I’ve been learning languages since I was a child and taught them for many years, most recently German and English. I have an Honours Modern Languages Degree from Trinity College Dublin and spent my year abroad in West Berlin. I'm proud to say I have achieved a near-native speaker level competency in German.Over the years, I've developed my own way of doing things and I've found by experience that the best way to learn a language is by consuming interesting and useful material, such as video clips, audio recordings with transcripts, dialogues, articles and other material. That's what I use to help my students both during tuition and in self-study.To learn, you need to actively engage with the material, not passively watch it, skim over it or try to listen to it in your sleep!You need to work intensively with the text or transcript and do follow-up exercises. You need to hear it as well as read it. Too many course books neglect audio and rely too much on the written word.As well as a tutor and content creator I am also a content curator. I select media from YouTube and the German-speaking media and carefully produce transcripts, exercises, side-by-side translations, vocab lists and grammar explanations, all saved electronically in my Mediathek or media library. I have built up several course books' worth of material. For beginners and new learners, I can provide samples of course books that you can purchase online and can recommend online language learning services that you can use as part of your German language programme.By the way, I consider the concept of ‘homework’ to be outmoded. Instead, you need to do lots of self-study as well as group or 121 lessons.I provide audio, video and written materials to students in advance of the lesson rather than during the lesson. Students can study them and prepare them at their own pace.Then in the lesson, we can concentrate on practice, consolidation and having a fun time reading aloud, acting out dialogues and roleplay as well as looking at interesting grammar points. I provide follow-up materials, including lesson notes, translation and writing assignments, recommendations for further study.I often talk about good language learning methods as well as some questions about the underlying principles of language learningFun, flexibility, fluency. That’s what I aim for in my courses and tuition. Language learning should be fun. It should be an interesting, stress-free, enjoyable activity, not a chore!I’m flexible, that means I always try to accommodate the interests and ability of my students. If there are occasional last-minute changes of plan, that's not a problem. Payment is flexible too.Fluency is a key goal, but accuracy is important too. You can be fluent in a language, but make lots of errors. You can have a high level of accuracy, but lack fluency. We should aim for a good balance between the two.I have developed a different approach to grammar. It's better to learn grammar within the context of the material that you’re working with. Every word, phrase and sentence of the foreign language provides you with examples to learn fromI encourage my students to be like Sherlock Holmes, to actively look out for patterns and clues that will help them to learn.In mid-2021 I started to do short themed courses on specific topics. The first one was for intermediate level students on the subject of the police in Germany, using video clips and roleplay and articles.Further course topics include 'Simplifying the German cases', 'Living in and escaping from the GDR' and 'Differences between Germany and Austria'. My courses and tuition are open to anyone, anywhere via Zoom. I offer all my courses via Zoom and despite its occasional technical shortcomings, it works extremely well. I can teach students anywhere and in the Age of Covid, it’s 100% safe.For all sessions, I write notes as we go along and display the file on screen. That serves as my whiteboard and as a diary of everything we’ve covered.Where necessary I can record audionotes, a mini-podcast of around 5 minutes summing up the main points of the lesson, including pronunciation of difficult words.I'm tech-savvy and make full use of present-day technology. My journalistic experience is useful for language learning. I also have experience with filmmaking and drama. In group sessions, we often adopt a theatrical approach with dialogues, as if they were the script of a play or movie. That makes it more fun and more challenging.You don’t have to have great acting ability, although speaking a foreign language is actually a little like acting.
By the way, air travel is a favourite theme of mine. You'll see it in my profile photos and videos. I used to work at an airport. It's a theme that's very relevant to language learning.So why not join one of my group courses or become one of my one-to-one students?And you can try one of my themed short courses as a taster.Just get in contact, I can usually reply straight away or within a few hours.Vielen Dank, many thanks!