So, you’re learning German and you feel a course would come in handy. As if learning German wasn’t already challenging enough to combine with your career, family and routine, you still have to choose where to begin. You feel you’ve tried several apps, games, tandem partners…but you’ve decided to go with a teacher and a classroom to push yourself further.
We get it: teachers always bring something special to the table. But let’s face it, it’s quite the investment. So how can you make sure you’re taking the right step and won’t regret it only days later? As passionate language learners, we at Lingoda recognise there isn’t one solution that works for all. So here are some things to consider!
4 questions to ask before choosing German classes for adults
Considering German lessons? Apart from your budget, here are three questions you should be asking yourself to make sure you start on the right foot and that there aren’t any regrets.
- What do I want to get out of my course?
- How much flexibility does my routine require?
- What has and hasn’t worked for me so far?
- Who’s teaching?
1. What do I want to get out of my course?
Do you require formal certification (CEFR) or are you after something casual? Are you chasing an advanced level or just hoping to master the basics? Is German a hobby to you or something you absolutely must learn if you want to get ahead? Are you focusing on travel German, business German or dreaming of learning it all?
Make some decisions before moving forward, because your interests could be the final deal breaker between two courses. We tend to jump into new commitments and start feeling overwhelmed shortly after, especially with language courses: the grammar, the vocabulary lists, the pressure of having to speak in front of others! But if you know exactly what you want to take away from a German course and how it’ll benefit you, a great deal of the work is done, because you’ll stay focused.
2. How much flexibility does my routine require?
Are you the type of person who has multiple commitments, little flexibility around your job and family matters? What time do you feel a German course would be most convenient to you (morning? evening?), if you can even commit to a specific time? What options out there give you the opportunity to take classes whenever you’d like with little punishment for last-minute changes or plans? Also, how do you feel about homework, extra tasks outside of your lessons and other responsibilities?
Having a clearer picture upfront will do wonders for your German. Only you can tell what your routine looks like and how much flexibility is non-negotiable, which in turn will help you eliminate some options from the get-go.
3. What has and hasn’t worked for me so far?
This is perhaps one of the most important questions you can ask yourself. Apps, books, traditional lessons, conversation practice, language exchange, writing, watching movies and series: what has worked best for you to date? What strategies did you find boring, useless or too restrictive?
A German course will only work for you if you’re not repeating the same mistakes from the past. This will also help you to decide whether you want a more traditional course or something completely out of the box.
4. Who’s teaching?
There’s a reason why we dedicate full blog posts to our teachers here at Lingoda. Teachers can make or break a language course, so we want potential students to know who they’re going to be learning from. Before deciding on a German course, make sure your teacher is qualified, experienced, culturally aware and absolutely in love with what they do.
If you can’t have access to that information just by browsing a website, ask the school to give you a bit more information on who is going to be involved. If you manage to get a hold of the teacher’s email address, say hello and introduce yourself, expressing your interest in the course. You might be able to get some more information before committing.
Share your thoughts!
What are your greatest concerns and hopes as you look for a German course? Are you considering starting your German studies soon? Let us know what you think is important and what your previous experiences have been!