Intensive German course in Berlin
2 weeks in Berlin
I was very nervous about not understanding anything and daunted at spending so much time with strangers! Linguistically I expected to struggle at first, but hoped to see some real improvement by the end. On a totally paranoid level I just hoped that the school really existed and that I wasn’t being ripped off! When not feeling so paranoid I worried that the teachers might be scary and strict and put me off the language completely.
Happy to say that the German language school in Berlin did exist! In fact the buildings are fabulous, the location great and easy to get to and the campus was pleasant and felt safe, the on site café and computer room were an added bonus.
I considered myself to be elementary level before the course as I’d done some German at school, so initially was disappointed to be placed in a Beginners class – and whilst I had covered a few of the topics already I soon realised I didn’t know them in depth and other areas we covered were completely new to me – so the German language school were right in assessing my level. Over the course I was able to pick up a lot of new words and phrases, as well as simple tense work and sentence construction. It was so much better to approach the language from this position, better far than being in a higher group where I would certainly have struggled and lost my confidence completely. The German teachers were all fab, friendly, interesting, enthusiastic and thorough.
One of our teachers did use English is class (though he wasn’t meant to) which I found helpful, but others didn’t like. All the other teachers always spoke in German even in the Beginners class, but were very good at using body language and repeating key information in different ways, using different phrases to ensure we understood. I wanted to learn as much as I could in 2 weeks so booked the Intensive Course, the extra lessons re-affirmed my morning classes and introduced additional terms and words. They also gave me more opportunity to put my German language skills into practise in a small group of students which I found really useful as it reinforced everything I’d studied so far.
The campus was clean, well thought out and there were bars, public transport, shops within easy reach and the school staff were always approachable and available, the Info Desk people in particular were really helpful.
I met lots of people on the first day, during the placement test who I saw throughout my two week course. I’d definitely recommend students go to the first night drinks at the school, it was a good ice breaker and gives you a chance to meet people. Everyone on the course was super friendly and I think we all felt comfortable as a group.
I really enjoyed the German lessons; friendly class-mates, young enthusiastic teachers, steady thorough pace with regular reviews and exercises, lots of interaction which brought my oral and aural German on leaps and bounds. Of course two weeks isn’t enough to “learn” German and I ended up wanting to ask more questions than I went out with, but what I really learnt was how much there was to learn and how to go about it! I’ve been inspired to continue to push myself and build on the skills I learnt in Berlin.