Thank you Duolingo!
I know that's one of the most overused titles ever... But I'm still using it. For the past 6 weeks I've been in Germany, and the past 4 weeks in German school. After finishing my tree, reading the first 60 pages of Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen (with lots of dictionary help), and occasional practice at home, I was placed in B2 (so I assume that's where most of you will be if you just finished the German tree). The school, F+U Heidelberg, not only has an awful name, but also terrible organisation. I had taken the placement test and was rated a B2. I had booked the course months in advance to realize that "We don't have a B2 course this week, you'll be in B1 this week and B2 next week." No question - That was a fact. So I went into the B1 classroom and met "The Monster" - my teacher (who I would unfortunately have for the rest of the month). She always snapped at everyone when an answer wasn't perfect. Either "We are in B2 people! You need to use complicated words!" (that was after the first week) or "Does anyone know what this new word means? (which none of you have seen before, but who cares) No one? How about you! No? Come on! You guys are in B2 (why aren't those idiots speaking like natives yet!)" The teacher in the afternoon class was much better. The class, however, was impossibly difficult. We started with horrible passive tenses like "The door will have been closed" which in English might be useful once and a while, but in German no one uses. So unless you have family or close friends in the country (or if you're going to work there) don't go. Language schools are so expensive, and I would have died if I couldn't have seen my family every weekend. And honestly I think I learned way more from talking with my family and reading my books. I bought tons of books - Percy Jackson 1-5, Der kleine Hobbit, Illuminati, Die Rebellin, Der Fluestern der Nacht, and Der Weg der Schatten. I almost finished Percy Jackson 1 there. So, don't go to a language school (at least not F+U) (or unless you will live in the country for a long time) Immersion is good (and a lot easier if you know someone in the country) but I believe Duolingo and then books (with speaking practice when you can get it) is one of the most (if not the most) efficient ways to learn a language.
I totally agree with you :) Next year I'm going to Germany to continue my studies, so I'm putting a lot of effort in learning German language now :) I'm reading books and doing lessons on Duolingo, and it has helped me a lot, I'm already on B2 level and can chat with German natives very well :) I think it's a big progress for me. Thank you very much Duolingo :)
Okay, I did crack up at the name of the school.
Sorry you had a less than satisfactory experience, but it's great that you gave it your best shot and that you did get something out of it, even to know that further language-school study might not be for you. I'm always impressed to hear about someone who makes the effort to challenge themselves like this. Good job!
LMFAO! this post was a real "War and Peace".. I laughed, I cried, I smiled!
Great job on ur progress btw.. quick questions though
1) When you read basic books like Harry Potter, are you able to understand what is going on?
2) Can you watch basic cartoons or youtube videos in German and understand?
I can't understand all the words (but I still don't look everything up because that doubles the time). You really don't need all the words to get the meaning. If you like Percy Jackson, you should probably start with that (I find it easier). Cartoons/videos are harder. I can catch what they're talking about (most of the time), and sometimes almost everything (if I've seen it in English before). But reading is the best way to expand your vocab.
I attended language school in Germany as well, and I have to say, they're all different. The one I went to was amazing. I only went for a month, and the teacher that was highly reco and my teacher called in sick quite a bit but the days he was there we learned quite a lot, not just in grammar but in culture