I’m halfway done with my return to formal German lessons. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Of my nine assignments, I’ve completed four. (OK, not technically halfway done but that’s about as good as it gets.) For the most part, my experience with Goethe Institute’s Besser Deutsch program has been really positive.
In particular, my instructor responds very quickly with feedback and responses. While the program says to allow for four days for turnaround on email submitted assignments, I’ve yet to wait longer than a business day for a response. This includes when I had a question regarding a comment on my first assignment. And apparently she works weekends because I’ve gotten two responses back on weekend days.
While I spent days worrying about my first assignment — Did I do OK? Did I miss something? — I’ve learned to have a little more confidence in my work. Generally the hardest part, for me, of each assignment has been the essay. Each essay has been between 150 to 250 words. A few months ago that was an unimaginable mountain to climb. I can barely write an email in German so how could I do an essay with so many words? Apparently practice does make perfect. Each essay I write it gets easier. I’ve also learned to trust my instincts for grammar more.
In general, I’ve been somewhat disappointed with assignments overall. While the essays I do find challenging, the earlier part of each assignment (such as learning vocabulary and completing simple sentences) I sometimes find too easy — although I’ll be the first to admit I don’t get the grammar 100% complete. The same with the two assignments in the grammar workbook that my instructor assigns for me to do on my own. That being said, sometimes it’s the easy stuff that’s the hardest to do.