Elina wanted to improve her German language skills, and quickly. Here’s how, with the help of Lingoda, she did it. She even managed to persuade a few others to learn languages along the way!
Why learn with Lingoda?
Lingoda seemed quite convenient to me from the very beginning. The idea of the 24/7 flexibility, no travel time involved, and small classes with qualified native-speaker instructors beats it all! Of course, when I found out about the possibility of taking three months of language lessons for free, despite of the fact that it was scary not to miss even a single out of 90 classes, I decided I was in!
Not learning alone
I immediately told my husband, and, as we both were really up for improving our German, (plus sometimes one needs a piece of paper to say that one achieved an X-level of proficiency), we realised that we wouldn’t find a better and more affordable way to do it.
We currently live in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and quite often work in central Europe. German is essential here and we have never felt completely at ease with it. We took classes at university, did a lot of self-study, but nothing can motivate you as much as a solid schedule and the chance to receive a 100% refund.
Keep the language fresh with Lingoda
For me, speaking German requires a very structured mind. For example, in German, I need to know in advance, how exactly one will finish a sentence (since the majority of complex sentences involve more than one verb). I also wanted to improve my use of the academic language so I could write complex things, such as project descriptions / proposals and to be able to speak freely on a decent level.
Of course, both my husband and I still need a lot of practise! However, we have now done the most important thing: we gave our German a really huge boost and achieved a lot. German is the sixth language I speak. Three on a decent level and three secondary ones. However, now I would place it fourth after my native/fluent languages. And it definitely wasn’t so high before the marathon!
My top tips
Stay organised. It means: don’t cancel classes, plan very carefully ahead (especially if you are a freelancer and can get called to work on a short notice!), try to book classes a week in advance: otherwise it can get harder with class availability.
Make it a priority. If you need to learn grammar, keep a notebook and coloured pens/markers nearby. If you need to improve speaking, use the opportunity to do so all the time: try to talk in any everyday situation. Write emails, read articles/books, listen to the radio, analyse poetry… in other words, immerse yourself in the language.
I use Quizlet for new words. I can make folders/lists/flashcards, study, and take tests. It is a very convenient tool, accessible from the phone or computer, don’t neglect it. Writing down words or making your own flash cards is quite time consuming…. (I never had any time to do that.)
A family affair
When taking the marathon, it was always fun when I ended up in the same class with my husband (we didn’t always arrange it that way!). We were always in different rooms in our apartment, since being in the same room and hearing each other was not very convenient. We loved the moment when each of us needed to introduce ourselves: we would say “I also live in this city….” and the teacher would say “wow, what a coincidence!”, then “yes, in the same apartment, actually…… well, we are married”. It always gave the class a good laugh!
Then I also signed up my Mum. She is not a marathoner, however, she does take classes religiously. Once she purchased extra classes without realising that her next batch would arrive in a few days. She ended up having so many classes that she needed to take them every day for a certain period of time: so they wouldn’t expire. So perhaps she is a ‘pseudo-marathoner’!
Moving up with Lingoda!
Lingoda is a great school with big ideas. I hope that in the future there will be many more languages and tools added.
After completing the marathon I changed my German proficiency from ‘intermediate’ to ‘advanced’ on my CV: to be honest, it felt very satisfying. My husband and I are very proud of ourselves (and of each other) for winning this marathon. I never took any of my ‘secondary’ languages to such a high level.
Thanks Lingoda for the boost you gave me and my family! It was really needed and will always be highly appreciated!
If you’d like to put Elina’s tips into practise and see your language skills improve, visit our website and sign up for the last ever Lingoda Language Marathon. Who knows where it might take you!