Learning German online – A new experience

By Youssef Kanjou

Corona has forced us to learn German from home via the Internet. My course started in March at the Volkshochschule, which got interrupted shortly after the start because of Corona. This also led to the closure of all schools in Germany. Volkshochschule decided to continue the course online. Currently we have two hours of lessons every afternoon on video conference with the Zoom program.

This is the first time I have to learn a language online; after everything in life has gone online. It seems to be a very significant experience for me. The teacher teaches with a PowerPoint presentation and a language book. Usually the picture is clear and the explanations are great. The participants also interact wonderfully with the teacher. The teacher also motivates all students to participate.

Usually the door of my office at home is always open, but during the lesson, the door is closed. That is why my children want to know what I am doing. Sometimes they knock on the door to ask for something and force me to turn off the camera and microphone quickly. Sometimes I hear the voices of the other participants’ children, as the course is for adults and most participants have families.

Obviously, the course has advantages and disadvantages: one advantage is that I stay in the comfort of my own home and save the time to get to school. One of the disadvantages, however, is that the course is shorter than usual. Normally we have five hours of lessons a day, but now it’s only two and a half hours and this definitely reduces the amount of information we receive.

In a language course, it is common to talk to each other for language training, which can sometimes disrupt the course. In the online course, on the other hand, it is very quiet, as we cannot talk to each other. Unfortunately, that makes the course somewhat boring.

Moreover, we do not know how long we will continue our lessons online. Nor do we know if the knowledge we learn in this course will suffice to pass the final examination, because the time we spend together is less than usual after all.

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Impressionen zum Leben in Zeiten der Corona-Pandemie: Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL; Mostafa Elyasian, 19.03.2020

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