4 Things I Learned Teaching Germans English

4 Things I Learned Teaching Germans English

November 24, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


I may have been the teacher, but I also learned a lot while teaching English here in Germany. Hey everyone! I’m Dana and you’re watching Wanted Adventure Living Abroad. If you’ve clicked on this video looking
for information about teaching English in Germany this is not that video, but I have
made a video on that topic already, and I will link to it down below. So what is this video about? Well, when I first moved to Munich, I taught
English to adult students here in Germany for about 3 years. And during that time I learned many different
lessons and things. And so today, I will share a few of those
things that I learned. It was just amazing. I learned that people learn English for a
million different reasons. And I think that was actually one of the most
fascinating parts about teaching English here; meeting so many different people and learning
about what inspired them to learn English. I taught one person who refereed shooting
competitions and needed English for that. I taught another person who often traveled
internationally because they were an organ courier. And some of my students were working in customer
service and they would actually be using their English most often to communicate with other non-native
English speakers from all around the world. I also learned very quickly that teaching
English is a heck of a lot more than “just” teaching the language. It’s often also about teaching the culture
behind the language, because sometimes, as I learned, there are words that can’t really
be translated into German because the full and complete concept just doesn’t exist
in Germany. Cul-de-sac, for example. The dictionary translates cul-de-sac to Sackgasse,
but they’re not really the same thing. And that’s because houses and housing arrangements
are themselves very different in Germany and the U.S. So you really have to look at the culture
there. To really explain cul-de-sac, I would have
to talk about that in America, for example, you often have housing developments and subdivisions,
with a name and a sign at the entrance to that development, and sometimes but not always
there are rules for everyone living in that development. Like maybe you can only paint your house one
of three pre-approved colors, or you must mow your lawn a certain number of times per
month or else you’ll be fined. Or something like that. I taught many different classes and many different
students during my time as an English teacher in Germany. And one very important thing that it taught
me about the culture in Germany is that sometimes at first some Germans can be a bit of a tough
nut to crack, but when they do warm up to you and if they do let you in, they really
let you in. So it just seemed to me like some of my students
needed a little bit more time to open up to someone that they didn’t know, than what
I was used to in the U.S. And at first I did take it personally, I just
couldn’t help but take it personally. I would start a lesson in a new class or sometimes
I would fill in for another teacher if they were sick, and for, like, the first minutes
of class, some or sometimes all of the students would be a little stand-offish, kind of hesitant,
like: who is the person here, and what does she want from me. They weren’t all necessarily really convinced
about me from the first moment. But then, oftentimes, by the middle of the lesson they had relaxed and warmed up to me a little bit. But sometimes not. Sometimes it took a few classes. But usually at least by the end of the course
they had kind of come around and were then often really warm and just really kind and
open. I had one course that at first I swore up
and down that the students hated me, or at least they didn’t really trust me. But by the end of the course, they were just
all so kind and so open, and on the last day they brought me flowers and little gifts and
a card, and it was just unbelievable how warm and welcoming they then were. One of the first classes that I taught here
in Germany was to Germans who were actually sent to the class by the government. They were there because they had been collecting
unemployment money for, I believe, over two years at that point, obviously without successfully
landing a job during that time. So they were sent to learn English in order
to make themselves a better job candidate, and then those classes were paid for by the
government. So my question for you is: Have you taken English or any other language classes outside of school? What’s been your experience with that? And teachers out there, what has teaching
taught you? Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks so much for watching. I really hope that you enjoyed this video. And also, a really big thank you so much to
our patrons on Patreon, who help make these videos possible. Thank you so much for your support. If you would like to check out our Patreon
page, you can find a link to that down in the description box below. Until next time, auf Wiedersehen! Hey! Just one quick thing! Mr. German Man and I are taking a little break,
and there will be no Wednesday video this week. We’re taking a little vacation. All the Sunday videos will still be the same. Sunday at 9 a.m., and next week, the Wednesday
video will be back at 3 p.m., so just no Wednesday video this coming August 16. Okay, thanks! Bye! That’s it. Any other language classes outside of school,
what… Yeah? And for, like, the first…doopty doopty doo. But they’re not really the same thing, and
that’s because houses and housing themselves…arrangements.