Learning German Outside

Our German lessons with Antje from the Deutsch Centre are the highlight of the week for my children. My 7 year old enjoys being a bit of a know-it-all with his German vocabulary whereas my twelve year old understands that learning German will be a huge advantage for him as an adult. Antje realises this and her lessons are tailored to the individual needs of both children.

This week our lesson was taken out of the classroom and into the great outdoors.

Arriving at the park where we had arranged to meet our tutor we noticed that large numbers had been chalked on the floor. This really piqued the children’s interest as they were keen to find out just what was in store for them. The first part of the session was spent revising their German numbers. They played a variety of extremely entertaining number games which had them both leaping from number to number whilst giggling like fools. The learning experience was taken up a notch as they gave each other sums in German which tested their retention and pronunciation.

During the lessons no English is permitted. This may sound a little strict however there is good reason for this rule to exist. My children are immersed in the language from the beginning to the end of the lesson. This method occasionally leads to some very puzzled expressions but amazingly they follow the instructions with extraordinary accuracy. They have both told me that they don’t understand everything they hear however they are able to pull out a few words which they do understand and use them to piece together the request. I have noticed that we are all picking up words which we haven’t formally been taught as we seem to learn them through osmosis.

The second half of the lesson was focused on learning the names of playground equipment. With the use of books and worksheets they were taught the correct pronunciation for each object. To cement this new found knowledge they were then asked to write down the words on large post-it notes and run around the park labelling everything. My eldest was the scribe and his little brother zoomed about the place shouting out various German words much to the amusement of a couple of onlookers.

As I helped my eighteen month old daughter on the slide a young mum asked me what was going on. I explained that they were engaged in their weekly German lesson and her response hit the nail on the head. ‘What a fun way to learn’ she told me and she was right. The children absolutely love the way in which Antje teaches them because each session is planned with their individual learning styles taken into account. In this outdoor lesson my youngest child was able to play games whilst my eldest was given more taxing roles. They returned home knowing an astonishing number of new German words and expressions proving just how well the methods used by the Deutsch Centre work.

I am pleased to let you know that the Deutsch Centre will be providing German lessons to children later this year. You can get in touch via the website, comment here or on Facebook to register your interest.

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