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Learning German : Lesson 4 (vier) June 17, 2007

Posted by Paul Rees in german.
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Today was my fourth German lesson. This week we learned German numbers, Die Nummern, and this took all of the 3 hour class.

This doesn’t give me much to report on here, numbers are numbers and I just have to learn them. I’m OK on 1 to 10, and I get the idea of the numbers beyond that. However when someone says a German number to me I have to think about it for far too long. I’m not worried though, I sure this will come with practice.

As you might guess from the posting below I had a stressful week with my German. I was ready go give up. However thanks to a few people I didn’t. Therefore my major learning for this week is that, for me, learning German does require some support from others. This is not something that I am going to be able to do on my own. I think it’s worth nothing how I was helped this week.

A colleague, Jacquie, told me that she used to teach adults piano. She said that it is normal in adult learning for the student to have times when they feel that it’s all just too hard. The challenge, she told me, is to struggle through the down times because when you succeed the rewards will be there.

I also realised that my German teacher, Katja, is a gifted and dedicated teacher who really does enjoy her work. She’s a native German speaker from East Germany and she now lives in Australia permanently. I’m fortunate to have such a good teacher.

But the biggest thanks must go to a group of three guys who I call my German Language Support Team (GLST). They are Stefan and Torsten in Germany and Ewald in Austria. I am in contact with each of these guys more than twice a week by e-mail, text messaging and most importantly via video phone calls using Skype. Each of the team has a personal interest in Australia. We chat mainly in English, but some German does thrown in and this helps me learn. Also each of the guys has been very supportive during my down period, encouraging me to keep going.

So far the GLST has been the best aspect of learning German. I have met these intelligent and motivated people who tell me about their lives and experiences. Learning German for me has always been partly about learning about German history and culture. And you know what? I have already learned so much about that just through the conversations with these guys. It’s brilliant!

I look forward to meeting each of them in the coming months. Stefan will be in Sydney in September and I will meet him there. Torsten and I will meet somewhere in Germany in October and Ewald; well no arrangements have been made, but I am sure I can manage a side trip to Vienna in October.

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