smarterGerman Review: My Experience

This is a smarterGerman review by student Patrick Boulger.

The Beginning of my German Learning Career

12 months ago with bags packed, passport in hand and butterflies in my stomach i stepped into a plane headed to Germany. I was moving sight unseen to be with my then German fiancée, now wife. Guess how many words I knew. Yup, that’s right, about 5. Bier, Wurst and “Ich liebe dich”. Now I am the proud owner of a TELC B2 certificate with an excellent speaking score.

I was completely new, foreign, dependent and unable to speak the language. Needless to say i had very good reasons to learn as quickly as possible. So I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. With a few newly bought language books, a dictionary and naiveness I quickly found out the difficulties, strangeness and complexities were huge and well …terrifying.

Pushing through the difficult beginning phase i managed to achieve a very basic understanding of  the A1 maybe A2 levels in about 2 months. 2 months of 4-6 hours daily of self learning and slight interactions with my future in-laws. Month 4 I enrolled in a language course. In order to fulfill the visa and residency requirements I needed to pass the B1 German Language Test allowing me to stay in Germany. Because of my previous self guided learning i scored high enough on the entrance test to start at the B1 level. Saving me about 4 months of time and a lot of money. But i still had 3 months ahead of me.

At first the class was a good change and an opportunity to start using the German language, but it slowly started to become ineffective. First of all it was a 5 hour class 5 days a week. Very time intensive. Secondly there were between 20 and 24 other students. Although it was a culturally rich experience, as we came from all corners of the world, it also meant that each person was at slightly different levels of understanding and capability. And because of that it was quite common that the pace of learning would slow dramatically down to a crawl in order to match the pace of those who were struggling.

So paying a good deal of money, sitting in a class 5 hours a day and learning about 2 hours worth of information, it was clear that i was under-utilising my time, money and energy. I am not going to beat around the bush with this. German is a complex, specific, and very demanding language.  However so is any language if you are not guided properly either by yourself (one of the few) or a teacher. Better yet a teacher that brings out the teacher within you. This is were SmarterGerman comes in.

smartergerman review
die Garage / Image via Pixabay

smarterGerman taught me to how to learn efficiently

I came across this youtube video explaining simply and clearly when and why to use different past tense forms of verbs. The teaching was clear, the method was effective and it took about 5 minutes of my time. I was hooked. I went through all his videos. Each one gave me more insights into the German language as well as his teaching methods. Shortly later i started learning from him. Since i was already halfway towards achieving my B1 Certificate we set a goal of reaching B2. In the end after 45 lessons spread across 30 sessions I obtained both my B1 and B2 Certificate, feel much more confident and have a strong foundation that enables me to continue learning on my own.

Michael’s teaching methods are creative, effective, and quick. He is the teacher I needed and wanted. He taught me techniques to learn, showed me the short cuts and the patterns. He has passion for his language and sharing it. He challenged me to utilize his methods to become my own teacher. He saved me time and brought the language to life. 

It’s way Simpler than they Say

German doesn’t have to be as hard as many make it out to be. I am 100%  positive I could have saved even more money, time and a lot of headache had I started learning from Michael from the start. If you want to learn the language be smart about it. Invest your time, money, and energy with Smarter German.

 Patrick Boulger

4 responses to “smarterGerman Review: My Experience”

  1. Hi Michael,
    I am a software engineer by profession. Germany being the best in class work culture and a land of oppurtunities, I would want to shift to Germany for work.

    The number of software engineer vacancies is huge if German proficiency is good. What is the level of German needed for day-to-day work tasks? Will the “Everyday German A1-B1” course be helpful for my case?

    • Hi Bindu,
      please always keep in mind that living in a vastly different culture causes a lot of stress as well. As a young person that might be exciting but it can also feel very lonely at times. Regarding your main question: All my courses will be very helpful because that’s why I have created them in the first place ;). You got to start somewhere and my A1-B1 course is the best way to start your journey into independence. You can try the first lesson for free and see it for yourself. And even after purchasing it (try first lesson first please), you’ll get 30 days to test the course and if you don’t think it’s for you, simply ask for your money back. You do so by writing me a short email and I’ll do the necessary. Enjoy the journey.

    • No. He worked with me in person. At that time my course didn’t exist and today I’d not teach him one on one anymore but have him work with my A1-B1 and then my B2 course. The B2 course ONLY covers level B2. Make sure to read the info on the sales pages and in the FAQ (no matter where you land in the internet).

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