What I learned: Teaching German with NUCALLS

Learning with NUCALLS is fun…

There is hardly anything as challenging but rewarding as learning a language, which is the key to every culture and its people. Speaking a language opens doors you might have never passed without knowing how to communicate with the guards.

Last semester I taught German with NUCALLS, while learning my first few phrases in Japanese and refreshing my French. We all know this is a great opportunity to practice your language skills. NUCALLS provides such a friendly, familiar atmosphere, where you don’t have to feel bad for making mistakes, instead feeling great for accomplishments you have made in your language skills.

To make the experience even more exiting for all participants of NUCALLS, I would like to give a few hints you should keep in mind when you interact in NUCALLS:

  1. Always be friendly! Every one of us is here for fun and to learn something – this works just in a good atmosphere. Help creating and upholding it at all times. If you have a bad day, don’t make your instructor or fellow students responsible. Better send a note and stay home.

  2. Appreciate your instructor! All instructors are teaching voluntary and do not receive a single penny for their work. Let them know you appreciate the work they are putting into their classes. Also value all the students that show up every week at night and increase the classes with their contributions.

  3. Take it seriously! NUCALLS is supposed to be fun language learning in a good atmosphere - sure. At the same time, learning a language is work. Therefore only sign up if you mean to actually go to classes every week and if you decide to withdraw, let your instructor know in advance. And even though all of our schedules are full, take some time to go over the materials, one hour of class a week is not enough to advance quickly in a language.

  4. Look for resources! NUCALLS is a great platform to learn peer-to-peer, at the same time there are thousands of ways to approach a language. Look for books, TV shows or guides in your target language. Use different resources and use them regularly

  5. Share and care! If you found an interesting article, a helpful website or learned a new fancy vocabulary, why not sharing it with your class or at least your instructor. This way everyone can advance faster. Also care for your own progress by setting goals and forcing yourself not to give up, but investing time and effort to reach proficiency in your new language.

And of course, not to forget: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and PRACTICE!!!

… Here is some foretaste about German impressions:

Teaching your native language sounds like a pretty easy exercise, right? Well, not always…

Not only is it an interesting challenge to teach your language in English, which may limit your expressions and vocabulary to describe certain specialties, but some translations do simply not work in another language. In addition German is supposed to be the language with one of the toughest grammatical systems.

There were several times when I questioned my own language for the first time. What would come naturally to me, might provoke a huge question mark over the heads of my students. Therefore I tried to think about issues from different perspectives and deliver clever solutions as well as a good plan – teaching the German way.

It was really interesting to hear about the various different motives that drove people into my class and I highly respect everyone who overcomes his fear and tries to learn the language of “poets and thinkers”. Trust me, it is absolutely worth it – there are so many more tings beer and cars that make up German culture, and I will try to teach you as much as possible about it.

If you are also interested in learning German, I will offer another class in fall semester, just be warned: You will have to go through a lot of fun, activities and unfortunately also some grammar.

If you want to get a taste of some fantastic German “winged words”, follow this link to see which words you could even use in English, because they could not be expressed otherwise.

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