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Language Schools for Expats in Germany

Submitted: December 2013

When you move to Gemany, you will discover that many Germans speak English or wish to practise it with English-speakers. As a result, trying to learn German through interacting with your German friends may not be the best idea. Fortunately, there are language schools in Germany where you can learn or perfect your German-speaking skills.

Becoming proficient in German should be at the forefront of your ‘to-do list’ when you move to Germany as the chances are that you will do better at work or school and it will assist you greatly in integrating into German society. A language certificate is also beneficial to your career there and will greatly assist if you plan on undertaking studies at any one of the many state-funded Universities.

The following are several different institutions that you can attend where you can learn to speak German:

  1. Universities – There are more than 60 universities throughout Germany that offer intensive language and cultural studies. The cost of these courses can run to approximately US $500 per month.
  2. Adult Education Centres (Volkshochschulen) – Most cities have a Volkshochschulen, which offer language courses for foreigners. A small fee is typically required and the classes are often in the evening to facilitate those that work.
  3. Commercial Schools – these are usually more expensive that the state-funded or non-profit courses but they often have the advantage of undertaking instructions at locations wherever the client wishes.
  4. Goethe-Institut – For those who are truly serious about proficiency and attaining the requisite certification, attending the Goethe-Instituts in Germany is one of the prime ways to do so. There are 13 Instituts throughout Germany. These institutes are run by the Federal Republic of Germany and they have a worldwide reach, as they promote the knowledge of the German language abroad.

The courses offered by the Goethe-Instituts in Germany are comparable with the courses offered abroad; and they vary in length and intensity (from beginners to university level). It caters for all your various needs, such that if you wish to have a proper command of the German language; or prepare for university studies and take examinations then the Goethe-Institut is ideal. There are also special courses for Professional Purposes.

The certificates offered by the Goethe-Institut are recognized by companies and educational institutions around the world as proof of proficiency in German. Additionally, a wide range of extracurricular activities are also offered with many cultural highlights. Courses are typically offered  for the following age groups: 9-12 years, 12-15 years, 14-17 and 18-21 years.

Generally, many language schools are offered in a variety of locations, which provides not only a linguistic experience, but a cultural one as well. The majority of language students in Germany often constitute working adults and professionals.

When beginning a language course, quite often a written proficiency test is administered before beginning the course so that a determination of the level of instruction required can be made. Depending on your schedule and availability, it is possible to engage in language courses either full-time, part- time or whenever you can over an extended period. If you are doing the course full time, then the language course will typically run for approximately two-three weeks.

Furthermore, you may find that the teaching methods at the language schools will usually involve only German being spoken within the classroom by the instructor. Role play, dialogue, grammatical exercises, speaking and reading as well as telephoning is often employed as teaching devices to assist students in their German instruction.



When selecting a language course do ensure that the class sizes are fairly small, in particular for beginners.

As an aid in your quest to master the German language, when you are outside of your language school, do ensure that you watch German films and television; read German newspapers or even childrens’ books and make attempts to speak German with your German friends as much as possible.

See the following links for useful information on learning German:



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