The first intensive course from DeutschAkademie (link) is officially complete. The three week course for A1.1 has been a very interesting adventure. The class is structured extremely well. Due to the extensive cultural and linguistic make up of the class, the only language spoken during the course is German. Our class had students from Peru, Portugal, Brazil, Armenia, Czech Republic, United States of America, and Slovakia. We hear our teacher, Ulrike Strigl, address us only in German, even if we partially understand what she is saying. We were constantly exposed to German language and more importantly German pronunciation. Every day for 3+ hours we would hear non stop German language. After only a few days, you knew words in German just due to hearing them on a regular basis.
The overall pace of the class was rather large. After each lesson it is recommended to go over the material and do a little bit of own self study. We had regular homework throughout each class session. The homework helped solidify each class and build on the foundation of the previous lessons. The most difficult aspect of the class was the overwhelming amount of vocabulary that we would be exposed to on a daily basis. At times it seemed that we were bombarded with new words on a minute basis. As most of us are very new to the language, our initial vocabulary is quite small. With each day it seemed that the vocabulary of words was multiplying exponentially. As the lessons went on, the vocabulary became less and less overwhelming. Once you have a good foundation of words, each lessons becomes easier to process. Nevertheless, students should be aware of the initial wave of new words and not be discouraged.
At the end of each week, we had a comprehensive exam. The following class, we went over the exam and any potential questions, all in German of course. Overall my personal impression of the pace and the type of the course was very positive. Our teacher was very engaging and facilitated a lot of dialog and practice of the fundamentals. Through this dialog the group interaction drew people closer together. The students were much more engaging with each other towards the end of the course than in the beginning. Thus, we started documenting our interactions together during and after class.
It is now official, we are done. We have received our certifications of course completion, Kursbestätigung. A lot of the group is continuing onto the next A1.2 class, which is a great sign for DeutchAkademie’s retention rate. Most of the students wanted to continue with our current teacher, Ulrike, – a great reflection on her teaching style. Unfortunately, Frau Strigl is teaching a different time slot for A1.2.
Last day, last chance to take some photos together, which of course everyone took advantage of. A lot of selfies were taken once our last class ended. My personal take on the structure of the class is very positive. Before taking this class, I was not sure how I would perform in an intensive class environment. I was pleasantly surprised how well the class structure worked on language retention. I can’t wait until my next course starts, A1.2! I hope my positive experience continues. I highly recommend for anyone who is on the fence about an intensive course to give it a try. You, too, might be pleasantly surprised.