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Old 26.08.2011, 14:46
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Questions about learning German, please share your experiences.

Hello everyone, I moved here 6 months ago for a job without knowing any German, my work doesnt require that I know the language. I paid 600 chf for an A1 (non-intensive) class at Migros Klubschule. It was once a week for 2 hrs, 6 months. I didnt benefit much from it because I was unfortunate to get a bad teacher. Her English wasnt decent at all, so it was frustrating when I asked her questions and she couldnt really explain to me in English.

I am planning to stay here for 2-3 years and I do want to learn the language. English is my 2nd language, and I also took Spanish for 3 years in high school so learning a new language is not new to me. However, after reading threads about Migros intensive courses, I am a bit nervous to spend more money. I picked Migros because it was 300chf cheaper than the course at a school. I really dont have the money to spend every couple of months on German courses, my employer is not paying.

I guess my question is should I take more classes? Should I just learn it online (I found a couple of free online websites in the forum) since Im only staying here for 2-3 years?

Please share with me your experience with learning German, especially if you didnt take classes, any input will be greatly appreciated. Danke schön!
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Old 26.08.2011, 15:13
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Re: Questions about learning German, please share your experiences.

I made a very short (2 weeks) intensive course in the Goeth Institute (was 5 hours per day). It gave me a lot of bases, but what helped me most while learning was hearing the German and speaking it.

If you have the possibility, join a German Conversation group from the Forum. Practice will be your best help.

I can't advise you on language courses here. I made mine in Germany (my wallet thanked me).
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Old 26.08.2011, 15:19
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Re: Questions about learning German, please share your experiences.

Thanks Helm.

Sorry Mods, I think this thread should have been posted in the Language Corner.
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Old 26.08.2011, 15:29
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Re: Questions about learning German, please share your experiences.

Hi Ninjala, I battled to pick up german as we speak english at home.
Then I enrolled in a german language course - details were from the local Gemeinde - and got a good grounding in "conjugation" which has helped me tremendously.
You know the "ich bin, du bist, er ist, Wir sind, Ihr seit, Sie sind," stuff...? and how the verbs change with the above.

This has enabled me to have fairly decent conversations (while I mime the complicated words I don`t know or at least say them in english with german pronunciation - which most seem to figure out what it is I`m trying to convey) ...... and led to further conversations ... which led to more fluency for me - all that practice!

And now, I find the VERY best method for learning is to have a good friend who ONLY speaks the local language!

Now I can say that I have reached the stage of actually dreaming in german! I have the most marvelous conversations in my dream state! (I guess you could call that a sort of learning too?)
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Old 26.08.2011, 15:37
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Re: Questions about learning German, please share your experiences.

I've enrolled at the local college. A family member recommended it, he is Swiss, and it only cost 495 CHF for the first semester i.e Sept to Nov at A1 level and the same price there after for each level A2 etc

I go twice per week for two hours plus home study. And in fact lots of home study. I am a bit ahead of the actual class but I dont mind as I get to speak German.

The teacher will not communicate in any other language except German which is definately the best way to learn.

At some point my partner and I will converse at home in German. Well he will talk and I will try. Maybe for an hour or so to help. Plus all his family speak German so when we are out for meals, I dont reall have a choice.

I have been here for 2 months now. No job, despite offers, I really want to concentrate on my German and go for a job which is right for me.
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Old 26.08.2011, 17:37
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Re: Questions about learning German, please share your experiences.

I am currently taking a 4 week 3 hours a day intensive class at Migros Klubschule. It is expensive but really helps you get into the language. The teacher speaks very little or no English at all during the lessons (the teacher does speak English well if needed to clarify). If you didn't want to spend a lot of money, you can also do self taught lessons using Pimsleur.
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Old 26.08.2011, 17:41
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Re: Questions about learning German, please share your experiences.

I think if you want a teacher who speaks English very well then you will have to search specifically for that.

I don't think a teacher is bad just because they don't speak your native language. At the Migros courses there are usually people of all nationalities and it would be impossible for a teacher to be fluent in all of them.

As has been said, in most courses the teacher will only speak German.

Perhaps you should search for a private or semi-private lesson, and that way you can have more control over the curriculum.
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Old 26.08.2011, 18:16
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Re: Questions about learning German, please share your experiences.

I've read that for a child to learn a language naturally and well, they need to be exposed to it for at least 25% or so of their waking hours. Sometimes I wonder if the requirement is so terribly different for adults who wish to really improve a language.

Every German class which I have ever taken has at least attempted to do everything in German. Some teachers have been more successfully consistent about this than others. Obviously it becomes easier as the level increases, but my advice is to get used to it as quickly as possible.
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Old 02.09.2011, 12:15
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Re: Questions about learning German, please share your experiences.

Quote:
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Hello everyone, I moved here 6 months ago for a job without knowing any German, my work doesnt require that I know the language. I paid 600 chf for an A1 (non-intensive) class at Migros Klubschule. It was once a week for 2 hrs, 6 months. I didnt benefit much from it because I was unfortunate to get a bad teacher. Her English wasnt decent at all, so it was frustrating when I asked her questions and she couldnt really explain to me in English.

I am planning to stay here for 2-3 years and I do want to learn the language. English is my 2nd language, and I also took Spanish for 3 years in high school so learning a new language is not new to me. However, after reading threads about Migros intensive courses, I am a bit nervous to spend more money. I picked Migros because it was 300chf cheaper than the course at a school. I really dont have the money to spend every couple of months on German courses, my employer is not paying.

I guess my question is should I take more classes? Should I just learn it online (I found a couple of free online websites in the forum) since Im only staying here for 2-3 years?

Please share with me your experience with learning German, especially if you didnt take classes, any input will be greatly appreciated. Danke schön!
Hi Ninjala

When i arrived to Switzerland i was struggling with the German. For me it worked to get classes and got lucky to get great teachers. I can highly recommend http://kurse.vhsbe.ch/ school. They are very serious and give you very good basis. If you already have some initial basis what also worked for me was to by bilingual books in english-german with small stories (they exist in various levels and you can even find them cheaper online in Amazon.fr that for some reason always offered me a free delivery in switzerland, from france!!). Other idea is also audio books, you can listen and try to write yourself and then double check in the book how well you have done.. After that, a lot of practising, everywhere you go .
Hope it helps!
a.contardi
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Old 14.09.2011, 09:03
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Re: Questions about learning German, please share your experiences.

I am studying at Bellingua in Zurich and I am really happy.
I have two lessons of 2 hours per weeks, the teacher is good and also the book we are following, and Bellingua give us a lot of additional material.
Then every two weeks we have a short test and it is really helpful, because it forces us to study in a regular way.
I am finishing the A1 level and I can already notice that I undestand more German and I can speak a few. I will continue with the next level.
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