Failing with Language Classes

I have been struggling with learning German for years in spite of lots of classes both in Washington, DC, as well as in Berlin, Germany, a city I moved to over Halloween 2007 through Christmas 2008. While I know a lot about the German language I still don’t feel comfortable as a German speaker.

On this blog I will share what I have learned about learning German and what I find works for me. As I move forward over the next several months, I hope to get you as excited as I am about learning German.

My best friend Mark lives in Berlin.  He has been fluent in German since he was 17. While he maintains an entire life speaking German in Berlin, I had never really been interested in participating, it just seemed too difficult. However, the moment Mark and I started a business together, that all changed.  I decided to move to Berlin so that we could spend more time working together on our fledgling company.  So, before leaving my Washington, DC apartment behind I signed up for a German course at a language school.

workbook1I ended up taking two courses and spent a happy three hours there every Saturday for eighteen weeks. I didn’t learn much German at all. One of the problems was that all the students spoke English, so speaking German was not necessary.  Another problem was that I never completed the assigned workbook and CD homework for the week. I blamed it on my crushing work load as an entrepreneur but the truth is that I didn’t enjoy sharpening pencils and pressing them into newsprint workbooks.  I always found better things to do. It turned into a downward spiral – I never came prepared for my class because I didn’t enjoy the learning style, so I slowly began to become less and less motivated with getting up and schlepping myself downtown every Saturday morning. Unprepared and full of anxiety and trepidation I headed off to Berlin.

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