should choose something they are genuinely interested in and passionate about. Here are some examples of potential topics:

  • German Literature: Analysing the works of a particular German author or literary movement.

  • History and Politics: Exploring a significant event or political figure in German history.

  • Culture and Society: Investigating contemporary cultural trends or social issues in German-speaking countries.

  • Language and Linguistics: Examining aspects of the German language, dialects, or language acquisition.

Here are some examples of topics I supervised in the past:

  • Germany's vocational training system

  • Germany's school system

  • Boschwitz "Der Reisende"

  • Made in Germany

  • Abtreibung

  • Kraftwerk- history, music style, performances

Preparing for Success:

To excel in the IRP, students should follow these key pieces of advice:

  1. Thorough Research: Conduct in-depth research using a variety of sources, including books, academic journals, and reputable websites.

  2. Organised Structure: Structure the presentation with a clear introduction, main points, and conclusion. Your presentation is meant to initiate a conversation about your chosen topic, so don't try to cram everything that you have researched into it. Instead, be strategic and think about the points you'd like to elaborate on during the Q&A.

  3. Practice Speaking: Practice delivering the presentation multiple times to improve fluency, pronunciation, and confidence. Make sure that it is not longer than 2 minutes.

  4. Anticipate Questions: Anticipate potential questions based on your presentation and prepare thoughtful responses in advance. The examiners will ask follow-up questions depending on what you are saying, so write out the answers to the questions you anticipate and direct the conversation. Your answers should be clear and concise.

Anticipating Q&A:

During the Q&A session, you should be prepared to answer questions related to your presentation. Here are some examples of potential questions and how to respond:

  1. Question: Können Sie bitte genauer eingehen auf... Can you elaborate on [specific aspect of your topic]? Answer: Natürlich/Sicher. Of course/Certainly, [provide additional information or clarification].

  2. Question: Wie passt Ihr Thema zu....? How does your topic relate to [broader theme or concept]? Answer: Meine Recherche zeigt, dass...wie folgendes Beispiel zeigt... My research demonstrates [connection to broader theme], as evidenced by [relevant examples or evidence].

  3. Question: Was sind die Implikationen/Schlussfolgerungen Ihrer Forschung? What are the implications of your findings? Answer: Die Implikationen meiner Forschung sind, dass.. The implications of my findings suggest that [explain implications or potential outcomes].

By anticipating and preparing for potential questions, you can confidently navigate the Q&A session and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of their chosen topic.

In conclusion, the A-level German Individual Research Project is a valuable opportunity for students to showcase their research skills and knowledge of the German-speaking world. By following the criteria, selecting the right topic, and preparing diligently, students can excel in their IRP presentation and Q&A session, earning recognition for their hard work and dedication.

If you found this post helpful, please like and share it with others so that many students can benefit from it. Thank you.



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