Operation Full Immersion: Day 2

16 Jan

So, the big day is here and I started back at school again *cough*. The stress of finding the language was eradicated after I worked out where to go last night after I arrived. I wasn’t quite prepared for the amount of people that would be on the U-Bahn. It was packed! The carriage are relatively small and are certainly not as big as the trams in Zurich, for instance.

I arrived safely and on time and got to the reception. The class that I was put into had about 15 people in it, which was more than I thought there would be. For the 9am start there were about 6 of us and then throughout the morning more and more people joined. The class was ok but it was clear quite soon into the lesson that the lesson was too easy for me. I had already done the grammar and the general topics before. That isn’t to say that I learnt nothing, rather that I was expected and wanted it to be more challenging. The whole point of the exercise was that I would be able to practice at the level that I am at, or ideally a level higher so that I can learn more in a short space of time.

There was even a test on the previous chapter that the class has already done which I managed to complete with no problems. At least, I think so. There were certainly no major flaws.

I have given feedback that the group was too easy for me and I would like to be put into a more difficult group or I would like to have my money back. I was a bit reluctant to ask this because it sounds a bit big headed but I am sure that the teacher I had will also think the same. At the end of the day, it is my cold hard cash that I am spending so I want to get my money’s worth. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a more difficult group in progress. The school have kindly offered to transfer my group lessons to private lessons.

I then had a private lesson straight after the group lesson. I learnt a lot in the one and a half hours. I already sent a short list of topics that I would like to go through and need a bit of help with. It looks like my Konsekutiv- and Konzessiv- sentences are now much improved. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?

Four and a half hours into the German learning and I am definitely beginning to feel more positive and confident about my ability to speak German. I haven’t spoken any English since Sunday. When I think about it, this is an incredible achievement in itself. It is not always easy to realise how much progress you have made when you are always focused in the moment and it is hard to realise the bigger picture. german-64270__340

One thing that has annoyed me slightly is that the two teachers I had today have commented on my “Swiss” accent. I know when I speak that I will never sound like a German but I had no idea that I had picked up a Swiss accent. I am not even sure what a Swiss accent sounds like. At least one of the teachers mentioned it was a very nice Swiss accent. I don’t help myself though. I keep using Swiss German words by mistake. I have said “Merci” to someone at least six times already instead of “Danke”. It’s like it is programmed into my head and I can’t get rid of it.

In answer to the question that I was asking yesterday: after four and a half (and maybe a bit more) of German, my brain has not yet imploded in on itself. I guess it means that I can try to learn a bit more and see what the flashpoint is. I am now going to have a wander around the city, eat and probably come back to watch a (German) film before bed.

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