Where can I find a Learn-German pill?

where can I find a learn german pill - all on board

How should I learn German? Once a week, twice a week, or intensively?

For German learners the problem is not just what to learn, but when and how.

I mean, every learner needs grammar, new words, and lots of conversation and listening.

That’s not the problem!


The real problems are often:

Practicalities. When will I learn? 
Particulars. Who will teach me and how?
Passion. How to keep learning and not give up!

That’s why if you’re like me – easily distracted and often stressed! – then intensive courses are the way to go. By intensive I mean every day for a while, like a few weeks or a month.

And why is this more effective? Well, instead of half a year of going to a classroom every week – it’s all over in a month! You get more bang for your buck because you learn more, remember more, and you integrate more of what you learn into your daily life.


But here’s the snag. Teaching an intensive course is an art. You’re in the same classroom every day – so the teacher needs to be alert to the personalities in the room, provide variety in the lessons, and find new ways to repeat important information. And that’s not easy!

Setting up games, role plays, pair work, and maintaining ‘the energy in the room’ takes a skilled, experienced teacher. Not only that, but intensive courses require learners to bring something to the class, to talk about themselves, and play an active part in their own learning.

Does that sound like something you want?


If so, and you want to take a Learn-German pill with us then email info@allonboard.de or call us on 030/3983 3993.

We have an A1 German intensive course starting on April 1st for four hours every morning, Monday to Thursday. (You get Friday off …😊)

For other levels contact us for details.


While you’re here check out our other blog posts such as Smash the German Job Interview and check out our website.

Good luck with learning German and I hope we speak soon. 

Tschüss! 

5 questions to ask your German teacher

5 questions to ask your German teacher

Pens and notebooks out …

coursebooks open …

turn to page 5 …

and grammar.

☹ ☹ ☹


Sound familiar? Well, it doesn’t have to be like this. In fact it shouldn’t be this. I’ll explain why with a short history lesson.

Are you sitting quietly?

Then I’ll begin.


Language learning in the English-speaking world grew out of the study of ancient Latin and Greek.

This meant grammar, conjugating verbs, and translating texts. An approach called the Grammar-Translation method.

Because who needs to speak Latin right?


That changed with something called the Direct Method around the end of the 19th century. Here learners worked with real-life speech. People thought that immersing the learner in the ‘target language’ would lead to proficiency over time.

Obviously, you can see problems here. A ‘sink or swim’ environment of new speech doesn’t automatically lead to learning a language. It can also lead to frustration – as any language learner will know!

5 questions to ask your German teacherOne method to address this was the Audiolingual or Army method, named the U.S. Army’s need for a ‘scientific’ way to learn languages during the Cold War, as mere exposure to Russian was not enough to create a new generation of spies.

 

This approach aimed at developing good habits through repetition or ‘drilling’ of the target language, with mistakes corrected by a sergeant major… I mean a teacher! 

Older readers may remember ‘language labs’ where learners would play tapes and learn a language via headphones. These come directly from the Army method.

But does this look like fun to you?

5 questions to ask your German teacher

Here the problem is: How can you learn to communicate with other people in a new language – by listening to tapes inside a plywood box!


We needed the communicative approach to kickstart language learning. An approach that believed languages are best learned by using the target language in (semi-)realistic situations.

Here the emphasis is on developing communication skills through interaction. That’s why today’s classrooms involve working in pairs or groups, and role plays. 


5 questions to ask your German teacher

But hold on. You’re thinking ‘That’s English – what does this have to do with learning German?’

Well for a while scholars have been developing something called Second Language Acquisition theory or SLA for short.

SLA involves theories for learning all languages not just English. One strand of research is the work of US linguist Stephen Krashen, who came up with several hypotheses. Here’s three and why they’re important for you as a German language learner:

1. Natural Order. There’s a natural order to learning languages which you can’t fast-forward. That means, leider, that you’ll still be making mistakes with Der/ Die/ Das for years to come!

Why is this important? Well, it means the order of grammar points you find in coursebooks is, well, almost meaningless.

Second, it means there’s little point in teachers correcting every tiny mistake a learner makes because a) in the ‘natural order’  of learning a language mistakes are inevitable and b) it can demotivate learners. Which brings me to  …

2. The Affective Filter.  One thing that prevents people learning languages is a mental ‘filter’ which comes up when they feel stressed or anxious. This means it’s really important for learners to have a nurturing environment in the classoom – and not be punished or made to feel stupid! 

3. Comprehensible Input. To learn effectively learners need ‘input’, speech and texts in the target language that is one step above what they know now.

They don’t need to know all the words, just most of them; the words they don’t know they can  guess. It follows from this that teachers should ‘grade’ their language and speak to learners at their level.

It also means that private reading and listening may be one of the best ways to learn!


You can read more about these theories here. But here are the five questions we think you should ask your German teacher, or language school, before you take a class.

1. Do you have a language learning theory behind your approach or teaching?

2. Which teaching methods do you use?

3. What is the content for your course?

4. Can I help decide on the course content ?

5. What are some of the learning activities we will do in class?


That’s all from us. I hope this post helps you choose a teacher or school.

If you want to learn German call 030/3983 3993 or email info@allonboard.de 

While you’re here check out other blog posts and our website.

Apart from that, stay warm and …

Tschüss!

Survive your first German job … and even make fire!

survive your first German job and even make fire

Despite the cold, last Saturday we had a full house at our Smashing the German Job Interview workshop.

And speaking to people there, we discovered that you want more workshops like this: short, focused, and practical. Events that help you negotiate your first steps at work. Workshops that help with that important process of zu der Firma passen or ‘fitting in’.

smashing the german job interview at all on board

So we’ll run ‘Smashing’ again, but have a new idea: Survive your first German job … and even make fire!

This workshop would be longer and include: introductions, formal/ informal phrases for emailing, telephoning phrases, talking in meetings, and small talk strategies.

We think these are useful things to know when you get, and start, your first German job.

But first we need your help. And suggestions!


We want to know a few things. If you could take just five seconds to answer three short questions we’d be very grateful.

powered by Typeform

 

Let us know your thoughts so All on Board can help you survive your first German job … and even make fire!

In the meantime, stay warm.

And tschüss!

Three sides of Wedding

Three places to visit in Berlin Wedding

Our blog posts on movement and job interviews helped you with your German language skills. This post will help you discover the up-and-coming Berlin district of Wedding.

Because there’s more to life than learning, or struggling to learn German. American writer Mark Twain struggled to learn German himself, saying that some of its words look more like ‘alphabetical processions’.

Such as Unabhängigkeitserklärung = declaration of independence.

Try saying that!


So to begin. When you live in Berlin, you don’t just ‘live in Berlin’. Your home is your Kiez (pronunouced ‘Keets’). Your Kiez is the neighborhood where you eat, shop, meet up with friends. The place that’s hard to leave because it’s where your heart is! Ich wohne in Wedding, am Brüsselerkiez. Wo ist dein Kiez?

So if you live in Wedding, or want to visit, here are three places to check out whether you’re a sport billy, a history buff, or a lazybones like me who likes hanging about in cafes … 

Noch ein Cappuccino, bitte!

1.  Sport   

Although it maybe be cloudy and cold outside, winter is the perfect time to hit the ice rink! And at Müllerstraße 185 in Wedding you’ll find the Erika-Heß-Ice Pavilion. 

There you can skate and glide like an Olympic champion, or hold onto your friends for grim death! You can rent skates there and if it gets  cold outdoors there’s a smaller rink inside as well. Info here

After all that moving you’ll want to relax, perhaps learn some …


2. History

Berliner Unterwelten takes you under Berlin. If you like air-raid shelters, bunkers, and railway tunnels, then book a tour.

The tours they offer include Under the Berlin Wall, Exploring Dark Worlds, and From Flak Towers to Mountains of Debris and they can also guide you in different languages.

The themes are sometimes dark – that’s the attraction of Berlin, right? – but you get to experience the city at a different level in an emotional and humorous way.

Thirsty?


3. Coffee

After all that sport and history you’ll be ready for a coffee. As in every Berlin Kiez you’re spoilt for choice but try Göttlich on Tegeler Str. 23 in Sprengelkiez. (Göttlich literally means ‘divine’.)

This cafe has everything you need: good cakes, great coffee, but most of all einer gemütlichen Atmosphäre.

(One German must-know word is gemütlich = cosy. Think christmas markets, kittens and … err … christmas and you’ve got the meaning.)


So that’s your three sides to the Berlin district of Wedding.  Check these places out and tell us what you found!

And don’t forget to join us in Wedding at Seestraße 27 at All on Board language school for Smashing the German Job Interview on Saturday 26 Jan from 1:00-2:00 pm. Sign up  by the 22nd Jan by emailing us at info@allonboard.de

In the meantime – enjoy your Kiez!

3 Phrases to Smash that German Job Interview!

A few key phrases can help you sound like a Profi and help you get that dream job.

Does your heart sink at the thought of a job interview in German? Well don’t worry … that’s normal.

It’s like writing with your left hand, or drinking coffee from the other side of the cup.

Difficult, right?


But not impossible. A few key phrases can help you sound like a Profi and help you get that dream job. (A Profi is a professional. And that’s what we are, right?)

But first here are words to avoid, because they’re over-used and altmodisch (old-fashioned).

  • zuverlässig (reliable) 
  • ordentlich (respectable, neat and tidy)
  • ehrgeizig (ambitious)

I’ll prove it. Watch the video. Can you hear the words?


Instead here are three real phrases that people really use in interviews, and they respond to three real questions you might be asked.

1. Tell us about yourself. Erzählen Sie uns etwas über sich.

Ich lege viel Wert auf Kreativität in meiner Arbeit, zum Beispiel = I place great value on creativity in my work. For example …

2. Why do you want to work here? Warum wollen Sie in unserer Firma arbeiten?

Ich hätte gern eine Stelle, bei der ich mich persönlich entwickeln kann = I really want a job where I can develop myself personally.

3. What skills can you bring to our company? Welche Fähigkeiten bringen Sie mit?

Ich bin fähig Websiten zu erstellen = I’m competent/ skilled in creating websites.

 


So there’s three phrases to help you! If you find them useful please share the blog with others.

Smashing the German Job Interview! – our free event will give you more useful phrases. It’s on Saturday 26 Jan from 1 to 2pm at All on Board school, Seestraße 27 in Wedding.

You can socialise, meet others, do some networking and learn to SMASH that German job interview and get that dream job.

To book a place call 030/3983 3993 or simply email info@allonboard.de 

But remember. Sign up by 22nd January to be sure of a place.

Tschüss!