Start of a new year: Set your goals for learning German

After two weeks of winter break German classes have started again. Students and teacher are getting prepared for wrapping their brain around dative, accusative, pronouns, participles, and all the other fun things German has to offer.

This week I distributed a little survey to my students where they were asked to write down in which areas they would like to progress in German this year.

On one hand this is useful for them, since it allows them to reflect on what they actually want to work on, as well as to keep track of their own learning progress.

On the other hand it is also useful for me as a teacher, so I know how I can best support my students.

Personal goals named by my students range from „talking to my nieces in German“ to „passing the C1 exam would be great“.

It definitely matters for my work if I know that some people in the class are planning to pass an exam or that their focus is on improving their speaking skills. I can support them with their exam preparations and provide them with training material. Or I can choose the relevant exercises for class in case someone wishes to review a specific grammar topic.

Suggestions for topics that students are interested in and would like to discuss are also always great. This year’s suggested topics included German history, culture as well as inventions. Great! A good opportunity for me to develop new activities for class around these topics! I am always thankful for inspiration.

I will keep the survey, use the suggested ideas as an inspiration to build some of my lessons on, and at the end of the year we will look at it again, and see which of the goals has been reached, and which still need some work.

If you are learning a language, setting yourself achievable goals helps structuring the learning process and finding motivation to progress by reminding yourself of your goals every once in a while.

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