Although I´ve been living in Germany for a year, I am not speaking enough German. The novelty has worn off and I seem to be stuck on a plateau and need to think of ways to integrate better. Here are FIVE WAYS to speak more, maybe you have some suggestions for me too …
My language at home is English, not German.
- I don´t attend German classes because they are expensive and I don´t want to be in a class with a lot of other foreigners, having worked this summer as an “immigrant worker” in a plant nursery.
- Although I know several German people, they tend to like to practise their English and I have not yet made close friends. At work the people I got to know best were from Thailand, Morocco and Poland, which was fascinating but not Teutonic.
- I am by nature fairly quiet and probably speak fewer words per day than the average person, often preferring e-mail to the phone.
- I don´t focus exclusively on German, like to flit between languages.
- Speak with my husband in German for a few minutes each day, starting with ten minutes and increasing the time gradually. Write a mini diary entry in German first, looking up the relevant words.
- Join a German class: the next group starts in February. The trouble with that is that I am looking for jobs in Holland as well as Germany. The job agencies in Holland seem more dynamic.
- Start to get to know people who share my interests. I have joined a French conversation class (advantages: firstly I am confident in French and secondly I can meet real German there). After the class we sometimes meet for a coffee and talk in German.
- Ask for the phone number of the people from the class and occasionally phone them to build up confidence with speaking in German.
- Stick to German, really focus on it. Don´t like that idea.
- November – Write a few notes in German, daily, about what has been happening and speak about it with whoever will listen.
- December – Pay extra attention to contacts within the French class and try to develop connections with those people because they are Francophiles and interested in travel, like I am.
- January – practise phoning people in German, then review action plan and re-consider joining a German-leaning group.