Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Where to learn German in the Kaiserslautern area

So you’ve decided that you’d like to learn German as a foreign language. Now what? If you’re in the KMC, here are some options that are available. The first options are only available to military-affiliated people who have access to the posts/bases (if you don't have it already, you probably won't get it, if that makes sense) but the community options are open to everyone.

ON BASE/POST OPTIONS (only open to those with US military affiliation)

Ramstein FSS Classes: learn German from the community education center on the Ramstein Air Base. These are mostly beginners’ classes and are primarily explained in English.

USO: the USO also offers beginner’s German classes. They are mostly simple classes offered in English that describe the language and give one the basic skills needed to order at a restaurant or buy bus tickets. View the newest issue of the Kaiserslautern Kabel (the USO’s local magazine) or visit the organization’s website to find course offerings.

Army Community Services: these are offered for free on Pulaski Barracks. There are two classes offered, beginner and intermediate; the latter is more similar to an advanced beginner level. These are in English too with plenty of grammar and some speaking.


Volkshochschule: these are continuing education centers that offer a variety of classes, with everything from guitar lessons to language lessons, in the German community. Beginning through advanced German lessons are available in an immersive setting. Classes focus on grammar and speaking and are conducted in German. There are both intensive courses (every day for hours) and shorter night classes too. These classes also introduce one to German life and culture. Integration classes are available for those seeking German residency or citizenship. Courses are reasonably inexpensive. VHS Kaiserslautern:   Kreis Volkshochschule Kaiserslautern: (with classes in the suburbs surrounding Kaiserslautern)

Verein zur allgemeinen Völkerverständigung, Kultur und Bildung an der TU Kaiserslautern: the long name might give a hint that these classes are well-suited for the serious learner, and indeed, they are! They are intended to prepare foreign students at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern to take their area of study in German but outside participants are welcome too. There are evening classes and intensive classes. Each class covers one subset of a level, such as A.1. The entire class is conducted in German and focuses heavily on grammar and speaking with some writing. Classes are offered to non-TU students on a space-available basis. (I’ve always found a spot in the class).

Private schools and tutors: I haven’t taken lessons from anyone in the area in this form, but there are various options available. One of my friends took a class through a private school downtown and was pleased with the lessons. They were somewhat expensive compared to the public options; lessons were about 20 euros per hour-long session. However, those who prefer one-on-one learning may see faster results this way. Search the internet using terms such as “Deutsch als Fremdsprache” (German as a foreign language), “Sprachkurs” (language course), or “Deutsch Nachhilfe” (German tutoring) and the name of your town (or the next biggest one).

Whether a person wants to learn to speak tourist-level German or wants to learn enough to discuss the meaning of life, there are plenty of options in the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

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