German integration courses in Berlin

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Hi, I just recently discovered that I'm eligible for enrolling in "Integrationskurse" -- paid for, in part at least, by the state (my wife is German - student - and I'm "seeking employment").

 

The list of schools offering courses provided by the Auslaenderbehoerde is both insanely long and misleading. For example, they list the Goethe Institut, but when I inquired there, they all but scoffed at me in their rush to explain that they don't offer such courses.

 

Does anyone have any experience with these courses? **Any recommendations about where to take one?**

 

Any thoughts about their value (I've got a little German - maybe two semesters US university level, if you know that system) would also be welcome. I'm somewhat concerned that I'm going to be in a crowded class with people who have no German and are unmotivated -- as I understand it the German gov't requires this course of some people and that that isn't terribly condusive to high-levels of motivation. I'd really appreciate any thoughts on this. \

 

Money *is* an issue, so I'm looking for the quickest, most economical way to get myself up to speed with German so that I can apply for jobs in my field (Human-computer Interaction/Information Architecture) or think about starting a business.

 

Thanks, in advance, for any pointers.

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I am currently taking the integration course at The Friedländer-Schule in Friedrichshain ( www.friedlaender.de ) . Classes there seem to average 10 -15 students. If your course is not entirely paid for (which if should be if you are married to a German citizen) then the most you will have to pay is 1 euro per hour of course time. The staff were very helpful with all the paperwork needed to obtain the funding. Hope that helps.

Marshal

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I just finished an Intergrations course from Berlitz and I can highly recommend it! I went to the Steglitz branch, but they have offices on Ku'damm and Friedrichstrasse. I had 2 teachers and they were amazing and our class had about 20 people but I can tell you I learned so much and I didn't know one word of German when I got here last summer. I don't know if Berlitz pays their teachers well, but I had some amazing, interesting and creative teachers and all of the fears and stereotypes that I thought would come with Intergrations courses (like the ones you might have) were unfounded. Basically I was extremely lucky but Berlitz is pretty renowned and has a special teaching method. Right now I'm continuing with Intermediate German at my local Volkshochschule and even though my teachers there are "nice", they don't have as creative/clear teaching methods as my old Berlitz teachers did. But since I have a good basis for the lanugage I can study more on my own. Good luck with your search.

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Hi all!

I'm a newcomers in Berlin and I've been surfing the forums for a while. I searched info about German courses and decided to enroll to the closest VHS, the one in Putbusser Str. It's an Integrationskurse and will cover level A1 with 200 hours lessons.

Has anyone of you followed this course? Was it helpful?

I'm a bit concerned because it will start on the 21st January and in the meantime I'll study on my own.., so it might be not very challenging when I'll start. I also read that to get the ZD you'll have to follow 2 other courses each of them being 200 hours. Now.. I really care learning German but it's a lot of time!

I hope after a 3 months course to be able to find a job, of course not qualified... I worked in a Call Centre in Dublin (speaking my mother tongue with the customers and my crap English with the colleagues and trainers and bosses) and I'd like to do the same kind of job here, if ever possible. Do you think it will be possible with a Level A1?

 

Thank you and regards,

Emilka

 

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I took the VHS course and I can tell you that A1 won't be enough to go to work. A1 teaches you all the basics in grammar and speech, the very basics. Me myself after taking A1 and A2 don't feel even half fluent in german. Don't get me wrong I really enjoyed those courses and think the teachers were pretty good but it's not a fast learning course. You probably would feel strong enough to work after B1. If you want to learn much faster you'd probably have to take courses in Hartnackschule or some other privet schools but they are much more expensive. Good luck.

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About a year ago, I could have done the ZD and passed. That is after 18 months of courses at the VHS, 10 hours a week (with normal school breaks in between). I can tell you, even after passing the test, there is simply no way I could have taken a job and communicated adequately in German, unless I was working a shopping till or something.

 

During this 18 months, I only spoke German in the class. Since the start of this year I have been only speaking German with the girlfriend, and that has helped a lot. I think now, after 2.5 years, I could probably work in a fully speaking German environment - just. Your idea of speaking enough German to work in 3 months is unreaslistic. And the VHS I went to was excellent, but it all depends on the teacher. But no teacher is going to get you speaking enough German in 3 months to go out and work in the language.

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It is indeed true that you would probably not reach a "working level" german in three months. However that doesn't rule out the possibility of getting a job. But it's all a combination of luck, effort and knowing where to look for and with whom to talk.

 

I took german lessons for about 6 months before coming here, 3 hours a week. Here I've only attended two courses, one full month of intensive conversation and half of a 3-hour a week course at university. The first two years I lived most of the time in English and my german was very basic. Then I decided to start talking (or trying to) german at home with my roommates. That helped a lot. Then I got a job on a fully german-speaking environment and since then I speak german most of the time and, although my german is far from perfect, I work using the language every day.

 

Lessons are important because they teach you the rules, but you have to speak, listen and read the language everyday as much as possible. Only that way you'll be able to learn it properly. Kids don't go to language lessons when they are 5, but they can speak. It's all about having close contact with it.

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... I hope after a 3 months course to be able to find a job, of course not qualified ...

It shouldn´t be too much of a problem to find a job in one of the hundreds of Italian restaurants in Berlin ... giving you the opportunity of a "paid crash course" in the German language

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To be completely honest, I've enrolled in C1 for next semester in January, and I still wouldn't be able to hold a German-speaking job; that goes for everyone else I know at the same level as me. That's not to say you won't be able to find work, just that your language skills probably won't be good enough for the workplace for a little while. Give it time, nobody learns a language overnight.

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If you are looking to do the same type job as in Dublin ie to be employed to speak Italian on the phone, I dont see why you wouldnt be ok to do that after a few weeks intensive German study, i knew someone in language school who did that. Except she was a French speaker and i dont know where she worked, cant help you there. She had B level German proficiency.

After all, if you get hired to speak Italian, as long as you have acceptable basic German skills to get by in the call centre, you should be ok?

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Hi all!

thanks for all replies. Tibia is the only who gave me the answer I wanted to read (!!) but I actually wanted your sincere opinions so... I'm happy with what you all said :)

I'll go into more details, not that it makes a big difference... When I got my job in Dublin my English was REALLY poor and I could understand a half of what my trainers were telling me. But the most important part of the job was with the customers and they were pretty happy with my Italian :D.

I think the difficult step to get a job is the actual interview as there you have to understand everything (or pretend, at least).

 

Anyway... I was asking this questions just because as for my attitude, I'm getting already a bit anxious about the future and being unemployed for long time, even though for the moment it's fine and I've got some savings. Working in a restaurant is an option, I might try...

Also: I don't want to learn German "just" to find a job. I really care learning German and my aim is to reach a good level in the years coming.

 

Thanks to everybody again, I'll certainly write again for more advices. Cheers!

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I was in Germany less than 3 months when I got my job here in a fully bavarian speaking enviroment (Bavarian is just about another language altogether). I had taken some lessons in Australia before coming here but when I arrived I felt like the lessons were all in vain. I couldn't catch anything in the real world situation. Gradually in the working environment that improved...

 

Anything can be achieved. It is only a matter of luck and hard work...

 

I think the best way to develop your language quickly is to be working in an all german speaking environment. It leaves nothing more than a sink or swim choice.

 

The more time you spend immersed in the language the quicker you will be able to use and understand it.

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hi everybody!

 

I would like to ask about the integraion course (integrationskurs). I have heard that some schools are really bad, teachers always change, and lessons not properly taught and etc. I am looking for a school with a quality assurance more or less.

Has anyone here taken part in this kind of course or heard from someone you know, so that you can recommend?

 

Any feedback would be appreciated!

Thank you in advance.

 

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I don't know if this helps but i'm taking part in an intensive German language course (integrationskurs).

I go to VHS (VolksHochSchule) which isn't so bad, 3 hours a day, 5 days a week with 2 teachers (one for monday-tuesday and the other for the rest).

The school (one of many) is located in Lernhaus Pohlstrasse near Potsdamer strasse (i'm sure i spelled it wrong).

 

go here for more info : http://www.vhs.de/static/list/cc-49/st-3.html

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I need to read this through again. When I get back in October, I think I need to cover 300 hours of language, mandatory, and 50 hours, mandatory, of integration. I need to sort all of this out ASAP because I need to get all of these hours sorted and completed by May, 2009. Egad!

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Could anyone recommend an integration course I can do in the evenings? Or would it be better to do a different intermediate level German course as I already know some? :unsure:

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Does anyone how long it takes to complete B2-C1 deustch,i dont know if it can be subsidized by Labour office if i request or pay for me,i just finished the integration course and i want to further me studies and since the universities need C1 certitifiate.

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