How to make the most of your language holiday
- 13 ideas for what to do during your course -
weekly student gathering
with Sprachinstitut TREFFPUNKT
Here we suggest some ideas that will help to make your language holiday a successful, focused and enjoyable experience. These ideas are based on the experiences and suggestions of both students and teachers of the German course at TREFFPUNKT language institute in Bamberg, Germany. Note*.
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Here we suggest some ideas that will help to make your language holiday a successful, focused and enjoyable experience. These ideas are based on the experiences and suggestions of both students and teachers of the German course at TREFFPUNKT language institute in Bamberg, Germany. Note*
- Take advantage of every opportunity to speak German.
Try and use these opportunities to practice discussing more complex matters or issues as well as for general chit chat. And use the chance to make new friends with people in Bamberg and students from other countries. In order to do this, it is worth considering the following:
- Participation in activities offered by the school/practical training: In order to encourage open conversation in a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere, we meet every Thursday evening for the TREFFPUNKT Stammtisch. The aim of Stammtisch is to give you the opportunity of meeting and talking with a variety of different people. Of course we are aware that it can be quite daunting to strike up a conversation with somebody you have only just met, but we can give you some ideas on where to start: Don’t wait for somebody to approach you! Ask open* questions. Tell them something about yourself. Show an interest in other people’s conversations and join in where possible. However, make sure you pay attention to the balance of the discourse -everybody should contribute a similar amount to the conversation. Long monologues are not to be encouraged!
* "Open" questions are those that require more than just a yes/no answer, normally a couple of sentences or more.
- Let us organize a language "Sprachduo" for you. TREFFPUNKT Language Institute will help you find a language partner who is as enthusiastic about your language as you are about German. And how does this partnership function? The two of you meet in a cafe, for example, and talk in German for half an hour and in your own language for half an hour. During this time you correct each other's mistakes - an exercise in mutual assistance. :-) So that you can begin your partnership as soon as possible, please let us know on the first day of your course that you are interested in this scheme.
- When you are talking to other students, even those who come from your own country, try to speak to them in German. In this way not only will you practice the language (listening and speaking), but you will also ensure that you are not excluding others who do not speak your native language from your conversation. Incidentally: when Germans realize that they are speaking to a foreigner, they often immediately lapse into a foreign language - usually English. Regardless of their level of competency in that language, they believe that by using it they will make themselves better understood. If such a situation should arise, say "Entschuldigung, es ist sehr nett, dass Sie Englisch mit mir sprechen, aber ich bin hier, um Deutsch zu lernen. Wenn Sie langsam und deutlich sprechen, kann ich Sie gut verstehen". (Excuse me, it is very kind of you to speak English with me but I am here to learn German. If you speak slowly and clearly, I will be able to understand you.) The person you are speaking with will be delighted to hear this and will try to speak with you in their best „high German. “ It doesn’t matter whether you are in a shop, at a ticket counter or in a bar. Give it a try!
- Always ask if something is not clear.
And that applies to more general questions about your stay and your accommodation as well as anything directly related to teaching or the modification of your course.
- Allow your teachers to advise you
what is the ideal course for you? Will you learn most effectively in a group or on your own, with one-to-one tuition. In taking a course of 6 weeks or more, many students come to feel that they wish to adapt their course to their own individual learning pace and aims. In our experience, many students like to complement their intensive course in the mornings with one-to-one tuition 2 or 3 afternoons a week. Our teaching staff and the TREFFPUNKT school management will do all they can to ensure that you are happy and comfortable and that your stay is a success.
- Don’t worry about making mistakes!
And take an active part in the lessons. Nobody learns a language by staying silent. You will learn most effectively by constantly trying to use your German, practicing, making mistakes and being corrected.
- The easiest way to learn new words is in context.
Therefore try to memorize them in connection with a picture, situation or association. Later you will find it a lot easier to remember these words.
- Don’t expect a text to be translated into your own language.
First try to understand the meaning of the sentence as a whole. If particular words are still unclear, you will be able to ask for the meaning and memorize the answer much more effectively by understanding the context in which they appear and
Familiarize yourself with German words using a travel-oriented German translator
- Always attend your lessons.
Don’t miss out because of a transitory bad mood or lack of motivation. Do all that you can to avoid interrupting the continuity of your group’s learning progress. In case you are sick, or even can not come to class, don't miss to call the school immediately.
- Also take part in the free-time activity programme organized by the school.
It will open up lots of opportunities to familiarize yourself with German culture and Germany, whilst at the same time getting to know people and practicing your German / foreign language. In this way your free time will be a good chance both to relax and to consolidate your knowledge of the language.
- Use the school library
which has a range of books and materials for all levels. And come to our video afternoons with showings of popular German films.
- Visit Bamberg’s many museums, exhibitions and book shops.
There you will not only find out about the sights, history and culture of Bamberg and its surrounding area, but you will also improve your German. Further suggestion: you will find a new modernly-equipped town library (www.stadtbuecherei-bamberg.de) diagonally across from the school. There you can choose from over 60 000 books, magazines, newspapers, cassettes and videos. You can also surf the internet relatively cheaply or find a quiet place to read or study.
- Find a German magazine or newspaper that you particularly like and try to read it.
- Allow at least 2-3 hours every day for homework,
organizing your notes and revising the day’s lessons.
- We have found that offering an informal test
at least every other Wednesday, notably increases for many students motivation and learning success .
Take advantage of this opportunity to get a feel for your progress, and to discover your personal strengths and weaknesses. Don't miss the chance to talk with your teacher about any corrections you don't understand.
- More tips, especially for conversation in German,
please visit the page conversation and vocabulary training in German
* These notes are based on our experience, and discussions with students and teachers
of the TREFFPUNKT German Language Institute - the Intensive German Course specialist for adults and executives.
The main aim is to give practical guidance for our future students learning German. But these tips are valid for all those planning a language course abroad.