Tuesday, 1 December 2009

One of the reasons why I love teaching adults

This blog post is not my work but that of a student. My adult conversation class students are taking turns in providing the rest of the class with a presentation and each time I am impressed with the quality of the presentation.
I asked last week's student, whether he would mind if I posted his presentation and he agreed, under the condition that I corrected his (few) mistakes.
So here it is:

Ein Alptraum in Frankreich

Letzte Woche hatte ich eine Geschäftsreise nach Aix en Provence in Frankreich, und ich hatte meinen schlimmsten Alptraum. Ich verlor meinen Pass - und ich spreche kein Französisch!
Ich ging zur städtischen Polizeiwache und sagte zur Empfangsdame,"Excusez moi, parlez vous Anglais?" Sie antwortete:"Yes." Puh!
Dann sagte ich (auf Englisch), "Ich habe meinen Pass verloren."
Sie sagte,"Dies ist die städtische Polizeiwache, aber Sie müssen den verlorenen Pass der staatlichen Polizei melden. Die staatliche Polizeiwache ist ungefähr ein Kilometer entfernt."
Also ging ich zur staatlichen Polizeiwache, ich ging hinein und fragte den Empfangchef, "Parlez vous Anglais?" und er sagte, "Non"

Mensch! Ich wünschte, dass ich Französisch gelernt hätte und nicht Deutsch!

Etwa fünfzehn Minuten später hatte der Empfangchef meine Einzelheiten aufgezeichnet und sagte auf Französich, "Setzen Sie sich und warten Sie."

Die Polizeiwache war sehr beschäftigt und der einzige verfügbare Sitzplatz war neben einer Prostituierten. Sie lächelte mich an und machte Platz für mich, aber ich setzte mich nicht und blieb stehen.

Eine Stunde später gab man mir Papiere mit einem offiziellen Stempel und der Polizist hat mir gesagt, dass ich zum britischen Konsulat fahren muss, sonst darf ich Frankreich nicht verlassen. Das Konsulat ist ungefähr 30 Kilometer von Aix en Provence entfernt und es kostete mich 70 Euro mit dem Taxi. Mir wurde dann am Konsulat ein vorrübergehender Pass ausgestellt. Der kostete 105 Euro und dann noch mal 70 Euro für das Taxi zurück nach Aix en Provence.

An diesem Tag habe ich keine Arbeit getan und es war ein teurer Tag für den Steuerzahler... und ich muss jetzt einen neuen Reisepass kaufen!

Reading presentations like this makes all evening work worthwhile, don't you agree?

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Frau Davey und die 8 Zwerge

This is a story I recorded for the children of the German Saturday School Frome, so this is particularly for Rhys, Josef, Lennie, Henri, Carla, Ceci, Yona and Lydia.

Anybody else who would like to listen to a German story is of course invited to watch, too.

See if you can find the similarities to Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs....

Thursday, 16 July 2009

New EU regulations?

While I was weeding my allotment yesterday, I remembered something a student told me a while ago. He is not just an avid German learner, he also has an allotment. So one day he decided to combine his two hobbies. He got some nice stones and started labelling all vegetables in English and German.
Within a short time he was asked by fellow allotmenteers, what type of vegetable that weird (German) name was. Each time he replied that it was a new variety. After a while he got bored with the same reply, so when he was asked again, he said "Haven't you heard about the new EU regulations? All vegetables on allotments have to be labelled in English and another language!"

I quite like the idea ;-)

Monday, 15 June 2009

It's getting even better!

I didn't think the comments from the 10year old girl a while ago could be beaten - I mean, what's weirder than imagining I may not come from this world (ok, don't answer that!), but an 8 year old boy today did:
Same question "where do you come from?" but added with the comment, "coz your accent sounds like you come from far away, like my friend who comes from..... Corsham."

Corsham is about 14 miles away from Devizes, hardly a foreign place.
I really do think this can't be beaten, but with children you never know, so watch this space!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Prepositions with Sesame Street

Here is a bit of fun with Sesame Street, or to be precise, Sesamstraße.
Grobi teaches you a few prepositions.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Could I be an Alien?

I have been told that I don't have a typical German accent and most adults only spot a slight accent after a while or when I tell them that I am German.

With children it's different. I am always astonished how quickly they spot that I may not be English. There have been countless incidents in primary schools, when after my arrival in a new class, somebody asks "Where do you come from, Miss?" On my reply "From Devizes" they say "No, where do you REALLY come from?" So I tell them to guess - and they do: Wales, Scottland, Africa, China, Japan..... they clearly have no idea, but usually somebody gets to the word Germany - until the other day!

A ten year old girl wanted to know where I came from and again I asked her to guess. We happened to stand in front of a world map, so she looked at it for quite a while and finally asked me "Is it from this world?"

I could not think of a reply!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

German Two-Way Prepositions

'Researching' Youtube I came across my all-time favourite teaching video:

Those two American teachers have done a lot of work trying to explain, when certain prepositions take the dative and when the accustaive - and they've done a brilliant job!

Thursday, 21 May 2009


I have just done supply at a Primary School where last year I did a German singing workshop. When the children arrived I asked them if they remembered my name. Nobody did, but one girl put up her hand: "Youre the lady who taught us all those Japanese songs!"

Oh dear!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Have I lived too long in England?

Four Saturdays a term I teach a group of primary school age children at http://www.dssfrome.co.uk/ and the other day we counted in 5s from 0 to 100. That should have been no problem and everything went well up to 50. We counted null, fünf, zehn.....fünfzig, fünfundfünfzig - and this is where the trouble started. I carried on, sechsundfünfig (56), siebenundfünfzig (57), achtundfünfzig (58) ... until one of the children spotted the mistake!

Oh dear, I made the classic mistake many English people make, forgetting to say the units first, then the tens. Of course it should have been sechzig (60), fünfundsechzig (65), siebzig (70), fünfundsiebzig (75), achtzig (80), fünfundachzig (85), neunzig (90), fünfundneunzig (95), hundert (100).