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Language Classes are a Waste of Time

Updated on November 2, 2012

Private Tutoring is the most Potent form of Learning German

Visiting a language class has certain disadvantages that for some learners are outweighing the advantages. In the end they can come at least 50% more expensive than private lessons.

Don't visit any language schools. Get a private tutor twice -or in the beginning three times- a week and learn at the perfect you-speed instead of waiting for the slower co-classmates or hasting after the faster ones. Check one of my hubs for a neat calculation and explanation on why private tutors are 50% cheaper than most language classes. Check two to three tutors to see if they work professionally and if they ask you about your aims and seem serious about adapting to your needs. Pick the one that seems to be the best to work with and enjoy smart undisturbed learning. I admit it is less social than a class with 5-20 mates but taking private lessons you will only listen to perfect Deutsch instead of broken German. You will have the teacher's attention 100% of the time instead of 1/[no of students in class] of that.

Practice German for free with a Tandem Partner

Also parallely try to find a tandem partner to practice your German right from the beginning. Be aware that it is not enough to just speak German you will have to speak correctly or you will acquire bad, i. e. faulty German. And to correct broken German is so much more work if possible at all than acquiring it right from the beginning.
I've met otherwise smart students that have lived here in Berlin for up to ten years but have never managed to advance beyond the beginner's level B1. They could speak "fluently", meaning that they were able to string plenty of German words together in great speed but without any recognizable structure. You could notice the frustration that this inability caused these people. I do not wish for anyone to have to go through this. Back to your practice:

A tandem can also be done over skype, found at facebook or at a local university if your city is big enough to have one. Or register at okcupid and find some mates there. You might want as well want to check my Smarter German fanpage on facebook for concrete links to language exchange search platforms. Last but not least: find something that you love and practice it in German language. Dive deeply into it, read literature, watch movies, choose a hobby, play games, sing songs, see or play theatre, cook food with the help of recipies and meet German speaking people. And soon you will be a potent speaker of this beautiful language.

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    • denkmuskel profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Schmitz 

      6 years ago from Berlin

      I agree that for some learners a class can provide benefits. The discipline of a schedule and the social aspects are important factors for certain learners. But you shouldn't overdo it. I teach students from all over the planet with very different backgrounds for four lessons in the morning from monday to friday following a very tight schedule dictated by the book we use (Lagune). That is by far to intense for most of them as they do not seem to have the capacity nor the time to review what we do during that time and therefore suffer from a lot of gaps after a certain time. Overlearning works for intellectually strong learners not for the average kind. If I had to do half the topics in the same time these lessons would make a wonderful opportunity to develop a solid base. But there are only the state-supported schools and classes that grant students 20% more time and then our students feel obliged to advance as quickly as 200€ monthly is a lot of money for them and they want to study as soon as possible and just can't afford to listen to their teachers advice that would help them to learn much more beautiful German ;)

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Interesting concept although this has been tried before. I teach ESL to adults and I recommend tutoring but as an addition to the main class.

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