Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Multiple Choice Dogme Challenge # 6 (or not?)

WANTED : German Teacher

I've finally decided that I have to have German lessons. Imagine you are me. Answer the question truthfully. It's multiple choice. You can only choose one answer.

You have decided to learn German. You can choose your teacher. You have the following options.

a) a native German speaker with no teaching experience.
b) a non- native German speaking teacher, who is qualified and experienced.
c) a native German who is a qualified and experienced teacher.

I choose C. 

On paper it seems the right choice.

The best of both worlds. 

Native, qualified and experienced. 

What more could you ask for? 

It's never black and white right? 

Who would you choose?


  1. Hi there

    I'd go with C - but...thinking about it...If I were a complete beginner I may be tempted by a non-native if they had the same L1 as me - could help with comparisons when dealing with grammar etc. I'd move on to option C after I'd got the basics thoroughly sorted out.

    But then we have pronunciation - that's where having C from the start would help to avoid picking up flawed pron...

    C - there you go

  2. Hi Leahn, if I needed one person to perform a one-off highly-skilled task, such as brain surgery, I would pay as much as I could afford to have the best. Who wouldn't? But I've always felt that TEFL, because it is an ongoing process that can last years (as one of your psots describes), and if cost is a consideration, and if you, as you are, able to self-direct your learning, what is wrong with option a)? They would probably be 3 times cheaper. Assuming you practised your German outside your let's say one or two hours a week course with either b) or c), how good would this be compared to more time spent with a)?

  3. Hi Clare,

    Is that YOU Clare or another Clare? Not as easy as you first think. Like you say maybe a non-native when you're a beginner is more helpful as you can ask for comparions and translation etc.. Or as David says maybe more time spent with a).... I've no idea. Only a preference for c)....



  4. Hi David,

    I think part of the problem here in Spain is that a lot of parents are paying for English classes in academies that employ native English teachers and they assume that this is the BEST. I'm not saying it isn't. It's actually quite complicated. I had a private native Spanish person teach me one-to-one for three years, I lived in the country and spent many extra hours a week teaching myself. It still took three years.

    I learnt German at school and have been with my German partner for 12 years. I've picked up the German I speak from listening to conversations and from watching the TV.

    I've gone for a native German person to teach me. I'm not sure if she is a teacher I doubt it but she's cheap and seems very friendly. I'll keep everyone updated on my progress.



  5. Good luck. So, option a). That's what I'd go for. Did you read my post?

  6. It is not easy. I would have to see all three of them and then I would know.
    My teacher would have to be someone nice, optimistic and calm. I know, this sounds like something a 10-year-old would write, but I am not joking. As a learner, I would have to do the main part of the job anyway and I need someone who can motivate me.
    I am honestly surprised by what I have said here. I don't know where that came from, I really don't.

  7. Hi Natasa,

    Difficult huh? I agree with you about soft skills being equally important...thanks. Hope to see you here again!