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No more classes for 2008 : conversation only July 26, 2008

Posted by Paul Rees in german.

A fellow student of German asked me in an e-mail if I was going to continue with my German class when the current term ends in two weeks. Here, a little edited, is my reply.

I have decided not to do the next term of the class this year. I am definitely not giving up learning German, however I have decided for the remainder of the year to focus on conversation practice and vocabulary expansion.

Of course I have the trip to Germany in September, but I have reached a point in my everyday life where I now have a growing number of German friends, locally and online as well as the meet-up group to practice with. It is not unrealistic for me to say that if I applied myself I could have conversation practice 3 to 5 times per week. Towards the end of the year I plan to do a couple of refresher sessions with a tutor on the grammar. Then come 2009 I will enrol to continue with classroom learning.

I came to this decision because it is clear to me that the class is not a useful vehicle for me to learn to converse. In saying that I am not laying the blame for that failure on anyone other than myself and my style of learning. Interestingly, some of my German friends have encouraged me to take a rest from the class and concentrate on conversations. For me the class has become an intellectual exercise, something like learning to break a code. I do that in English and never really get the feeling for the language necessary to speak it. Nevertheless the grammar is important and I will definitely return to it next year.



1. thomas - July 27, 2008

Hallo Paul,
ich glaube, es ist eine gute Entscheidung, dich mit deinem grammatikalischen Wissen jetzt mehr der Praxis zuzuwenden und mehr Sicherheit beim Sprechen zu gewinnen. Ich helfe dir dabei natürlich gerne.

And if you do understand that you don´t need german classes anyway.

Thomas und Inga

2. Stefan - July 27, 2008

Hi Paul,

ich schließe mich Thomas und Inga an. Ich werde dir mit Deutsch helfen so gut ich kann. In Berlin wird kein Englisch gesprochen, das hast du mir versprochen ;)


3. Murph - July 27, 2008

Hi Paul,
oooops, you promised not to speak English!!!!!

Goooooooooooooooooooooood Idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Das ist der beste Weg. Bei den Australien Open wirst du von Deutschen umzingelt sein, neben meinem Dad wird auch noch mein Onkel dabei sein. (Container Bild mitte, mit der blauen Kappe).

Es wäre toll wenn du meiner Tante in Berlin noch einen Umschlag überbringen würdest, sie wohnen in Buckow, im Süden von Berlin. Aber darüber können wir ja noch sprechen.

4. madam - July 28, 2008

For English readers, here is my attempt at translating the three comments above:

I believe it is a good decision. You, with a little knowledge of grammar, can now pay more attention to practice and you will speak more certainly. Naturally, I will gladly help you. – Thomas and Inga http://is.gd/15WI.

I agree with Thomas and Inga. I will help you with German as best I can. In Berlin no English will be spoken. That you have promised me. – Stefan http://is.gd/15WM

That is the best way. At the Australian Open you will surrounded by Germans. Next to my dad will also be my uncle. (Container picture middle with blue cap http://is.gd/15WH). It would be great if you could deliver an envelope to my aunt in Berlin. She lives in Buckow, in the south of Berlin. But we can speak about this. – Torsten http://is.gd/15WK

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