Fragen & Antworten!
What do you like most about teaching German online?
Before we started our online German courses, I was a bit sceptical about teaching on the Internet. I have always designed very active and interactive lessons, i.e. a German group course with a lot of movement and direct personal contact between the course participants. That was now to be dropped, which breathed life into my German courses. That should now suddenly be gone.
But fortunately I was proven wrong! We found new ways to make our German classes interesting and personal. In addition, we have a lot of fun and laugh together in the online German courses.
Our online German courses open up a new world that I have visited before for a short trip, but now I have emigrated and I really like this new world! Especially in these difficult times when everyone is talking about social distancing, we have a piece of normality through the courses. By giving most of our courses online now, I don't have this experience of "social distancing". I am surrounded by our lovely students throughout the day with whom I can interact. That makes it much easier to stay at home.
Is it more difficult to teach German online?
Yes, it is. I have to prepare much longer for my online German classes. I want to make the lessons interesting. That wasn't easy even in face-to-face classes. Different countries and cultures, different expectations and different goals. Different types of learners. "Sarah, can you write this on the board again, please? I want to take a picture of it."
It takes a little time for new students to understand that a contemporary approach is the best way to learn a language. The best way to build conviction and confidence is to let students speak German their own in the very first lesson.
During our second online German class, my dog Henry suddenly jumped onto my lap. He was in the picture and the students loved it. He has become a part of the classroom. That's an online class, right?
I think that's what I like about online German lessons, whatever you want to call it, online German course, learn German online, German course online.
We have very small groups, and I firmly believe that this is the secret of a successful online course. The teacher must be able to read the students' (German)minds: See the little question marks on the students' faces. All students need to be reassured that they can ask questions and that they will be heard - both aurally and by the fact that we actually see and hear them.
We work with an interactive whiteboard, we have our own learning website and we always focus on questions from our students. We have students from Ireland, the UK and students who now live in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It doesn't get any better than this!
Will GermanMind teach online forever and ever now?
Definitely not only online. Since the beginning of 2022, we have already been offering German courses in our school in D2. Our face-to-face courses are very popular, but so are our online courses.
Our online German courses have a very clear advantage: finding the best teachers in Dublin of all places is not that easy. I myself work mainly from our school in Dublin, but GermanMind now has native German teachers from all over the world. Caroline is in Co. Kerry, Robert is in Dublin city, Eva and Anne are even in Italy, Alex is in Germany and Silvie is in Switzerland, and I am here in Dublin. I love both options, teaching German online and at school. I am especially happy that we are now able to have the best German teachers from all over the world at GermanMind and offer the best German classes!
... and I love to have a coffee with my students in our daytime classes, and a glass of wine on Baggot Street after the evening German group course.
Until next time, have fun learning German with us,