Our Teaching Methods
Erst lachen, dann machen!
The most important thing when studying a new language is to enjoy the process of learning. Our motto, “Erst lachen, dann machen,” literally means “first laugh, then do.” Because unless it’s fun, you won’t learn! Hence, this philosophy underpins everything we do in our quest for being the best language school out there.
Speaking comes first
Languages are alive and dynamic. As children, we learn through a process of osmosis. We absorb the sounds and phrases we hear being uttered by the world around us, repeating them back as words and sentences. Nobody knows why we place a certain word before another. We couldn’t explain to anyone what grammatical structure we use. People just talk and interact with the world. So why should it be any different when we learn a foreign language? Of course, grammar is important; but knowing just grammar is of little use if you cannot use it in a conversation.
Our credo is “talk talk talk.” Because our experience has shown that students learn a new language, or improve existing skills, most effectively by speaking as much as possible. Consequently, you will do the majority of the talking at DAS Akademie, not your teacher.
A holistic approach to learning
Our teaching methods emphasize verbal communication and the development of your speaking skills. However, your listening, reading and writing skills develop simultaneously. Because you absorb grammatical structures organically, and expand your vocabulary by immediately applying these structures. Moreover, we combine dialogues, role-plays that simulate everyday life, games, group activities and multimedia to provide you with interactive lessons and an intensive learning environment. As a result, your vocabulary and confidence will grow quickly, and you will soon feel like a native speaker in your chosen language.
How does it go?
When do classes begin?
Intensive beginners classes usually commence at the beginning of each month – but please check with our friendly staff to confirm the exact dates.
If you already speak some – or a lot! – of your chosen language, you can join one of our courses any day of the week. That is why we need to assess your current language level. Every language school has slightly different standards, and we want to make sure that we have the right course for you. There are three elements that help us determine your language level.
A written assessment test indicates the level of your writing and reading skills. This test usually only shows the tip of the iceberg as in most cases the result of the written test does not match the real command of the language. This test can be taken at our school in Berlin, or – if you live abroad – we can send you the link to our online assessment test.
An oral test, conducted by one of our teaching staff, indicates the level of your listening and spoken skills. Combined with the result of your written test, this allows us to define your level of your chosen language more accurately. This test usually takes the form of a conversation and can be done at our school, via phone or Skype.
Choosing the Right Method
Last but not least, through our interaction with you, we will get an idea of the kind of student you are, that is: your learner type. This helps us choose the right method of teaching for you.
Our language courses and certificates are structured in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This means that the language skills you acquire at DAS Akademie will be recognized throughout Europe.
In 6 months, speak German easily
For example, if you start learning German ‘from scratch’ in an intensive course at DAS Akademie, you will be able to move to the next language level every four weeks. In six months, you will be able to speak German with ease.
Our innovation and quality control
We are constantly looking for new and innovative teaching materials. Therefore, our teachers work with the most recent books on the market as well as DAS Akademie materials, games, music and multimedia materials. New teachers can start only after a trial lesson. Furthermore, our Head of Languages monitors the quality of their teaching regularly.
Our flexibility and control for students’ individual needs
Our primary concern is to make you speak the language you want. Because human beings are not machines, we acknowledge your individual needs and strive to find the best solution for you – be it changing your course; offering private tuition to „fix gaps“; providing inside information on German life, bureaucracy or the education system; or just listening to what’s going on in your life outside of class. We are here to help.