I have been learning with Germanmind for over 2 years now.
Originally, I came to Ireland to improve my English and after I finished my B2 exam in English I decided to learn another language to improve my career chances. I decided to learn German. I found GermanMind because it is located close to my office on Merrion Square and it was easy to get to. I loved learning German even though it was tough at times and there are so many rules and exceptions but I always enjoyed my German classes with Lukas and Sarah.
So, here is my student story now:
What helps me the most in English and German are my self talks. I have had so many talks to myself in German and this allowed me to express my opinions and thoughts without being judged. That helped me not only with better speaking and pronunciation, but also with better thinking and that quickly improved my confidence as well. The more often I had these conversations, the clearer my thoughts became. During these discussions with myself, I consciously paid attention to my mistakes.
If I made too many mistakes in a conversation, I repeated the conversation, but this time with less mistakes, better vocabulary, clearer pronunciation and clearer thoughts.
I often recorded myself and my teacher and I listened to it in class. So I was able to make sure that what I am learning is indeed being used. During the holidays I went to Berlin for a week. Whenever I entered a U-Bahn, I looked discreetly into the train and sat next to a friendly looking person and started a conversation, “I am learning German and want to improve it. Is it okay if we have a little conversation?” Fortunately, nobody has refused this request. This enabled me to improve my German language skills as well as to meet new and interesting people. And again, I felt more confident using the German language.
One woman I spoke to was an avid traveler and told me a lot about her trips to Africa, Russia and other countries. Another man was a therapist who analyzed a person's emotions through painting. These are just some examples. It was such a great time.
In addition to studying, I have seen many films and TV series in German. I saw the translated versions of “How I met your mother” and “Flash” with German subtitles. These series definitely encouraged me by noticing that I could already hear and understand a lot of German. With such series I have learned to understand new words and combinations of words in context, which is very important in language learning.
I learned and practiced a lot of vocabulary. One strategy that I found very helpful is self-absorption. I have spoken words and their meanings and recorded it on a regular basis.
I listened to them every day before I went to bed. So I can memorize all the words very quickly. I tried to think in German all the time. I didn't translate my thoughts.
I “lived” in German. After I dealt with the language so much, the language was easy to memorize.
I recently attended another German Advanced course for level B2.2 with Sarah. I made friends with people who also learn German and I was able to make mistakes there without fear, because the place was only meant for learning. I love the atmosphere in the small classes at Germanmind School. I was never afraid to say something stupid. Now, I meet my friends for coffee and we speak German and when things don't make sense, I ask my German teacher.
I have also my Handy in German. I found that particularly good because I was able to learn many normal words such as "weiter" and "abbrechen".
I tried to use more idioms. The peculiarity of the German language lies in its unique idioms. These proverbs beautify the language very much. Here is a list of the important German idioms - idioms & proverbs
That's how I learned German :) I tried to avoid mistakes. But if there are some, I ask you to make me aware of it. I'm still learning English and German :)
Thank you for reading my student story!