Saturday, 11 February 2012

My German Class - Part One

Wo sind ihren Kollegan? That’s how my last Germany lesson started. A little voice inside me almost laughed, we are falling fast, like tourists on a cheap holiday package holiday. There were 18 of us signed up at the beginning. Only Six are still alive.
The teacher´s question was followed by a short dictation which we duly noted down. We spent a couple of minutes trying to analyze the new word of the day – knutschen - (on the whiteboard which was a change as my German teacher seems to have aversion to using one) After explaining something about some kind of verbs (trenbarre und untrenbarre) that I had no idea about and feeling that I was getting closer to the holy grail of understanding German grammar he skipped on and left me none the wiser. Things had been looking up, I felt like we were going to be getting to grips with a bit of German grammar.
Oh how wrong can one woman be? We spent the next hour talking about the feedback he`d received from his students. No names mentioned, he droned on with the negative aspects as he said the positive ones were of no significance. So, we spent the next hour talking in Spanish about our classes. It started off well, he asked us what we thought, but like always finished after a lot of TTT. He duly explained to us ignorant students about the communicative approach and how he couldn’t really stand at the front of the class teaching grammar as this was just not how things were done these days. Well excuse me for not noticing the communicative approach; I must have missed it in 15 years teaching. What’s that you say teacher? Communication is important. So, that’s why you keep telling me that grammar is my problem. Oh it’s all so much clearer now. DANKE


  1. Nicht so gut! Oh dear...not an inspiring start to a language course then?

  2. Hi Teresa, Danke for the visit.

    Well, we started in September and it's been interesting. It's made me think a lot about teaching and what students want and expect.

    It's made me even more crtitical and thoughtful about what I do in my own classes.

    As far as my German is concerned...well, it's not exactly what I was hoping for. I went out and bought a nice and thick looking German grammar book on Friday.

    Are you going to Bilbao?

    Where are you staying?

  3. I know exactly how you feel. I'm taking a German class right now also, and the teaching makes me reflect on my own teaching and on my students' possible experiences, as well.

    For grammar on your own, this book was highly recommended to me, and I think it does a nice job of explaining German grammar through English grammar. I'm going to be starting independent German learning, and if I find any other excellent learning materials/websites, I will post about them!

  4. Hi Leahn

    Es macht mir gern to see you back! Ich hoffe dass alles gut geht.

    Es war sehr interessant zu lesen about your German language lessons. It's a shame the methodology seems a bit outdated. Have you been keeping up with Ken Wilson's German language lessons? He's also writing up a diary of his lessons and it is fascinating to see things from a student's perspective, like you have written here. Giving feedback is also mentioned.

    Hope things do pick up for you and the other students left. Language learning should be fun, dynamic and memorable!! Maybe time to take him aside for a frank heart to heart? It could work wonders...

    Alles Gutes und viele liebe Grusse!


  5. Hi Rebekah,

    Thanks for stopping by. I love the way you spell your name. Thanks for the book recommendation I will have a look. I failed to mention that my partner is German and we've been together for 13 years so I'm a very strange case. I'm in 1 B1 class but I wtach TV in German. I blame it on laziness. I've been over to your blog I've put it in my reader so I can keep up with what your writing.


  6. Liebe Janet,

    Thanks for popping by. I must get back to this blogging lark. I've been a very naughty girl for ages. The summer kept us busy with the house and garden then autumn came and a new job, then it was Christmas the New Year and now it's February..... Must make an effort. Yes, I've read Ken's posts which is why I hadn't posted earlier. He must have stolen my idea about posting about my German class!!! Ha, ha... I've been reading his posts and smiiing to myself.

    Take Care


  7. Liebe Leahn

    I enjoy reading about other teacher's lessons! Look forward to reading more installments about your experience.

    Liebe Grusse

    Janet :-))

  8. Only want to echo Janet's thoughts. It's very revealing being a language student again, isn't it?

    Will you be in Bilbao?

  9. Hi Alan,

    Sorry for not replying sooner. Yes, it's very revealing and YES I'll be in Bilbao. What about you?