As Edinburgh gears up for its annual festivals and our school students relish not having to wake up and head to class; as our weather grows warmer and being indoors is perhaps the least desirable option...
Exactly this time is when to consider taking German lessons. Why, do you ask?
For one, German ranks among the top languages selected for Highers and Advanced Highers.
If you are a student intending to sit those exams soon, now is the time to find the best German-language teachers, before their schedules fill up and they have no time to help you with your German pronunciation.
Might you also wonder how could the UK’s election of a new prime minister could influence your need or desire to learn German?
You might be surprised...
Germany is an important trade partner and our third-largest inward investor, meaning that it contributes greatly to our economy... an aspect of our relations with that country that benefits both of us.
If you were angling for a pay raise, learning German as a second language might just help you land a job in a competitive international company!
Another reason to study the German language is that our own Keith Brown is working very hard to ensure our ties with Germany will grow after the UK leaves the European Union.
His actions suggest that we will have deep, longstanding, multi-dimensional dealings with that European powerhouse.
Do these reasons suffice for you to find beginners’ German classes? Great! We will now find the best classes and German teachers to help you get on your way.
Find German Courses in a Language Centre
Arguably the best way to learn a language is by total immersion: surrounding oneself in the language and culture being studied.
You might think that would be a bit difficult, seeing as you most likely do not live in Germany right now.
On the other hand, there is a way to achieve at least partial immersion, by watching films that reflect German culture and eating in German restaurants around town. You may even find a German native speaker to talk with.
Another great way to sink yourself into such an environment is by taking German lessons at Ilingua.
Their German language program is taught using the direct method, in which the instructors communicate strictly in German, using sign language and other means to help you understand.
This method has a great success rate because it keeps you from having to translate everything being said from one language to the next, virtually forcing you to think strictly in your target language.
It works something like this:
- ‘Open your book’, the teacher says as s/he mimes opening a book or opens their book.
- ‘... to page...’: the teacher intones while indicating numbers by holding up fingers.
- Learning new vocabulary: objects are held up and actions are pantomimed.
- Question and answer: discussion, instruction and pronunciation exercises are conducted in this manner.
You might wonder about grammar instruction: where does it fit in?
The direct instruction method stresses the four language skills: reading and writing, listening and speaking. Grammar is learned passively; no great emphasis is given to conjugating verbs or studying cases, moods or aspects.
The next big question is: how will the teacher know what level of German you already know, if any?
Before being assigned to a class, Ilingua invites you to test your level. If your results reveal that you have already mastered intermediate German, for example, you could be assigned to an advanced German class.
Discover which German language courses in Leeds also teach using this method...
Conversely, if you are an absolute beginner, your teacher will most likely not assign you any works from Goethe to dissect.
Testing your level of German also lets the instructors know how well you can respond to spoken language and they will adjust their language use accordingly, making for a positive and productive learning experience.
Berlitz Language Schools teach German in much the same way.
Berlitz is one of the oldest language teaching ventures in the world and an early proponent of the direct method of instruction.
Like Ilingua, Berlitz offers both group lessons and one to one learning.
But then, they go further by distinguishing various types of language instruction such as Business German, Conversational German and Academic German.
If you happen to be in charge of the Human Resources or personnel development department at work, you may look into their Corporate language classes: what a great way to advance your company’s international profile!
Naturally, not everyone who wants to learn German works for an international company; read on to discover other reasons people might have to engage in language study.
Find out if that is the case for people studying German in London...
Learning German Through School
As mentioned in this article’s introduction, German is one of the foreign languages most often requested when testing for Highers or Advanced Highers.
If you have chosen to include German in your exams – meaning that you aim to make that language a part of your future, you may be happy to know that the University of Edinburgh offers a long list of language classes including German that you can combine into a comprehensive degree plan.
Or you may simply opt for a Masters’ Degree in German Language studies.
This venerable institute of higher learning goes further to help instil a love of language learning in her students by offering free classes in German!
If you know nothing about the language – if you’ve not elected to study German, you may take part in foundation courses at no charge.
There are three such classes open to you; Foundation 3 being the one you should sign up for if your German language ability is commensurate with the Common European Framework level A-2 – meaning that you know at least some German.
Did you know there is a Goethe Institut in Glasgow that offers German classes?
What would be the point of learning German if, right now, you see no use for it in your future?
If you are studying science or engineering, by also learning German you will have the opportunity to work with a German multinational company or work on international projects with German counterpart.
Or you could just balance all of your intensive scientific study with a humanities subject that will complement your scientific studies.
Belfast also has a range of German classes for beginners all the way to fluent!
German Language Courses for Adults
Not everyone who wants to learn German is fresh out of school and contemplating their future need for language skills.
A substantial number of German language learners simply have keen minds that they wish to keep sharp. To that end, they constantly find new challenges to invigorate their intellect.
How well the University of Edinburgh knows that!
German instructors in Cardiff are in the know as well...
That is why they offer an extensive list of short courses aimed at non-traditional students; courses that last just one month at a time, providing you with the perfect amount of language learning and making you ready for the next session.
Do you plan to holiday in Bavaria this autumn? Maybe catch the Oktoberfest or travel the German Wine Road?
Should that be the case, such a language course would suit your needs perfectly.
What if you have no time for scheduled lessons?
German Language Lessons with a Private Tutor
Maybe you have no desire to sit in a class. Possibly, your evenings are taken up with family concerns that you could not possibly ignore, putting even late-hour language lessons out of your reach.
If the idea of attending language school is completely out of the question, you still have many opportunities to take part in German language programs.
Learn German Online
We are quite fortunate in this day and age to have an information pipeline directly into our homes, negating the need to trudge out for every little bit of learning to be had.
The Internet, with its vast trove of applications, utilities and information, gives us unparalleled access to learning anything, including a foreign language.
Interactive dictionaries are just the tip of the iceberg! You can also find videos instruction such as GermanPod 101 or through an actual website, hosted by people whose native language is German.
While these are great tools, nothing will advance your language training goals like a private tutor, whether said lessons happen via webcam or face to face, in your home.
The advantage of learning with a German tutor is that you will have someone who can explain aspects of the language and help you to pronounce difficult words – two facets learning that would be difficult to find in unguided online lessons.
In finding such a tutor, you could hardly do better than Superprof German tutors.
We have 13 German tutors in Edinburgh, several of whom are native German speakers. They are prepared to meet you in person or online and target their teaching to your needs.
Do Superprof tutors also give German lessons in Birmingham?
For example, if you have a fair grasp of basic German but need a bit of conversational help, you only need to specify such, and that is exactly what your tutor will deliver.
If you would rather this tutor come to yours for lessons, perhaps teach the family as a small group, that could be easily done, provided you are all learning at the same level.
You may worry at this expense of learning a new language and that is a valid concern.
Rest assured that Superprof tutors will not break your bank; in fact, most of them give their first hour of lessons at no charge. Also, you might be interested to know that the average per-hour cost for a Superprof tutor ranges around £17.
With rates like that, you could start learning today!
Whether you are a student embroiled in exam preparation or someone with a knack for learning languages aiming for fluency in German, rest assured that there is no shortage of venues for picking up German language skills.
One of them is right in your home!
Join the discussion: how easy is it to master German in the UK’s major cities?