Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Starting on German B2

My next class for German won't start for a while yet but my tandem partner and I finally had the brilliant idea that we'll begin work on the B2 book. I hadn't thought to ask her to teach me before, but it's a great idea; she's taught a nephew German before and she teaches other subjects too. She is very educated, knows German grammar well, and speaks excellent hochdeutsch.

I was a bit worried that it might be asking a lot to have her teach me. However, she had a great idea and it makes the situation feel more equitable: after I do an exercise, she will then translate it from German to English. I'll help with the nuances and grammar in English so we're both learning. It worked great for us, and I even assigned her some homework ;)

As I was flipping through my B2 book, I was surprised that the material seems mostly be a review of what we learned in B1. It does go more in depth on some of the rules and I'll welcome the opportunity to review more before I take the B2 language exam.

So, for those who've completed B2 - what are your thoughts? Is it a lot of review or are there new grammar concepts?


  1. This may be an unhelpful answer because I've never taken any of those classes or exams. I did teach German for 16 years, though. There are certain topics that are really important for people living in Germany - like transportation, for instance. So in the first level you learn bus, train, car, and bike, and sentences like "I take my bike to work/school." Then in the next level you learn more modes of transportation and how to discuss needs and schedules - "I have to catch the U-Bahn on Tuesday at 12:43" and so on.

    I experienced a real-life example of these levels yesterday. In class in the first level you learn how to talk about and describe your family. Yesterday I was talking with a friend about relationships, divorce, raising children, counseling... and I was stumbling all over myself and reverting to English too often. Just to say "They got divorced" in German is difficult! It equates to "They have allowed themselves to dissolve/divorce." Da heck?!?

    I'll be interested to hear your impressions of the class and book as you go on. Hopefully it's more than just review, but of course some review is important - and builds confidence! :-)

  2. That's a good point, B. I did feel a bit frustrated, though, when I learned more about the present perfect and the "sein" conjugation. I wish they had taught us all of that in the beginning because I feel as if I have to re-learn it now and sometimes that's more difficult.

    That's a bit funny that getting divorced is to "dissolve," but I guess it makes sense sense from a legal term point of view as the marriage is dissolved. I somehow envision the partners being slid into a pot of water and fizzing.