At long last, after a long wait, I got to do my first German class. After years of picking up German from friends, family and students, I finally took the plunge to immerse myself in a class.
First class – typical – I arrived a little late for the first lesson, only because I happen to work for the place and could see they needed help at the entrance as there were so many students coming for their different language courses! In class we got down to doing what turned out to be the standard structure. The first part speaking only German – getting to know the other students and introducing ourselves – and then various exercises to sort out the more able from the less, like irregular verbs, listening practice, and so on, and then finishing up with structured conversation development. And it really sorted out the good from the bad – and was I relieved I got through!
First homework: learn 5 irregular verbs and prepare for a role play for next week (buying tickets for travel). It was really good to see it, because it really helped us focus in on what we were to do next week and prepare ahead for it. None of us wanted to feel left behind … The following weeks’ homework was on the same vein, though being different topics was really useful and helped immensely in the classes.
For the following classes we settled into a routine with variations on themes. Always 15 to 20 minutes with each person talking – in German – about what they had done over the week (others asking questions also), then some grammar points, irregular verbs, and so on, followed up by one person each week giving a semi-prepared presentation on a subject like your most memorable holiday. And there were some really interesting tales. The German family reunion, the tour of Aztec-Mayan Mexico, the 5 month beach holiday in Sardinia, camping with Druids at the White Horse…where else could you do this but in a German class?
Unfortunately, not everyone could come every week – I had to miss one week when I went to London on business. However, I found it very easy to catch up. The students were all of somewhat different levels, from one who found it difficult to put two words together to one who spoke almost without thinking, but we all felt included and Regina kept us all together and involved, overtly making sure that noone felt held back either because they were too low or too high.
After the last class we went off to a pub and had a drink to wind down – we all had our homework for the next course next term, we all exchanged email addresses – and are all secretly reading up as much as possible to impress each other (the teacher’s not important – it’s the other students you have to worry about!).
Rod learnt German on a 10-week evening course in Brighton. Cactus runs daytime and evening courses in German and other languages in Brighton, London and other cities across the UK.
Those wanting to practise their new language skills abroad can take a German course in Germany, Switzerland or Austria. Available from one week upwards and at all ages and levels, these courses are the perfect way to really immerse yourself in the language and culture!