I had only French at school, and thought I was just useless at languages. 50 years ago, my elder son did a swimming club exchange with Germany, and we stayed friendly with the family. Their writing to us in English was the embarrassment that prompted me to learn German - initially from the BBC series Kontakte, then following on with Wegweiser, then evening classes. In 1981 I went to live and work in Munich for 3 years - that's what moved me from stumbling to fluent and I attended a German for Foreigners class at Munich University. So I now think anyone can do it!
Everything I've done since has been to prevent losing it again! On retiring, I started a German language group in Arun East u3a group. We are all (8 of us) from A2 upwards; I'm about B2/C1. We generally spend an hour reporting and discussing what we've done in the last week, or discussing something exciting coming up. This often leads to side conversations and discussions of language points Then we either do some grammar exercises or read and discuss a short story. We used to use articles from deutsch perfekt, Stern, Spiegel, Die Welt and so on, but some of these were a little hard for our A2 level people.
Alastair, u3a German Subject Adviser
Please contact me via the link above to tell me who you are, what you’re doing, and what you hope to do. I have produced a leaflet with some ideas about methodology and a list (not exhaustive!) of materials that may be helpful. This is something of a work in progress, and probably always will be, so please keep checking to see if you have the latest version. You will find this via the link above. Also, please look at the French adviser’s statement – she has a very useful article entitled “Some Considerations For Learners”.
I would very much like contact with you! We can all learn from what others do, so I’d like to hear about your experiences. Please do look at the Methodology & Materials leaflet (see link above) and let me know if you have recommendations to expand it.
New Lesestunden - February 2021
During the pandemic, we initiated "Lesestunden" - these are beinng run by myself with a Group Leader from Marlow. We run several sessions for each, generally every two weeks. Those registered receive the text in advance, then, during the hour, we begin by reading the text aloud - each participant takes a turn, controlled by the leader. After the reading, we discuss the story and try to analyse it. So far, these sessions have been offered to all the Group Leaders registered for my E-mail Forum, and they are offering them onwards to their groups. If you want to be part of this,
German Language Trip 2019
This trip had been successfully completed. Anyone interested in possible future German language study trips, please contact me.