I decided to take a 10-week German course to refresh what I had learnt at school ahead of a holiday to Berlin I had planned. At first I felt a little out of my depth, having hoped that it would all come flooding back to me, but discovering during the first lesson that what I had learnt at GCSE was not quite as well etched in my memory as I had thought. However, after a couple of lessons and some self-study at home I began to feel more confident, at least with reading and listening exercises. The teacher, Valentina, was very kind and supportive, and flexible to suit our needs. If there were areas that we were struggling with, she was very patient with reviewing them and thinking of exercises for us to complete to help us to understand.
I was pleased to find that quite a lot of what was covered during the course proved useful to me on my holiday, particularly the topics on transport, travel and directions. In fact I was able to put what I had learnt into practice not long after stepping off the plane, when I was (embarrassingly) somewhat confused when trying to buy a train ticket. Although it was daunting attempting to communicate in the little German that I knew, especially when I believe I was probably making quite a lot of mistakes, I think it was appreciated that I was putting in the effort.
I found that spending even just a short amount of time in Germany was the perfect way to practice and consolidate what I had learnt, and it has inspired me to continue. I am now enrolled on the next level course, which has continued with the same teacher and most of my fellow students from the previous level. On completing this course I am considering taking one of the German courses abroad that Cactus offer, perhaps in Vienna. I think that taking an intensive course in a German speaking country will really help me to revise and practice what I have learnt so far.