The scholar Richard Porson said that “life is too short to learn German”. Maybe he just didn’t have the right teacher!
There are a lot of falsehoods about the German language floating about. For example, a lot of people still consider it “ugly” and “difficult,” which is completely untrue.
There are plenty of benefits to learning German which is probably why you’ve decided to get German tutorials.
Whether you’re starting off with basic German or whether you’re at an advanced level, you can always improve with some German tutoring!
Perhaps you’d like to work on your German vocabulary, practise speaking, or just memorise a few new phrases and expressions from various countries like Germany and Austria before going on holiday to one of them.
There are plenty of great ways to learn. In order to choose the best one, you should have a good look at all the options available to you first.
Private German Lessons with a Tutor
Getting in touch with a private tutor is an effective way to improve since they’ll tailor their language course to you, the student.
While tutors are normally associated with academic support for children learning German at school, adults can also benefit from tutoring.
Of course, the type of private tutorial will change how much you’ll end up paying for them.
If you’re a student who's teaching German on the side, your level and ability will heavily influence the price.
This is because preparing tutorials for children in school tends to require less work than preparing classes for a master’s student. The rates are almost always calculated by the hour.
A student or a native speaker of German
When it comes to tutors, they’re usually either students who’ve studied German or who are native or bilingual speakers. You’ll find adverts for their courses on classifieds websites or on local businesses’ noticeboards. In these cases, tutoring is normally a secondary source of income for them.
As a result, if you decide to get lessons from students or native speakers, you'll find that they're usually cheaper than tutorials from qualified teachers. While their methods mightn’t be what you’re used to in school, they can still be highly effective.
If you’re a student in need of academic support, a private tutor can help you go back over your lessons from school or university and cover them in more depth. They can work out where you’re struggling and then work together with you to help you rectify any problems.
If you’re an adult wanting to learn how to speak fluently, speaking regularly with a student teacher or a native speaker will quickly help you improve.
By practising pronunciation and speaking as well as going back over basics like the alphabet, grammar, and writing, you’ll be able to communicate quickly.
The rates for non-professional tutors tend to be under $35.
If you’re a tutor, remember to declare your earnings! Otherwise, you may be working illegally.
With an Experienced Teacher
There are plenty of teachers who offer their services in the form of private German classes. The advantage here is that they’re both a language learning expert and an educator! These tutors will usually charge more than your average student or native speaker.
Make the most of their experience to allow you to improve your German! They’ll be able to quickly work out what you need assistance with.
If you struggle with grammar, they can take you back to basics. You can go back over German conjugations and cases, for example.
You’ll have to learn the differences between the accusative, the genitive, the dative, the nominative if you want to get ahead in German. Have you grasped the specifics of the German language but find speaking difficult?
The teacher can help you practise your speaking by focusing on conversational German and working towards gaining fluency. You’ll improve your comprehension as well as boosting your knowledge of phrases and expressions.
Your tutor can also keep track of your progress.
The rates for experienced tutors tend to be over $35 per hour.
Some academic support organisations require that tutors have at least 3 years of experience and take up to a 50% cut of the tutor’s hourly rate. This means these types tutors will charge significantly more since they have to pass on their running costs onto you, the consumer.
Exam Preparation Courses
There are plenty of exams for certifying your level in a language for academic or professional purposes.
They’re usually based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
There are six levels ranging from A1 (beginner) to C2 (mastery).
If you want to study in Germany, you’ll have to pass a language test: the Test DAF or the DSH.
You can sit the TestDAF in the UK but the DSH can only be taken in Germany.
Do you need to prove your level for professional reasons?
There are three recognised German exams: ZDfB, Widaf, and BULATS.
In either case, you should probably consider taking a course to prepare for them.
These courses are highly recommended since they’ll help you get to know the intricacies of each exam better. There are various types available.
For example, you could take a course from the Goethe Institut. These cost £120. There are also organisations that offer month-long intensive courses in Germany.
Depending on the number of hours, the rates generally vary between £500 and £1000 and accommodation is usually included in the price.
Do you reckon you don’t need the course but would still like to practise? You can always sit an exam preparation exam with the Goethe Institut, too.
Don’t forget that a language exam can really benefit your professional career!
German Language Course in a Language School
There are plenty of specialised language schools offering high-quality courses. Classes usually have between 5 and 15 students and are in the afternoons and evenings since they’re mainly aimed at students and adults who are working during the day.
The rate depends on the organisation and how many hours of class per week you’d like to have.
You’ll normally pay for the number of teaching hours over a given period. This usually can work out between $20 and $25 per hour.
For example, a two-month course would cost you around $500.
You could also take an intensive German course. There are intensive courses at the Goethe Institut for four hours per day over the course of 2 weeks for $800.
Learn German Online
Some people feel more comfortable in front of a computer.
There are plenty of websites to learn German online and there are tonnes of German language resources.
Sites like Babbel require a subscription. The rate works on a sliding scale and can go from around $5 to $10 per month depending on the subscription. The more months you pay for, the less you pay per month.
Would you like to improve your German without paying a penny?
Have a look for sites where you can take online lessons completely free! There are plenty of fun ways to absorb languages online without paying a penny. These platforms offer German lessons and exercises to practise.
It goes without saying that learning is more with a private tutor. However, these free online resources are good for familiarising yourself with grammar.
If you want to get ahead while studying on your own, you’ll need to practise regularly and daily. Consistency is key to learning a language.
You can also get webcam tutorials from Superprof which are a great way to learn a language without leaving the house!
Intensive Courses Abroad
Visiting a country is one of the best ways for improving your level in a language.
Immersion in one of Germany's diverse range of cultures and the everyday lives of German speakers will allow you to improve your listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Linguistic stays are usually organised as summer or holiday courses in a language centre. There are tonnes of them available!
Choosing just one town in Germany you want to visit will be a difficult choice! You have to remember that sometimes accommodation is included and other times it isn’t.
You could even get better thanks to staying with a host family where you can speak every day, which will really allow you to improve!
You could even temporarily rent a flat or go with your family. These are all factors that could change the costs.
Generally, a stay in Berlin in a flat with 25 lessons a week would cost around €500.
With webcam classes, free online lessons, language stays, professional training, and private tutorials, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to learning German!
Once you’ve chosen the best method for your budget, the rest is up to you. Soon you’ll be saying that German’s easy!