When I submitted my last week’s post “German Tutor – Just a Few Lessons Ahead of Me” to the “Deutschland Konnektion” Discussion Group on LinkedIn I received some great feedback and input from my friends there.
Firstly, I’d like to say I really appreciate all this great input from people. It’s amazing in how many different ways people have learned German.
Back to last week’s post: I intended to give you the best case scenario in my video.
The #1 take away for choosing a German tutor is that this person needs to be a great teacher. Whether native or non-native German – you won’t learn if the tutor doesn’t know how to get the subject matter across. I also consider it important to follow a lesson plan where topics build on each other. This helps students to see their progress and keeps the tutor on target, so every important aspect of the German basics, intermediate and advanced levels gets covered.
#2 Having a native German speaker as a tutor definitely has its advantages when it comes to learning the correct pronunciation. Where else in the beginning it is important to learn the basics of the German language advanced students pay more attention to colloquial expressions, idioms and common German phrases. Then it is crucial for the German tutor to be native or having lived in one of the German speaking countries for some time.
As many of you might know Germany as well as the other German speaking countries have quite a variety of dialects. Even native Germans are not always able to understand these local dialects such as Bavarian, Swabian, Low German, Hessian, Saxon and many, many more. As a learner of the German language you always should be taught the Standard German (often called High German or Hochdeutsch). This is the German that’s being spoken on the national TV and Radio news. It is also the written language. All Germans understand and write Standard German. To read more about German dialects you can check Wikipedia.
Even though you might have learned German well traveling to Germany can be quite an experience when it comes to dialects. For most students it is a shock when they first arrive to one of these cities or areas with strong local dialects. It takes time to get the ear used to these regional differences of German.