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Learn German in Berlin: Teaching

Let’s get you speaking German in Berlin!

German ability / Rate of Progress

The college divides students into six theoretical levels of ability:

A0  Complete Beginner B1  Intermediate I
A1  Elementary I B2  Intermediate II
A2  Elementary II C1  Advanced I
C2  Advanced II

 

Level Description
A0 You don’t speak German  80 lessons
A1 You understand and are able to give simple answers 160 lessons
A2 You are able to participate in simple everyday conversations 160 lessons
B1 You express your opinions in general conversation and discussions 160 lessons
B2 You are able to follow and participate in discussions easily. You write and read simple texts 200 lessons
C1 You are able to express your opinions articulately. You can produce essays and read newspapers and literature 200 lessons
C2 You can easily participate in all discussions and also understand idiomatic expressions. You speak German fluently 200+ lessons

The above table assumes that you follow a Standard Course, the process can be speeded up by attending a more intensive language course, i.e. an Intensive or Combined Course instead. In reality a student chooses to attend a short course or a longer “Languages for Life” course according to their linguistic goals, personal wishes and time constraints.

80 lessons = 4 weeks worth of study at the language school

German Teaching Method

All levels are taught all year round, with starting dates every Monday.
There is a placement test in Berlin to assess your level. There is also a small test each Friday to assess student progress. The school prepares and registers students for all officially recognised exams such as the Zertifikat Deutsch.

The Standard Course lessons are taught in tandem, with two teachers responsible for every class, and alternating at every break. In this way students get to hear more than one voice and speaking style. The school provides a communicative approach where teachers aim to animate the students and get them to speak as much as possible. The teachers continuously correct students and encourage them to repeat, remember and do better next time.

Grammar is never studied in isolation, rather, it is built in to informative and stimulating texts that provide valuable cultural, political and historical background (adding some zest to the joy that is grammar study!). Lessons revolve around free class discussion, role-playing and conversation to help develop verbal expression, vocabulary and good sentence construction. The work of each group is tailored to each class’s ability level in German.

Levels and groups
To guarantee adequate progress, it is vitally important that students are placed in a group that corresponds with their knowledge of German. This is only possible if the language school guarantees groups of all levels of learning. After making a careful initial evaluation of each student’s ability, the Berlin School follows up their placement with regular control testing.

Class Size
The maximum amount of students per group is twelve. The average number of students per group is eight in low season and ten in high season, with a maximum of 12 students per class.

Class Duration
The school are quite strict about classes starting punctually so no class time is lost. At the school in Berlin, lessons run from Monday to Friday and are 45 minutes long.

End of Course Certificate
At the end of their course a student is provided with a Certificate, documenting course level, duration and describing the student’s language skills in detail. The certificate will also give information on course content.

Timetable

 08.00/10.00
Monday: Tests & orientation
09.00/10.30
Monday/Friday: German classes / Six different levels
10.30/11.00
Monday/Friday: Morning break
11.00/12.30
Monday/Friday: German classes / Six different levels
13.00/15.00
Monday/Friday: Intensive & Private classes
Tuesday Afternoon: Excursion in Berlin: Museum, city walk or cycling tour

Thursday Afternoon: Two hour seminar on German culture

Friday Afternoon: PM or evening excursion in Berlin: Night out/Prenzlauer berg

Monday Evening: School Stammtisch (Welcome)

Saturday: Full-day excursion in Berlin or – twice a month – Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig or Potsdam

 

Exam Preparation

The Berlin school is a test centre for TestDaF and prepares students for the various Goethe exams, which students then sit at the GI in Berlin.

GOETHE B1
Suitable for university studies in music or art
Four week preparation course + exam sat in week 5
Standard Course + 10 exam preparation lessons* per week
GOETHE B2
Accepted by most employers
Four week preparation course + exam sat in week 5
Standard Course + 10 exam preparation lessons* per week
GOETHE C1
Accepted by the majority of employers
Four week preparation course + exam sat in week 5
Standard Course + 10 exam preparation lessons* per week
TESTDaF
Suitable for university studies; level like Goethe C1, but content focussing on university related topics
Four week preparation course + exam sat in week 5
Standard Course + 10 exam preparation lessons* per week
GOETHE C2
 For teachers of German
Four week preparation course + exam sat in week 5
Standard Course + 10 exam preparation lessons* per week
* The PM lessons in the afternoon exam preparation classes do not concentrate on new vocab or grammar, they solely focus on exam preparation and papers, prior to sitting the exam.

First Day

Arrival time: 08:45 if you have taken the pre-arrival online test. (Please arrive at 08:00 if you have not taken the online test).
On arrival, go straight to the school reception and they will show you where to go for your interview.
If you are a beginner, you can report to the school at 09.30 hrs

Language level tests are held first thing to determine your class placement.
Lessons for everyone start on Monday : Around 10.00 hrs
Classes follow – time to meet your teachers and class-mates.

German School Teachers

The school teachers are all native speakers, have an academic background with degrees – in either German language and/or literature plus additional teacher training. Many of them have been with the school for many years, are enthusiastic and provide excellent communicative tuition. They combine the roles of a teacher and a coach and have expertise in other fields, such as photography, journalism, business consultancy etc which inspires their teaching and makes them interesting people.

German School Students

Students come from all over the world, predominantly Europe, but also from as far afield as Australia, China, Israel, Japan and the USA. Fundamentally, if you want to learn German – you’re welcome. Age wise there a lot of younger students (18 yrs to 25 yrs of age – with students aged 16 yrs + on campus in June, July & August), but the oldest student to date was in their late 70’s and a significant minority of the student body are over 35 yrs of age, again everyone is welcome.

There are students that stay for one or two weeks and others who stay for 12 to 24 weeks. The longer you stay the better your German language skills will be!