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Old 17.06.2008, 20:42
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full time german course. good idea or bad idea?

Hello there,

Just wondering what people think of doing a full time language course.

I really want to learn German ASAP and was thinking that maybe a full time 30-week course could be the way to go, but I also think that maybe doing German 9-3 mon-fri for 30 weeks straight might be a bit intense.

Also does anyone know if I can get a grant or loan off the Swiss authorities for doing this course?

Last edited by travnett; 17.06.2008 at 20:43. Reason: spelling
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Old 17.06.2008, 20:56
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Re: full time german course. good idea or bad idea?

I do not know how long you are here or intend to stay, but what i did was..I listened to the language for 3 months, try it out in the local stores, or get a friend to speak to you (just that you have it in your ear), and then...take classes (I would say once or maybe twice a week if you can). You actually pick up a lot by listening, reading a bit, and just being around it to. Its quite hard in the beginning, so my advice would be that you settle into the language a bit that it is not all so new and foreign when you start with lessons. Hope that this helps you..and try and speak german, no matter how it comes out, the people appreciate it when they can not speak English!
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Old 17.06.2008, 21:55
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Re: full time german course. good idea or bad idea?

Hi Kalahari Girl thanks for the reply, I've been living here for a year a 3months now and when I first came I attended a German course in Migros but I never really progressed a huge deal as the class was too big 13 people and also it was suppose to be a beginners class but yet I found that everyone spoke pretty decent German already for beginners.

I work in a place where English is the main language and everyone speaks English so I do not get that same exposure to German as others may get in work, and when I'm not working then I'm pretty much hanging around at home or out socialising with my Irish, English and Swiss buddies so again no real chance to pick up the lingo as my Swiss friends talk to us in English because we don’t understand German.

I have however gotten my Swiss friend to start speaking a German while they are around me so that I might pick up a little something.

As for my AIM: well what I really need is to get from beginners level to B2 standard and take the Zertifikat Mittelstufenprufungexam as quickly as I can, as I'm hoping to get into a job here in Switzerland in the next year and I will need this level of German for it. So this been said I am highly motivated and willing to learn, I just have to find the best way to this effiectivly
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Old 17.06.2008, 21:59
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Re: full time german course. good idea or bad idea?

of course it is a good idea...

Just don't book all the 30 weeks in one go; play it by ear.

Good luck!
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Old 17.06.2008, 22:11
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Re: full time german course. good idea or bad idea?

One more thing; about the reading, although I do read well try to read the 20 minutes paper every mooring I fear that this could only do more harm than good, reason been that as I read the paper I pronounce the words as I think they sound, however as I've learnt already that the way I pronounce words can be different than the way they should be pronounced

E.g. when we say pronounced we say pro-noun-ced but someone learning English reading an English paper and comes across the word ''pronounced'' could pronounce it pron-ounc-ed therefore giving a different pronunciation of it.

Same thing goes for German words and me so by me reading the paper the same thing may happen, I may learn something but it may also lead to 2 other things;

1. Setting me back in learning German properly by interpreting words wrongly
2. Creating my own language called Ge-rman that no one other than me understands
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Old 17.06.2008, 22:30
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Re: full time german course. good idea or bad idea?

I started learning German by doing an intensive course (5 hours a day, 5 days a week), and I thought it was excellent. It's pretty full on because you're in classes all day speaking and listening to a language you don't know, which means you have to be concentrating the whole time. But it really forces you to immerse yourself in the language, especially since you have to do your homework in the evening in order to prepare for your class the next day. It helps if you have a good class and a good teacher because you'll be spending a lot of time with them.

My regret was not being able to continue in the intensive classes because I had to start work. But I know a few people who continued in that class and were fluent in German within 6 months.

As to reading the paper each day, I think this has a lot more pros than cons. Even if you get the pronunciation wrong, at least you are exposing yourself to a lot of vocabulary which is a big part of learning the language.

On the topic of pronunciation, I find that German is rather phonetic. Or maybe I'm just very used to hearing German so I find that, for me, pronunciation is not a problem. My main problem is finding the time to do my homework ...
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Old 18.06.2008, 08:26
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Re: full time german course. good idea or bad idea?

I've done intensive courses as well, 3 hours/day, 4 days/week. It's a good way to go. The only advise I'd give is to take a break from time to time between classes when you're feeling burnt-out.
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Old 18.06.2008, 10:16
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Re: full time german course. good idea or bad idea?

If you need the german, and have the time...do the course ASAP. Take the break (in the classes) when you feel like it and when it gets to much. My german teacher told me to read loud when you read german, in that way you see it, hear it and your ear will get the sounds (even if its wrong), take a dictionary and read up the strange words. learn phrases from your german friends. I am here now 2 years, i had private lessons (10 lessons x 2 hours each) and then I took a break from it, I tried to listen to people and tried my small conversation, and surprisingly ..its just fine. I live in small village where there is no English, that of course also helps when you are dumped into the swiss system. Good luck, and go and do that course! It can only help you!
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Old 18.06.2008, 14:27
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Re: full time german course. good idea or bad idea?

Quote:
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One more thing; about the reading, although I do read well try to read the 20 minutes paper every mooring I fear that this could only do more harm than good, reason been that as I read the paper I pronounce the words as I think they sound, however as I've learnt already that the way I pronounce words can be different than the way they should be pronounced

E.g. when we say pronounced we say pro-noun-ced but someone learning English reading an English paper and comes across the word ''pronounced'' could pronounce it pron-ounc-ed therefore giving a different pronunciation of it.

Same thing goes for German words and me so by me reading the paper the same thing may happen, I may learn something but it may also lead to 2 other things;



1. Setting me back in learning German properly by interpreting words wrongly
2. Creating my own language called Ge-rman that no one other than me understands
Not so true for German, actually. The representation of sounds by letters is much more constant than in English.

Any immersion in your target language, be it speaking, reading, or watching TV is good, don't look for excuses not to do it!!

One point I might add is that the quality of the writing in 20minutes is not always very high - but this will not in any way harm your progress...

Good luck!
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