"Sprache verbindet" - Language connects. Not only people, but also different cultures, which gives us a great opportunity to learn from each other.
I'm a German native speaker with broad teaching/tutoring experience on all levels (Kindergarten to adults). Since my background is actually in Science (PhD in Molecular Biology), I also have experience teaching technical German to adults that need to learn German for business purposes.
No matter what age or level you're at, learning German should always be fun. Therefore my 1-1 sessions are custom-tailored to the individual, well-balanced between grammar and situational German.
About myself: I'm easygoing and patient with my students, and I do believe that hard work and practice pays off. My hobbies are gardening, camping, and extreme Sudokus.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Justus- Liebig-University Giessen, Germany - Bachelors, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Germany - PHD, Biochemistry
Gardening, camping, Sudoku
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I'm passionate about the German language and about all people that make an effort to learn it!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I introduce myself and the concept of my sessions. I give the student the opportunity to state his/her expectations from the class and explain clearly what I expect. I will do a short informal evaluation of the written and spoken knowledge to see at what current level the student is.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In my opinion, the best way to become an independent learner is motivation. My sessions are custom-tailored to the individual, interests and hobbies of the student are specifically integrated in the class to make learning fun.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I am tailoring the class to the student’s favorite topics and interests.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Good communication between student and teacher is crucial. I would try to find out where exactly the difficulty lies and approach the problem differently and/or with additional tools.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In order to comprehend a text, vocabulary has to be memorized and practiced. Unfortunately, there is no other way around this. But I have developed fun games, quizzes and interactive plays to practice words that will lead quickly to comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Keeping an open mind - and paying attention to them.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would build on this excitement/engagement by creating tasks that the student can perform in order to solve the problem that he/she is struggling with. However, if the student is overly excited or nervous and skips important steps, than I would slow down the class in order to gain more focus.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I have the student summarize the material or have her/him answer questions that are about the text. On an advanced level, I ask the student to come up with own ideas or similar situations that can be discussed in an analogous way.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
As the student gains knowledge of the language, he/she also will gain confidence. Practice is a big part of it, and I'll make practice fun.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In the very beginning, I do have a conversation with the student about what her/his goals are and how motivation is rated. I evaluate writing, reading and speaking and build my classes based on this evaluation. During the course of several sessions, I make sure that needs are still the same and the learning environment has not changed. I pay attention to upcoming events, i.e. school exams or travel and custom-tailor to those specific needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every single session is custom-tailored to the individual and her/his specific needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I have a wealth of material: books, worksheets, games, plays, tapes, and hands-on crafts, just to name a few. Which strategy will be pursued depends on the individual student and his/her learning preference.