Category Archives: Tipps zum Deutschlernen

Moving to B1. First thoughts!

Finally, this week, I made the big jump of moving from beginner level German classes (A1, A2) to middle level and I think its been an interesting change and one that must be shared with future students who will be making the same transition in due course. After all, it always helps to know the experience of people who have taken or are taking the same journey as you are! Additionally,it would also give me a chance to fondly remember the amazing time I had in the beginner courses at Deutsch Academy Wien!

Hard work ahead!

First of all, B1 does announce itself in with big bold headlines! The books are feel different and structured quite differently. The words we learn are noticeably longer (its German after all!) and more abstract, so cute cartoonish pictures to explain words are largely done away with. Instructors help you with the transition of course, but the message is clear – its a bit more serious now! Themes get more sophisticated and classes are more packed and some of us have to spend our break time going over new words that are not that easy to comprehend. Instructors also engage students assuming a certain comfort level in spoken and written Deutsch, so its quite a different ball game. Its generally the students who have to be more animated to get across to the teacher now!

All that being said, I really must mention the excellent coaching that we received at Deutsch Academy in the earlier levels as its the main reason for us being able to keep up with the demanding course work. I can definitely appreciate the effort that teachers spent drilling in basic concepts and lexicon into our brains, now that we have to rely on it so much for further progress. In many ways, B1 builds on top of concepts learnt in earlier courses and cements them further, so having strong basics matters more than ever. A big, heartfelt thanks to my instructors and my fellow students at the Zieglergasse location for all the help they extended to me over the past couple of months! I am grateful for it now more than ever!

 

Some good Youtube resources for Deutsch students

We all know that Youtube is a practically infinite resource for all types of content. Its almost always our first resort when we are looking for some lighthearted clips featuring funny cats, cranky kids, unfortunate pedestrians being swallowed by sink holes, old nearly forgotten songs from our childhood and lessons in how sometimes instant karma gets dished out to bad people. The video sharing site is also a great resource for educational material (although they are not anywhere close to being as popular as Gangnam style) and I went around looking for some good content in Deutsch that could be useful for neophytes like me.

Below are some channels and links that have good, entertaining audio-visual study aids. I must mention that I have not checked if the links are free of copyright infringements. Credits to all content is with the due owners.

Gothe Instutute – Learn German as you follow the life of Nevin!

  1. Gothe Institut: The worldwide Gothe Institut features a lot of high quality content for German students on its online portals. Their Youtube channel has a number of videos and playlists with a variety of content in Deutsch related to current happenings in Germany and useful information for students hailing from different countries. My personal favorite from here are short videos featuring a Turkish girl Nevin, who has moved to Germany recently. They track common situations that a newcomer to the country may face and are handy to get a basic, practical grasp on the language. The clips will also expose viewers to a lot of aspects of life in the OSD.
  2. Lingorilla: A popular online website with video content for people learning foreign languages, Lingorilla has a lot of great short clips for students learning German on its YT page. One of the nice things about Lingorilla is that their videos are categorized by fluency level, so you can jump right to the content that will be most suitable to you.
  3. Deutsch für Euch: My personal favorite! Unlike the other two links, this channel is not produced by a large institute with substantial resources. Instead the videos on the site are generally monologues by a German girl on one topic either in vocabulary, grammar or comprehension. While the videos are short, they are rich in grammatical rules, vocabulary content and I have often had to watch them multiple times to understand everything that is dealt with. I love the videos from this channel because of the unique, unconventional and often funny way in which the presenter will explain a topic. A word of caution – I don’t think that a normal student like myself can follow and remember all the information that is included in a single video in one go, so you may have to persistently stick to one lesson till you perfect all the topics that are touched upon before moving to the next.

I hope that readers will like this list and find it useful. Please comment if you would like me to include your favorite resources in this list as well.

Some tips to top up on new languages (Part II)

Hi everyone! Last week, I came up with some tips for students learning German and with some additional reading on the subject, I thought that we could expand the list a bit further for the benefit of my readers. As stated in the earlier blog post, language learning is an extremely personal process, so not all tips will be relevant to you. Its all about experimenting and finding out what can work out!

  1. Find an app that works for you: One can choose from a number of teaching apps that can help you in your quest to learn a new language. Many of them offer a decent amount of quality content including practice exercises and reading material. These will help you practice and consolidate your skills and can be used to keep up with your quest even while commuting.
  2. Make friends with whom you share just this language: The best way to practice is to have real life conversations and to force yourself to dive in headlong. I notice that having friends with whom you just share this new language is quite useful as otherwise, you often tend to default to a language you are all more comfortable with (usually English). This is not as easy as it sounds in Wien, as most people here do speak good English and kind of try to relive you from the blushes of making mistakes in rudimentary Deutsch, but with some searching around, you will find suitable partners. Make sure you chat with them regularly and don’t worry about the mistakes, but try to notice your weak areas and work on them. Also, if you are unable to complete a sentence, try using an online translator rather than switching to your native tongue.
  3. Figure out your study pattern: Some experts recommend that you try to try to saturate your brain with information in study sessions to pick up skills quicker, while others say that you may try making your sessions more fun with imaginative exercises such as trying to translate your favorite rhyme. Try out many methods and with time you will figure out what works for you and then stick with it with a slight amount of further tweaking to optimize you studies with your learning pattern.
  4. Consistency is the key: Ensure that you devote some time to leaning German every day. Taking long breaks from the language can reverse some of the gains you have previously made. Habitual practice will reap rewards over time!

I hope you benefit from reading these tips! Comments are welcome. As noted earlier, I have borrowed and paraphrased a few ideas from these two links that you should definitely check out.

  1. 22 Tips For Learning A Foreign Language
  2. 10 Tips And Tricks To Learn Any Language

Tschüss!

 

Some tips to top up on new languages (Part I)

One of my all time favorite science fiction scenes comes from the cult movie ‘The Matrix’, when Keanu Reeves ‘downloads’ martial arts skills into his brains by plugging into a computer and having a faithful sidekick ‘install’ packages that teach him Jujitsu, Taekwondo and other esoteric fighting skills. It was so cool to imagine that I could master an art by just installing relevant knowledge into my brain instead of having to put in all that time and effort that would be better used fighting agents and sentinels.

Unfortunately, such technology is still in the realms of science fiction and for good or for bad, one needs to invest a significant amount of resources to pick up a skill such as a German. However, there are some hacks and guidelines that we can practice to be more efficient in picking up a new foreign language.

Finessing your skills in a new language requires much sweat and burning of late night oil. There are multiple dimensions to a language, the vocabulary, grammar, nuances in pronunciation and spelling are just the obvious ones. Some of these hacks and guidelines to learn are obvious while others are quite counter intuitive, some very genuine and the rest looked a bit shaky. I decided that making a small look up list would probably be a good idea. The list below is a condensed version of other more exhaustive articles that I have referenced for the interested reader.

  1. Have a strong motivation: Language experts suggest that having a clearly defined, strong motivation to learn a language is a key element to acing it. Our motivations have a big impact on our actions and on how well we ‘take up’ to something and linguistic skills are no exception. One must be clear on why she is putting in all this effort. The reasons should also be credible and be more than ephemeral fancies. For example, someone learning German for professional growth or to genuinely benefit from the benefits of knowing a different tongue is likely to do way better than somebody else doing it because she feels like ‘trying out something new and impressing friends’
  2. Practice, practice and practice!: The nature of linguistic skills demands that we actively put into practice all that we learn. To be able to fluently converse in a language means that we are able to process the vocabulary (oral or in written) in real time to its underlying meaning. Generally, beginners have to mentally translate what they are reading into their own tongue and then process the meaning. However, this puts natural limits on usage. For example, when I try to literally translate a long sentence from English to Deutsch, I always have issues with the verb placement as sentence formation in two languages is quite different when you have more than one verbs. The only feasible way to get around the problem is to force yourself to use the language repeatedly so that common phrases and sentences become second nature.
  3. Understand your own learning patterns: It seems that picking up a language is a very personal process. Some activities that are helpful for some, may not be that useful to you. For example, I find classroom discussions with the teacher very helpful in learning proper usage of words, while others pick it up subconsciously when they are going through exercises. So, to use your time more effectively, you must try to identify what works for you and what does not. Do you find that you build your vocabulary faster by answering multiple choice questions rather than memorizing from a word list? Can you speed up memorizing words by drawing pictures when you come across them? Also, make a list of what does not seem to work in your case. That way, you can use your time more effectively
  4. Take your skill to the real world: The faster you can start having conversations in your new linguistic muse, the better. The real world is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to your new linguistic exploits! So be ready to start talking with your security guards, waiters and colleagues in Deutsch. Mistakes are a part of learning, and you are going to make a lot of embarrassing mistakes in the beginning, but the practice it gets you is more than worth the blushes!

I hope you find the above list useful and practical. Some of the more elaborate articles that I found online (and borrowed heavily from) are here. I will probably have another article on this topic as there are many other interesting aspects that we could find useful.

  1. 22 Tips For Learning A Foreign Language
  2. 10 Tips And Tricks To Learn Any Language

Learning alternatives

I imagine that most of the readers of this blog are learning or willing to learn German. When learning German an important place is occupied by practice… Here we have the grammar exercises and speaking/ hearing the language from native speakers.

For the speaking part of our practice, the people from Agenda Alsergrund created the “German language café”, where people can practice the language with native speakers.

This Thursday, from 5pm to 7pm is their first meeting and everybody is invited to “Sprachcafe”.

The cafe is meant to offer an alternative to the normal language classes by creating a relaxed coffeehouse atmosphere for learning German.

What is even more interesting and attractive for me (which I am at the A1.2. level) is that no previous knowledge of German is necessary, and you can just pop into the language café every two weeks. And all this, for free. Here is the schedule for the next couple of weeks.

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Liette Clees from Agenda Alsergrund said that “Actually everyone is invited to come by the Sprachcafe. There is the possibility to practice the German language or of course to also offer your German language ability to others.”

This is a great idea, if you ever want to enjoy a coffee and learn German in a non-formal way you could make them a visit. Or even more, take your colleagues from Deutsch Akademie and spend some free time together while improving your German skills.

The address for the Sprachcafe is Café der VHS Alsergrund im Erdgeschoβ, Galileigasse 8, 1090.

Wo ist die Deutsch Akademie von Mariahilferstraße?

Letzte Woche haben wir gelernt, wie wir einer Person helfen können, einen Ort zu finden.

Heute werde ich versuchen und erklären wo die Deutsch Akademie von Mariahilferstraße ist.

Die Deutsch Akademie von Mariahilferstraße ist in der Zieglergasse 6, in der Nähe von Mariahilferstraße.

Sie kommen mit:

  1. U3 bis zur Station Zieglergasse, und dann gehst du geradeaus auf der Zieglergasse. In 50m, aud der rechten seite steht das Deutsch Akademie Gebäude.14075085_1241429892542343_77011687_o 14087676_1241429929209006_2060291448_o
  2. Von Westbahnhof, zu Fuß. Du gehst geradeaus auf der Mariahilferstraße. Hier sind viele Geschäfte links und rechts. Aber, neben dem C&A Geschäfte, die nächste Straße, bieg du links ab. Dann, in 50m auf der rechten seite steht das Deutsch Akademie Gebäude.

Die Sprachschule Öffnungzeiten sind: Montag – Freitag: 9 – 12 Uhr & 13 – 15:30 Uhr

Du kannst sie auf Facebook unter dem Name Deutsch Akademie Zieglergasse finden.

Reservier deinen Platz in der Deutsch Akademie Zieglergasse!

ドイツ語勉強法~その3~

今日は再びドイツ語の勉強法についてお伝えしたいと思います。投稿者については初回の投稿をご覧下さい。

ウィーンではHeuteとÖsterreichというZeitung―新聞が無料で配布されています。街のあちらこちらにGRATIS―無料でと書かれた新聞ケースが置かれており、そこから自由に手に入れることができ、日によっては街中で新聞社の方が道行く人に手渡しています。DeutschAkademieのコースでも新聞に関する話題が取り上げられる機会が多く、先生方曰く「文法の正確さから言ったら有料の新聞を読むべき」とのことなのですが、まずはドイツ語に触れる頻度を高めることが大切なため、クラスメートも私も毎日この無料の新聞に目を通しています。私は昨日、ウィーン国立オペラ座にバレエ「海賊」を鑑賞しに行ってきたのですが、一昨日がそのPremiere―初演だったため、今日はどちらの新聞にもその様子が取り上げられていました。今日の新聞左上・右がHeute、左下がÖsterreichの記事

初めの頃は新聞の見出しすら読めませんでしたが、最近は本文を斜め読みできるようになりました。読んでいて意味の分からない文章について、クラスメートと一緒に考えたり、コースで先生に質問したりできるので、とても有意義な勉強法だと感じています。

また、DeutschAkademieが提供しているOnline Deutschkursは大変お勧めです。サイトの最上部に表示されている黒いバーのVersionという文字の右にあるイギリスの国旗マークを押すと、このページの説明が英語に切り替わります。私は、緑色のPractice Germanと書かれたボタンを選び、ページが切り替わった先でPractice your German levelを選び、更にページが切り替わった先で自分のレベルを選び、その先で出題テーマ、問題数を選んで勉強しています。

Online German CourseOnline Deutschkursのページ

こちらのサイトはどなたでも無料で勉強できますので、ドイツ語の文法の勉強に是非ご活用下さい。

ドイツ語勉強法~その2~

今日は再びDeutschAkademieのコースの様子と、タイトルにある通りドイツ語の勉強法についてお伝えしたいと思います。投稿者については初回の投稿をご覧下さい。

今日お伝えするのは、ドイツ語学校に通う上で1番重要となるコースの先生方についてです。私はこれまでに2人の先生にお世話になったのですが、どちらの先生も「自分の教え方」を持っていて、それぞれの指導方法で私達をしっかりと導いて下さいました。特に印象的だったのが、私達クラスメートが2人1組、計5組に分かれて会話の練習をしている時に、私達が一斉に、しかもかなり賑やかに話しているにも拘らず、どちらの先生も私達のドイツ語の間違いを聞き逃さずに細かく指摘して下さったことです。また、私達のレベルに合わせた教材を作って下さったり、コース以外のものも含めドイツ語に関する疑問点に丁寧に答えて下さったり、ウィーンで生活する上で耳よりな情報を教えて下さったり…と、本当に親切です。ただ、私がDeutschAkademieに通い始めた時、先生がコースの最初からずっとドイツ語だけを話していて、私には理解できないことが多く「このままではこのコースには到底ついていけない」と真っ青になったこともありました。(後でクラスメートに聞いたところ、皆同じ気持ちだったということがわかりましたが。)しかし、それも先生方の教え方の1つで、たとえ最初は意味が全く分からなくても、何度も聞いているうち、そして勉強を続けているうちには分かるようになるから、まずはドイツ語を聞くことに慣れよう!というものでした。

3月14日教室にて

今日のクラスでの1コマ

さて、そろそろドイツ語の勉強法についての話に移りたいと思います。私がDeutschAkademieに通い始めて「ドイツ語が身に付いてきた」と実感したのは、自分の言いたいことを実際に口に出すまでの時間が短くなったと自覚した時です。ドイツ語勉強法~その1~に書いた通り語彙力も勿論大切なのですが、思い通り、場合によっては「思わず」口が動く状態というのがドイツ語の習得には必要不可欠だと私は感じています。口が自由に動くようになる、それにはドイツ語をどれだけ口に出してきたか、ドイツ語の発音にどれだけ口が慣れたかが物を言うわけです。DeutschAkademieのコースでは日々先生やクラスメートと沢山ドイツ語で話しますし、私達の間違いはその場で先生が指摘して下さったり、私達がドイツ語で何と表現すればよいか分からない時はすぐに先生に質問できたり…と、会話力をも鍛えることができます。また、コース以外でのドイツ語会話の練習も推奨されていて、その1つがタンデム―異なる母国語を持つ人で言語交換を行う学習法です。タンデム・パートナーはインターネット上でも探すことができるそうですので、日本語を教えることに興味があって、ドイツ語の会話力を伸ばしたい人は是非、タンデムを試してみて下さい。

Internationaler Frauentag―国際女性デーを考える

今日はDeutschAkademieのコースの様子をお伝えしたいと思います。投稿者については初回の投稿をご覧下さい。

まずクラスメートについてですが、これまでに私はアルバニア、イタリア、イラン、エチオピア、カザフスタン、クロアチア、コンゴ、ジョージア、スロベニア、中国、チリ、ハンガリー、フランス、ポーランド、メキシコ、ルーマニアの出身のメンバーと一緒になりました。出身地だけでなく年齢も様々なのですが、先生もクラスメートも「Sie―あなた」ではなく「Du―きみ」で呼び合って、同じ目線で勉強しています。そして互いに相手の出身地やその他のプライベートに興味を持って質問し合うことが多く、こうして約1か月間のコースの間に強い結びつきが生まれます。

次にコースの内容についてですが、先月のコースまでは「Menschen」という教科書・問題集を使って勉強してきました。しかし、B1(2)で学習する文法事項は少ないため、今のコースでは敢えて教科書・問題集は使わず、語彙力・会話力の強化に重きを置いたドイツ語学習に取り組んでいます。

アクティビティ

今日のコースで取り組んだAktivität―アクティビティの一例

コースでは絵や図を描いたり、パントマイムでものを伝え合ったり、クラスメート同士でテストを作って解いたり、それを添削したり、テーマを設定してDiskussion―ディスカッションしたり…と、色々なAktivitätを通してドイツ語を身に付けています。教科書を読んで問題を解くことよりも、より実践的で記憶にも残りやすいです。これらの中で最も効果的なAktivitätであるDiskussionについて詳しく触れたいと思います。

昨日3月8日はInternationaler Frauentag―国際女性デーでした。コースでは昨日・今日と2日間に渡りInternationaler FrauentagについてDiskussionを行いました。Internationaler Frauentagに賛成か反対か、フェミニズム論者か否か、そして性別による差別を受けたことがあるかなど、最初は先生の質問に沿って進んでいき、徐々に互いの意見に対する質問が増えていき、それぞれの主張が強くなり…全員が集中して、非常に白熱した議論が繰り広げられました。自分の考えをしっかりと相手に伝えたい、相手の考えをもっと深く知りたいという気持ちが強ければ強いほど、頭のどこかからドイツ語を絞り出すことができるということを実感できました。明日のDiskussionのテーマが何か、今からとても楽しみです。

ドイツ語勉強法~その1~

今日はDeutschAkademieのコースについてと、タイトルにある通りドイツ語の勉強法についてお伝えしたいと思います。投稿者については昨日の投稿をご覧下さい。

ドイツ語学校では一般的にドイツ語の学習到達レベルを12段階―A1(1)、A1(2)、A2(1)、A2(2)、B1(1)、B1(2)、B2(1)、B2(2)、C1(1)、C1(2)、C2(1)、C2(2)で表すことが多いです。初めて「A1(1)―アー・アインス・アインス」という言葉を聞いた時には、一体何のこと?と頭上に大きなFragezeichen―疑問符を浮かべてしまいました。DeutschAkademieでは、1日3時間×週4日間(月~木曜日)×4週間で1段階のレベルを勉強でき、コースの時間は8:30~、11:45~、15:00~、18:15~の4つの時間帯から選べます。

私は昨日からB1(2)のコースで勉強しています。ちなみに時間帯は8:30~を選択しています。実はこの早朝コース、上記のうちで最も人気の高い時間帯なので、この時間帯を希望される方は早めの申し込みをお勧めします。私は今の先生―フィロには先月のコースB1(1)からお世話になっています。クラスメートは5~11人で、コースのレベルが上がる時にメンバーが入れ替わるのですが、私の経験上、クラスメートの半分とは再び同じクラスになります。

3月8日教室にて

今日のクラスでの1コマ

コースの様子の詳細についてはまた後日にして、ドイツ語の勉強法についてお伝えしたいと思います。私がDeutschAkademieに通い始めて実感したのが「語彙力のなさ」でした。日本で勉強していた時、挨拶などの基本的な会話表現や文法の構造については何度も触れる機会がありましたが、自分の意見を述べたり、自国の文化について説明したりする時に必要となる単語を全然知りませんでした。そんな時、コースで「語彙力の強化のためにはどんな勉強法が効果的か」について意見交換をする機会があり、先生やクラスメートが教えてくれた方法を試してみたところ、とても勉強が捗るようになりました。今日のクラスでも先生から新しい方法を教えてもらったので、それも合わせて3つほどご紹介します。

1.新しく学んだ単語を使った文を自分で書いてみる。自分の身近な人や物に関連付けた文を作れば、その単語に対する印象が強くなるのでより効果的。

2.新しく学んだ単語を自分で絵に描いて表してみる。

3.人々の会話やラジオ、テレビやCDから頻繁に聞こえてくる単語を聞き取ってどんどん覚える。

3.の勉強法はドイツ語圏にいないと少し難しく思われるかもしれませんが、こちらのラジオやテレビ番組はインターネットで配信されているものもあるので是非試してみて下さい。

What I like about the learning Things..

The exercise I liked most was the discussion about different culture and what the individual thinks about the specific topic. Student can talk freely their opinion and with in the time, the teacher can fix the words and grammars that are a bit misused. This is one the best way of learning a language I think. You have to speak and try to get used to it! No need to be shy. And I can also understand what people think and it was a great thing for me.

And I also liked studying new grammar because I know that I can speak more sophisticated level of the language. I literally feel that I’m getting better. So I am very simple guy at this point l0l  Reading the text book is also fun for me because the text book we use like B1level has interesting topics and history. You can learn many other things while you learn German.

DeutschAkademie has relatively small group. It means not one or two but enough amount of people to integrate with German. You learn from teacher, text book and also your colleagues. So this is the opportunity we are given and I hope that we can improve our German more and more!!

20140429_210247 20140429_210238

After the class around 9pm! This building above is the one that has deutschacademi inside. It’s just in front of Opera!!