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Expat in Germany: Intensive German Course, Stuttgart, Part 6

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Intensive German Course, Stuttgart, Part 6

My Intensive German Course in Stuttgart has continued to be eventful, but that's the problem, I wasn't looking for an eventful course.  After four months, I've finally decided to change to another Intensive German Course in Stuttgart at another school.   It has been building for months - the lack of teaching - handing out grammar sheets is not teaching, the insults "I don't understand why you don't get this, it's not that hard", or "Why don't you know how to conjugate a $%&# verb?  You've been studying German for 3 1/2 months!"  But the insults in the Intensive German course  haven't been aimed directly at me - until now.  Two days ago I read a paragraph in German only to have our German teacher throw her hands up in the air and publicly declare my reading skills to be a "catastrophe."  So much for building my confidence.... I went home and cried. 

The next day, our other teacher who is very nice, but very, slow and very boring informed us that we have 2 1/2 chapters to cover before our A2 Exam next week so we would be extremely time crunched and that homework would be at an all time high - not including exam study time and that we would have very little time to review for the exam in class, as we did for the previous exam.   Hmmm....maybe because most days all we do is 2 grammar worksheets in 5 hours?  Either way, I was not impressed and met with the Intensive German Course Administrator that day.  To my relief, she was horrified when I told her why I was changing schools and apologized profusely.  Her validation meant more to me than it should have, but my confidence was still shaky.  

In retrospect, I wish I would have changed schools earlier.  I'm normally a "take charge" kinda gal.  Although I had previously tried speaking to the teachers and had formally complained to the Administrator before, I wasn't as proactive as I normally would have been and as a result my German isn't as good as I would like it to be.  This has me wondering, is our tolerance for B.S. higher when we're living abroad?  Are we so busy trying to adapt and fit in that we let things go by that we shouldn't?  Do you deal with challenges differently when living abroad than you do at home?



At December 9, 2010 at 7:50 AM , Blogger JayP said...

I think we let things go by that maybe we wouldn't let go if were in England. Sorry your German classes have not gone as they should. Why are these people even teaching? Hope the next lot go well. :)

At December 9, 2010 at 8:50 AM , Anonymous inka said...

As for learning German or any other language: I am proactive like you, meaning that I don't bother with schools and courses. Private tuiton, 2 hours a day for 1 month and from then on you can learn the DIY way. I learned Turkish that way. As for letting things slip by: depends on the length of stay. A short visit..yes, a longer

At December 9, 2010 at 10:58 AM , Anonymous Adam said...

That's a shame. At least you got out now though. I've never lived abroad before, and I tend to let things roll off my back at home, too, that's just how I am, but I do it even more when traveling abroad. Sometimes I just reach my breaking point, though, and I snap. Not recommended. Glad you're changing, and good luck with your new classes.

At December 9, 2010 at 12:47 PM , Anonymous Mandi said...

Oh no, that sounds like a nightmare! Learning German is hard enough without having someone discourage you like that. Good luck on your exam and hope that all goes better at your new school!

At December 9, 2010 at 1:57 PM , Blogger Jim said...

If the pupil is not learning, it may be the teacher is not teaching well....
Don't put up with it. If you're paying, go find someone else who appreciates your Euros.

At December 10, 2010 at 5:57 AM , Blogger Italian Notes said...

Cheer up. I've studied German for 3 years and still can't get the verbs right. Are you sure native Germans speak grammatically correct all the time? Anyway, I think your are right about being on our best behaviour when abroad, and it can be both good, bad and sometimes even necessary depending on the country, the culture and situation.

At December 14, 2010 at 9:50 AM , Blogger Expat in Germany said...

@JayP - thanks, I'm sure the next class will be better and it's been good for me
@Inka - thanks for sharing how you learn a language, I agree that it is a combination of methods that works best
@Adam - thanks for sharing your at home vs abroad experiences
@Mandi - thanks!
@Jim - agreed, just don't know why it took me 4 months to come to this conclusion
@Italian Notes - thanks for the encouragement and I agree with your comment that it can be good or bad, I certainly wouldn't have put up with this in Canada, but find when I'm living abroad, I try to be more flexible and understanding, which is usually a good thing, but not in this case.


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