One minute summary: This article is about my thoughts on learning German quickly and the reasons why learning speed matters when learning a new language. Integrated into my personal experience the main points are:
- We want to express ourselves fully as soon as possible
- We want to immerse into the new culture straight away
- Group learning works with acquiring knowledge, not with learning how to speak.
- We feel much more capable and confident if we achieve things in short time than if we do in long months.
- You can improve your German learning speed by hiring a private tutor and
- You will feel incredibly good about having the full attention of the instructor and hence be a lot more motivated to reach your goal.
Useful to improve your learning speed and to learn German quickly: The LEARN GERMAN FAST COURSE
It all started with frustration
Learning a new language often was very frustrating for me. There I was, highly educated, full of experiences that I wanted to refer to but with no possibility to share these with anyone apropriately because I didn‘t speak their language yet. I don‘t like to be put back to the level of a child, I want to meet new people face to face, fully respecting me for what I am. But how could they find out if I couldn‘t share with them what I know and what I feel?
Learning to swim from books
What would I need phrases like „I would like a double room with a shower.“ for if I never stay in a hotel? Or „My car is in the garage.“ if I don‘t even own one? Language learning books are standardized to meet the need of everybody learning that language. But I am not like everybody. I have very special interests and needs that are not even remotely covered by this kind of material. Of course I got bored talking wrongly about topics that I would never talk about in real life after all without being corrected because the teacher was busy helping others that did worse.
I can‘t remember a single (language) teacher that showed me how to become more independend with my learning. They all just presented little haps of grammar here and there and threw in a few partner exercises, so it wouldn‘t be too boring. Others just went on speaking in the new language to me trying to explain things in a language that I didn‘t really understand yet. Of course I figured a lot of it out but I should have gotten the credits for that as the teacher didn‘t do more than what a good book could have done: showing me things. Never has any (language) teacher taught me HOW to learn things… in 40 years, they just told me what to learn. The only good one, I will always remember my Turkish teacher Mrs. Ersen-Rasch, at least could explain things to me in such a lovely and clear way that I couldn‘t wait for the next lesson. But that was at university and after two years all necessary courses were accomplished.
Real life language learning
But when I met my first girlfriend from North Carolina that didn‘t speak any German, I was forced to use that little English that I already knew and to expand it quickly because I wanted to know how she felt and also to let her know how I felt. Or when I went to Warsaw to get to know the culture of my grandfather I have met a good friend right away who quickly and deeply integrated me into his life so that I had to use and expand my Polish to integrate quickly with these nice people. Turkey: survival. I had to find a flat for my little family. I had to deal with the foreign office, the Kindergarden and my friends‘ English was nothing to speak of. This was, when I learned a language. In real life. Never in a classroom.
I never took private lessons because I always thought they were too expensive. But I haven‘t realized then that I would need much less time to achieve the same level as in a classroom filled with 10-20 others. Also I had plenty of time at hand and got many courses for free, so I could save the money and remain in that safe classroom where I didn‘t really have to use the language and where I wouldn‘t really have to take the risk of looking like a fool by speaking wrongly. I also could hide behind the eager ones or the weaker ones as they took the teacher‘s attention on them, so my actual speaking time must have been ridiculously short over all these years. And then I did it mostly for fun. I didn‘t have any need to reach any goal hence my performance was just good enough to keep track with the class and to pass a very predictable exam.
Learning speed is important because time matters
Time didn‘t matter when I was young. Now, being 40 years old, running my own business, father of a 12 year old bilingual boy, time matters most. If I had to learn a new skill, I would always take a private teacher as that would be much „cheaper“ than any class on this planet. One can not value one‘s own well-being high enough. The feeling I get from having the instructors full attention and from feeling his dedication to support me reaching my goal is priceless. I am thankful from any lesson I receive and can‘t wait for the next one.
I hope you can benefit from my experiences and that you proceed on your path of learning German quickly and with joy.