Learning German - Von A1 bis B1 ohne Pause - Meine Erfahrung - Printable Version

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Learning German - Von A1 bis B1 ohne Pause - Meine Erfahrung - antidive - 11-24-2014 02:27 AM

The first class was overwhelming. Our teacher for the course, she wouldn't speak to us in English. It was German all the way. She gave us the template 'Ich heiße Lalitha' .. and we all introduced ourselves just like that. Oh before we go any further, Goethe at Chennai has excellent teachers and Mrs. Lalitha was the best! She could connect with students easily, she was loads of fun and very kind. Those words that we couldn't understand, she mimed and we understood the meaning. We all were quaking in our shoes after the class, adamant in our conclusion that this was never going to work. We needed some English in the class! Of course, we didn't get any English in the classroom, at least not until we got into the nitty gritties of the language! And it all worked out fine.

I needed B1 before applying to FH Aachen and starting out in May, the only way to get through 3 levels was to take the A1-B1 Carry On German course at Gothe Institut Chennai. We had classes on all weekdays between 3.30 pm to 7.00 pm. I've never made a decision as right as this one. Learning German every single day has simply too many advantages over learning over the weekend.

  1. You take one exam at the end of the course as opposed to one for each level.
  2. You are coaxed to write, speak German everyday regardless of whatever else you may be doing.
  3. New friends who you get to meet every single day.
  4. For someone like me, with a huge break between UG and Masters, it helped me get my study habits back in place. Concepts like 'homework' became familiar again Smile


We were given Netzwerk 'Deutsch als Fremdsprache' textbooks from Langenscheidt and Klett. The course book includes CDs with listening exercises. We also got accompanying exercise books.

Since I haven't had any experience with the Aspekete or Studio D series of books, I cannot compare them, but we had a good experience with the Netzwerk books. They're colourful, informative, interesting with loads of exercises. The accompanying audio CDs are very suitable for the intended level and are good learning tools.


Like nimbus_2000 had said in his thread, Goethe Institut forgoes the usual seating arrangements in favour of something that encourages interaction between students. Of course, we buddied up with the bunch we sat with on the first day! Classes generally started with a little revision, which meant sudden questions thrown at you in German with the expectations of suitable response, of course in German.

While the coursebook was in itself structured well, our Lehrerin with her years of experience would introduce us to the grammer we would face in the next chapter. She would give us her notes and tables.

These 'tables' act as your quick reference and I still refer to them. Very important. I also used the site to make my own flashcards for trennenbare verben and nouns. Flashcards work, in my experience.

I did make the mistake of not speaking too much German in class. I spoke only when called upon. This mistake wasn't too expensive as far as exams were concerned. You have a basic idea of what to expect in the exam, and as long as you're confident and use words like 'Genau! Genau!' and the German 'Also' in the proper context, and of course, understand when you're being spoken to, you can clear the exam easily. I used to hear traffic announcements, they also have transcripts of the announcements. This prepares you for such exercises in the exam. I also used bahnhofsansagen to listen to the Bahn announcements to familiarize myself with the train related announcements. However, these did not prepare me for the exercise that punched me in the gut during the exam. This was a guided tour recording and we were asked questions from the tour. The problem was this was an exercise played only once, so you have to comprehend, make notes and answer the questions. It helps to read the exercise before they play the audio.

I did manage to ace the exams though and these were my scores.

Lesen 29/30
Hören 24/30
Schreiben 28/30
Sprechen 27/30

However, all this did not prepare me for Germany. It was good enough at the airports and train stations when I landed here, but real conversation? Bah. I was lost.

There were a couple of months of no-German between the end of my exams and my leaving to Germany. All the words I'd learnt had been wiped off my mind and I lost all confidence. Nothing prepared me for the long sentences the Germans use in natural conversation. Until you get used to it, it's really hard to extract the verbs from whatever position they are in the sentence and comprehend it in our minds before the other person moves on to the next part of the sentence. @[nimbus_2000] was very encouraging and explained it isn't hard and recommended I continue trying to converse if I wanted to get better.

Well, I did become an expert at writing applications for apartments considering I must have written at least 100 apps, each one of them personalized to connect with the advertiser Brick wall That was a good start. However conversation still remains an issue for me and I cannot help but wonder if should've gone ahead with B2 and C1 before I got here.

Lest I forget, if you plan to continue your German language learning here, be prepared to be shattered. Quite a number of my classmates who had completed their B1 were recommended they start with A2 or retake their B1 after an entrance test at the language learning centres here. It's not THAT hard, but between the time you complete your German language course in India and finally land in Germany, you forget a lot. Make sure you don't. Keep at it until your last day in India.

If you have any queries, please do post here Smile Of course, there's always the Learning German-Resources Index thread if you need more material.

Good luck!

RE: Learning German - Von A1 bis B1 ohne Pause - Meine Erfahrung - spiketospica - 11-24-2014 06:00 PM

Es is seltsam; die A2 und B1 Unterricht hier in Karlsruhe sind nicht ganzen auf Deutsch! 50% Englisch! Aber in Indien sind ganzen auf Deutsch.

RE: Learning German - Von A1 bis B1 ohne Pause - Meine Erfahrung - nimbus_2000 - 11-24-2014 06:49 PM


Very nicely written. Keep updating the post as you make progress. Smile
I didn't know that there was a possibility to give the B1 exam directly at GI. Or that GI offered such a kind of course. It is perfect for people who want to learn German in a short time frame. Very Happy

Even with C1, I faced the same difficulties in the beginning. Getting used to the pace at which native Germans speak is really a challenge. I had to use a lot of "Wie bitte?"s in the beginning. The trick is to never give up and continuously keep trying to hold conversations completely in German. Getting drunk also helps. You start losing the fear of being incorrect. Plus at parties you can meet a lot of native speakers and hone your skills there. Cool