Language schools and courses in Berlin

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Can anyone recommend any language schools in Berlin? Have read a lot about 'you get what you pay for' and although the Goethe Institut is pricey I'd rather pay more initially to learn more quickly if cheaper places are going to take longer for me to reach a decent standard.

Language schools in Berlin: I taught at inlingua for 3 years. It isn't terribly well run, but it's probably better run than most. It actually has less to do with the school and more to do with the teacher, and most teachers work for multiple schools, so it isn't that helpful to recommend schools. I would look for things like class size (inlingua tends to be small, and the prices are adjusted according to class size) and hidden costs (inlingua and berlitz make more on books than they do on lessons). Most schools let you take a 'probestunde'. Do this and see if you like the teacher.

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Cheers for that. I had discounted inlingua because I used to work for them as well and I was shocked when a few students told me what they paid for a course - maybe that was in comparison to the pay we got! If only I had my old copy of the new books that they brought out just as I left I could have saved some cash and made it a lot cheaper. Also where I worked was in the south so maybe more expensive than Berlin.

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Hello,

 

I'm coming to Berlin for eight weeks from Dec. 2006 to Feb. 2007.

 

I am going to study an intensive German language course for four weeks. I have looked on the internet and found a bunch of schools, but I am after some more recommendations... or some advice on past experiences. :)

 

Can anyone recommend more schools?

 

Tell me if my expectations are too high - but I expect to be able to converse on some level at the end of the four weeks.

 

Fiona

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I tried 2 schools here, one was pretty good and the other I really disliked. But I think the quality of instruction will depend mostly on the individual instructor rather than the school itself.

 

Prolog in Schoeneberg - I give this school a thumbs down, classes too big, felt stuffy, cramped and disorganized and too much like "school" if you know what I mean. If you don't mind that feeling I guess you might as well go to the Volkshochschule (much cheaper). I had a few different teachers there, hard to generalise about them--some better than others.

 

Akkusativ in Kreuzberg - small, relaxed, friendly, pleasant atmosphere. Somewhat of an "alternative" vibe, strong focus on conversational German, classes felt more like a cosy chat. If you are looking for serious study I don't know if this would be the right place, but I know I enjoyed going there every day far more than I did at Prolog.

 

You can check out their website here http://akkusativ.de/ and see what you think.

 

Both of these are in really great neighborhoods with great cafes, etc. nearby.

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I attend Sprachenatelier in the eastern Friedrichshain neighborhood and am quite happy. Classes can reach up to 12-14 people, but usually not that many show on any given day. The atmosphere is also relaxed. If you want daily classes, you can attend 9.30-13.00 Mon-Fri. Students get a half hour break, when people go for coffee or gather in the kitchen to chat. Prices start at 120 Euro for 2 weeks, but you get discounts if you sign up for longer periods.

 

http://www.sprachenatelier-berlin.com/

 

I did attend Logo in Prenzlauer Berg, but it was 220 Euro for 2 weeks. My class was only 4 people, which is great for attention and opportunity to speak, but not great for socializing. The atmosphere was a slightly more formal teaching environment.

 

http://www.logosprachenschule.de/

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I went to the Hartnackshule in Nollendorfplatz. Its pretty good and its intended for people who are serious about learning German, especially those who want to go to school here. Kind of expensive but I dont think much more than most. Good luck.

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yo!

 

i just got to berlin a couple of weeks ago from california and i need to learn german. soon! i'm on a budget and would like to try find a school with a good curriculum and teachers, but also attracts students who would be cool to chill with (mid-20-30's, traveling types, more open minded...). is that too much to ask for?

i saw die neue schule and akkusitiv in other people's posts...any opinions on those? good, bad, ugly???

 

as for me, i just came over from san francisco where i had settled for 6 months after coming home from peace corps in cameroon, west africa. i've been really digging all the history, art, and music i've checked out so far in my short time here and know that language is going to be the key to really getting into the pulse of life in berlin.

 

any suggestions?

 

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hello from another califonian!

When I first came to Berlin I enrolled in a University course and T.U. but for me it was a waste of money. Im now enrolled at BSI off of Shoneleinstrasse/kottbusserdamn? They offer intensive courses(cheapest I could find) and Im satisfied. You have a great atmosphere of all different people who really want to learn. who are young!

good luck

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Hey!

 

Another Californian here! I'm from the Los Angeles area. Anyway, I'm living in Frankfurt right now, but will be moving to Berlin in January. I currently take intensive language courses at AWT Frankfurt; however, how much you learn depends on two things:

1) The amount of effort you are willing to spend on it

2) The teacher

You can control #1, but #2, you have not much control over, other than switching schools. I have been doing intensive language courses for 6 months now, and I am a bit burned out. I want to slow down for a few months and take classes 2-3 times a week instead of every day. Of course being married and having two small kids leaves little time for learning German...

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Has anyone every used the software by Rosetta Stone? i know they have an online version- last i looked, it was like 40 bucks a month- not bad for committment-phobes like me. i did the free trial, but wasn't super-impressed, so i didn't actually sign up, but now i'm reconsidering. i know they have tons of languages that they offer, and that they are supposedly used by professionals in various foreign services arenas. Any thoughts?

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i've actually been using the rosetta stone (software, not the internet version) and it is one of the best home learning courses i've tried. it's a great way to learn vocabulary and to get an idea of sentence structure. it uses repetition and images to help you actually remember the words. the problem is that since it mimicks the immersion process, there are no actual lessons on grammar which makes it difficult when you actually need to talk and form your own sentences.

i think it's a good way to start out and to get some basics down, but it doesn't substitute for a class.

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i started with ih prolog in schoeneberg on 2 jan 07 and so far i find it brilliant (www.ih-berlin.com).

 

I think #1 is correct when she says it depends on the teacher. My class has 2 teachers - the teacher from monday to wednesday (Angelika) is awesome. She relates well to the class and ensures we understand what she is teaching. The lessons are only taught in German. If the teacher is good, it works well - the students in my class come from the Ukraine (2), Italy (1), Japan (1), Australia (1) and one from Venezuela and with Angelika I believe we are all able to understand what is going on...

 

These are my thoughts after my first week with IH prolog...i will post again at the end of my course to tell you what i think about it then...

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As promised, here are my thoughts on learning german at ih-prologue now that i have completed 4 weeks of german schooling...

 

GOOD

- excellent for vocab and grammar

- classes are only taught in german. i found this good. the teacher doesn't progress until everyone understands. most students know a few german words. many English words are similar to German words.

- between 5 and 10 students. This is a great number because everyone donates new words in each class setting and that is essential for vocab..

- not too much homework. allows you to enjoy your time in germany with family, friends, doing touristy things or just plain living...

- class contribution - everyone has a shot.

- good for making friends

 

BAD

- the course i did was not as intensive as i would have liked it to be (3 hours per day 5 days per week).

- 4 weeks is definitely not enough time to learn the complicated german language.

- each week students leave and new students arrive - 10 is the maximum in each class. there are pros and cons for new students joining the group...too much to write here...overall, the revision (albeit minimal) was welcomed

- the smoking room (whether you are a smoker or not) the smoking room is blue between 11.30 and 11.45 so the conditions to have a cigi are not ideal. In addition the door to that room is often open so smoke often drifts into the classrooms nearby.

 

ON A PERSONAL NOTE...

- i understand so many grammar rules now - i am very pleased about that...

- i am now able to structure sentences...I am a bit slow, but getting quicker.

- vocabulary has improved immensely.

- in social situations, i understand many words, but don't always catch the meaning of the conversation.

 

Ultimately, I think it is important to ask yourself what it is you want from your time at a German school.

 

I would say IH Prologue was good value for money.

 

if you would like any further information, please drop me a note.

 

f

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wow, a lot of californians here. i moved a few months ago from santa monica.

 

anyway, i attended for two months at the "Akademie für Fremdsprachen" in Wilmersdorf for two months and liked it. But, the class felt a little bit slow for me and its more of a casual environment. I have now gone to the Hartnackschule for one month and have mixed feelings. Class size was much larger, the lessons seem more "ordered" and there is a specific lesson plan for the month. Even so, it felt a bit slow for me, so I am now jumping a level next month. So we'll see how I feel about the higher level course. I may be a little crazy about wanting to speak as fluently as quickly as possible. I did notice that other students were not as "enthused" as myself to actually learn German. Schade. In terms of price, Akademie is 250euros for the month, 9:15-12:30 M-F and Hartnackschule was 198euros, 9-12 M-F, but if you do their afternoon or evening class the price drops to 178. Both schools offer a discount if you prepay for several months.

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Must say - after dabbling at 3 schools here, I'm now speaking my brutal German with lots of interesting accents - French, Italian, Spanish or wherever the other students come from!

 

:P

 

I wanted to put in a good word for GLS on Kastanianallee in Mitte/P'Berg.

 

The school is very well run!! It is a campus of 5 (at least 3 newly redone) buildings, catering to many students that come for extended language-learning trips and stay on campus. Students get discounts in the restaurant and free Internet use. They run activities in the evenings and on weekends on and off campus. They have loads of students so there is a good chance of a course at the level and pace you want (intensive and crash for over-achievers). My teachers have lots of experience and seem professional. They switch at the "half time" break every day so that mixes things up and keeps you awake!

 

Website for more info: http://www.german-courses.com/

 

Of course, the area is full of bars, cafes and shops so it makes for good coffee breaks.

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Hi there.

 

I've been going to IH Prolog in Schöneberg for almost three weeks. I'll give you MY pros and cons on the school.

 

PROS:

-The only language that's allowed to be spoken in class is German. This means you'll be exposed to more German.

-The teachers rotate during the week. This means you'll hear different Germans speak German.

-The classes are small. This means everyone has to get involved with the activities and that naturally, the teacher can keep an eye on you and your German.

-Very grammar-orientated rather than conversation-orientated, meaning you can develop a good language foundation.

-A lot of cultural activities and excursions.

-On the whole, the students are pretty young and so are the teachers.

-You'll be able to get a discount for public transport and certain cultural things.

-Morning classes start at 10am, meaning you can get more sleep. Also, you can opt for the afternoon classes.

-Hardly any homework. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

-Enrollment and everything like that can be done over the net.

-Every Monday there are new students... if making friends is your thing.

-Good transport.

-Free internet access.

 

CONS:

-The lessons are too short. My lessons are only about 3 hours per day, 5 times a week.

-I've heard other schools are cheaper.

-It's not likely you'll make German friends, because 99% of the people there are learning German.

-Because the teacher pays a lot of attention to individual language problems/difficulties, usually it's not possible to move on to the next part if one student isn't "getting it".

 

That's all I can think of for now. I hope this will help you decide which school is best for you.

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I studied at Berlitz, and found it to be quite good. I liked the teachers and the students were all friendly. Kind of expensive, but hey, your mileage may vary.

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