Archiv des Autors: Stella

Last Posting

This is my last posting on the Deutsch Akademie blog. Unfortunately, February was my last month of German classes. I might still return in May but in case I don’t I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to thank everyone who has been reading my blog and, most importantly, commenting and leaving advices or recommendations.

I have really enjoyed my time in Deutsch Akademie studying German, meeting new people from all over the world and working with excellent teachers. I’ve also enjoyed every day of my life in Berlin. It has quickly become one of my favorite cities which I will undoubtedly return to.

I recommend Deutsch Akademie to those who are looking for a place to start making first steps in learning German. There are many advantages here: reasonable price, diverse group, no more than 9-10 students in one group, teachers speak ONLY German, flexible schedule.

Aufwiedersehen!!!

Today’s Class

Today we were all very active in the classroom. Perhaps, it had to do with nice and sunny weather or, perhaps, we are finishing another level in a few days and that is something we are all looking forward to. Our new topic was „Shopping“ and even though many of have mastered the vocabulary of shopping and we don’t have a problem buying a kg of apples or a shampoo, there is still a lot to learn.

We were assigned to do a dialogue where one student was the seller and the other one buyer. One of us was supposed to use good manners and polite language whereas the other one was supposed to be rude and discontent. It actually went very well and was funny. All my classmates acted out well and took their role seriously.

Dialogue is an excellent way of practicing speaking skills. It puts you in different situations where you need to use and seek for all the vocabulary that still in your subconscious. It really persuades you to bring it all to the conscious level.

I had a lot of fun during my class today.

The Sun visits Berlin

I can’t express myself well enough how much the sun makes me happy. I am started to hope that spring is finally in Berlin. The sun inspires me so much that I just want to stay outside, walk aimlessly in the streets, go running or just sit on a bench and let some Vitamin D penetrate through my skin.

Despite the fact that I had bought a round trip ticket for U-bahn this morning I decided to walk home, from Wittenbergplatz to Gneisenaustrasse (Kreuzberg). I took the sunny side of the street and walked for a little more than an hour. It was so enjoyable. I have also realized that there are so many nice neighborhoods in Berlin that are totally undiscovered by me. It’s a very common practice to just walk on main streets and go to main sight seeings. And since U-bahn is so convenient that one doesn’t think twice before getting on a train.  A nice walk on a sunny day is the best way to exercise and discover a new city. I truly hope the sun came to stay with us and that there won’t be any more -8C days ahead of us.

Bauernfrühstück

I love German food even though it’s really heavy. Recently I’ve discovered for myself the Bauern Fruhstuck (Farmers‘ Breakfast). However, I decided to make it for dinner since it seemed like a lot to eat for breakfast. Very easy to make:

Cook (boil) a few potatoes, peel and cut them

Clean some onions and chop them

Wash/clean some parsley and cut them as well

Fry the onions in the pan with some butter/oil

Add the potatoes and fry them until goldbrown

Scramble 2 eggs and add sour cream to it

Mix it with the potatoes and onions in the pan

Add parsley, salt and pepper

you may also add some ham, if you like

Really delicious. Enjoy!

„Schoenhauser Allee“ by W. Kaminer

To improve my German I’ve started reading books in German….easy books. One of the books that I found easy to understand, interesting, funny and related to Berlin is „Schoenhauser Allee“ by Wladimir Kaminer. He is a writer of Russian-Jewish origin who lives in Berlin. Kaminer is a short story writer and he writes in German and not in his native language-Russian.

„Schoenhauser Allee“ is a series of remarkable and funny stories about Wladimir’s neighbors living on Shoenhauser Allee. It’s about their every day life and what they keep themselves busy with. Kaminer gives a description of shopping malls, penny markets and their operators from labor offices and part-time jobs and other daily topics.  His stories contain so much detail and humor that it makes it absolutely enjoyable.  The book is easy to read because each story is only 2 pages long. I would recommend it to those who want to read something in German for the first time and those you live in Berlin and enjoy it.

Last Week of B2

One more week and I will finish B2 level of German in Deutsch Akademie. Everything has been great. Teachers are all super nice and always ready to help, classmates are also nice and we work well together as a group.

The only thing that I didn’t like is the course book „em neu“ Deutsch als Fremdsprache.  In my opinion, there are so many useless exercises  in the book and some irrelevant texts. I also get annoyed by the grammar section. I would like to see some more explanations, it seems like it only provides examples. I have previously worked with „Laguna“ book and it’s so much more clear and student friendly. The new vocabulary is provided after every text and it has a separate Arbeitsbuch with lots of good exercises.

I wish we could switch into a different book in the next level.

 

Kreuzberg

Living in Kreuzberg is actually really fun, especially if you are near Bergmann street. There are so many restaurants and cafes to discover on that street that requires real commitment. You can find anything from Indian to Austrian cuisine. Also, I am starting to realize that Kreuzberg also has the most reasonable prices for Indian food that, in fact, come in relatively large portions.

When the weather is warmer it’s so pleasant to sit outside in one of the cafes and have a cup of coffee or a glass of beer. But the best part is people-watching. Since Bergmann street is one of the most popular ones in the area a lot of people walk up and down the street.

There are also a few authentic shops on this street. They sell the coolest stuff. If I owned a house in Berlin I would have definitely bought a lot of house decor since they are all handmade and one of a kind. I’ve only bought a few gift items for friends.

On a warm sunny day come to Kreuzberg and just take a walk around.

Practicing Speaking

I’ve been taking German classes for six months already but I am not quite happy with my speaking skills. Lack of vocabulary makes me stumble a lot. I need to practice speaking also outside of the classroom, but all the Germans I know speak fluent English and I feel uncomfortable asking them to speak German because I don’t want them to feel that’s the reason I spend time with them.

I am also concerned that when I leave Germany I will forget everything. Language needs a regular practice. So I was thinking maybe to try Rosetta Stone. According to its reviews it’s supposed to be fantastic. Has anyone tried? I would like to hear more about its effectiveness. I imagine it definitely can improve my listening comprehension but I am also concerned about speaking.

So, if anyone has ever tried Rosetta Stone, PLEASE, leave me a comment or recommendation about it.

 

Brauhaus Sudstern

Nobody who lives in Berlin or comes for a visit should miss out on „Brauhaus Sudstern“. It’s really one of my favorite places in Berlin to drink bier, especially during the cold winter when all lovely biergartens are closed.

This brewery offers different types of excellent beers brewed right there. It’s only on tap and always fresh. They also offer a guided tour during which you can learn about types of beers, get an idea how to brew beer and have a tasting. „Brauhaus Sudstern“ has great atmosphere especially for people who are fans of sports. But for those who love live music you can find this there as well. There is going to be a rock live music night on the 26th of Feb at 20:30.

Check it out at info@brauhaus-suedstern.de

The address is: Hasenheide 69, 10967 Berlin

Enjoy!

Brauhaus Südstern

Homework is Important

Teachers at Deutsche Akademie never put too much burden on our shoulders, they don’t assign lots of homework. In fact, I think they give as little as possible taking into consideration that most people work or have families and other priorities. Ok, that’s fair! But are we fair to ourselves? For instance, when I only have one exercise to do, that’s all I want to do and nothing more. I have no motivation to do a few extra exercises or learn new words. It’s not part of the assignment and I subconsciously become lazy. I put off learning new words for days thinking „…ok, i’ll learn them tomorrow“.

I know many people may not like this suggestion, but I wish we could be pressured a bit more.  It would make a difference in my learning experience if I knew I had to take a short quiz on words or preposition or other things.  I would like to propose this to my teacher but not sure how my classmates will react to it. I don’t want to be the „bad guy“ but I need pressure to study harder.