Why I Needed to Learn the German Language Quick

in Relocation

deutsch language course for German integration course
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I´m the one standing at the far left wearing denim shorts and boots with fur. The lady at the center wearing blue shirt and black cardigan is our teacher.

Last Friday was the last day of our German language course and we had a party. Because we are international, each of us brought our own local dish. It was fun!

For some of our classmates, the completion of modules meant not coming to school for the whole month of May reporting only on the first of June, the day scheduled for our B1 Test. But for the most of us, we have to spend the entire month for the orientation course.

For starters, B1 Test is a language test requirement, after which the Orientierüngs Kurs, for all immigrants here in Germany in order to process a long-term or a permanent visa. To acquire a German passport however requires another test called Einbürgerungs Test.

Remember my struggle to pass the A1 German Language Test last year in order to acquire a visa for Germany so I could be with my husband? Well, upon arrival, I was given a three-year-visa and that was lucky me, because I married a German pass holder who is NOT many years my senior.

I know several Asian women here who married older men are given only short term visa renewable every time of elapse (I will talk more about this on a different post) because they are suspected of marrying an old German only for visa.

I arrived here in Germany end of July last year (read about my cultural journey). While technically friendless saved my husband´s immediate family, I survived my first months by focusing my attention on building my fashion blog. That meant sitting in front of my laptop, blogging whole day, until my husband comes home at 6 o´clock.

But came November (of 2011) and my husband felt the pressure from the State to send me to a language school asap. This comes through several appointments with the immigration as well as the postal notices and reminders we received about which school I could go and school-calendar I could take.

I am required to complete 600 hours of learning which consists of 6 modules.

So my husband brought me to one of the language schools in the city which is also an entity that provides help to all foreigners and immigrants. They gave me a pre-test to scale my current level. I did a written test and an oral interview.

I listened to the secretary speaking to my husband over the phone but while I knew she was discussing about my result, I didn´t understand the details.

When my husband came to pick me up, I was surprised to know that the secretary have made my husband agree to make me start school immediately.

The school had currently started the Module 4 course and the secretary said my level is Module 4. That day was Wednesday and I were to come back by Friday to join the class right away.

It meant I would be skipping the first three modules (300 hours) which also meant saving money.

I had nothing but complains. I and husband have agreed that I will go to school by January of next year and that I will attend the language school at the heart of the city which is only a one-bus-drive from home. Instead, I were to attend school immediately which location is too out-of-town and is a two-bus-ride from home.

But my husband made me look at the good sides. First, the language school which I will attend, although far, is only three days a week unlike the nearest school which is everyday. And second, if I were to start school early, then I will be done by summer giving us chance to travel for vacation.

My first day at school was difficult. The topic was grammar and I had to create sentences describing the pictures assigned to me. The problem was that, my Deutsch vocabulary was very limited and I couldn’t understand what the teacher was instructing me to do. If I say I don´t get it, she explains it more which is all in Deutsch and the more that I couldn´t understand. It didn´t help that I came to school without an English-Deutsch dictionary.

Sitting in the class with almost everyone able to speak Deutsch, most of the classmates have lived here for 15-22 years, some for 3 or 6 years, while others are already repeaters (they’ve done the courses before but didn’t past the test), I looked like stupid.

The teacher advised me to go back to module 1 so it would be easier for me, but I refused. I decided to stay in the class and challenged myself to learn the language as fast as I could because of three reasons …

1. Going to school is expensive.

  • School Fee

Most of my classmates didn’t have to pay to do the course, the government pays for them because either they´re jobless single parents or their husbands have no stable job. Since my husband has a good job, we have to pay for each module. But the amount we pay is already discounted because the government subsidizes a part of my tuition. For those whose husband is rich, they have to pay full.

  • Books

Books are affordable. I pay 12euro for a book every course, a 10euro course guide, and a 10euro orientation book.

  • Bus fare

Because it will be too expensive for us if my husband drives me to and fro, plus he will come late to work, I have to take the bus. The bus fare is expensive. Even if I get student discount if I purchase a monthly ticket, it still costs me 49euro a month.

  • Time

I leave the house at 7:40 in the morning and I come back at 2:15 in the afternoon. I take lunch when I arrive from school and then the day is almost over. I´m a full-time blogger running an online business and the time I spend in school is very precious time which I can use instead for other more productive things for my business.

2. To be able to communicate with the local people

Almost everyone in this place speak only Deustch. The only people here whom I could speak english with (and whom I very rarely mingle) are a few of my husband´s friends who went to college and our dentist.

When I have to visit the dental clinic, I have to deal with the staff in Deutsch, when I purchase a bus ticket, I have to speak in Deutsch, when I go to a store to buy some needs, I have to communicate in Deutsch. If I can´t speak the language, I have to tow my husband every time to interpret for me. Not efficient.

3. To apply for permanent visa

This reason isn´t very heavy but it also matters. I was given 3 years visa after I and my husband reported to the immigration 2 months after my arrival. Do you know how fast time flies?

It´s already almost a year. Now I have two more years to go. But unless I pass the B1 test, I will never get a permanent visa, I would have to extend my visa after it expires which means paying everytime I need to expend.

Plus the government would never leave me in peace if I don´t learn German, anyway …

These very reasons urged me to pick up the language fast and while it has been VERY difficult because of the complexity of the language, my teacher tells me that my progress is very impressive.

In a month I will be taking the B1 test and I am determined to pass it. But just in case I don´t, at least I have learned enough to make my stay in this country easier.

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arwen

Hi glee,

I finished my Module 6 two weeks ago and right now I am doing my Orientation Course. Next week 11th and 12th of May will be my B1 test! I would advice you to get your orientation book as soon as possible and if you have time to read through it and start to translate some of them for you to be able to keep up with your teacher. Ah well, our teacher in the orientation course is German and she speaks really fast. Anyhow, you will have an exam at the end of your Orientation Course. If you want I can send you the website where you can find the questions for the Orientation Test. Who is the author of your orientation course book?

After your orientation test, then you will have to sit for two days test. The first is the written exam and the next day is the speaking test.

so wish me luck and good luck to your tests as well. Viel Spaß!

Deutschland ist sehr schön aber Deutsch ist sehr schwer. Ich hoffe alles ist in Ordnung bei euch und Ich wünsche euch ein schönes Wochenende.

I hope the grammar in my sentences is fine. I didn’t use google translate this time! 🙂

Glee

Hi Arwen,

We started the orientation course today and I´ve purchased the orientation book from the school. I would say though, that I find this orientation quite boring compared to the learning modules.

We already have the schedule for the test which will be on first July but for us, it´s only a one-day-test. The written tests are in the morning while we have to come back in the afternoon, according to the specific schedule given to each partners, for the speaking test.

Thanks for sharing your language journey. I wish you the best for the test too.

Ich hoffe auch dass wir den Test bestehen. 🙂

Shang

Oh my! Oh my! I just cleared A1 for Family Reunion visa and I thought this was the end of learning Deutsch. Ah well!

Glee

Ahhhh, it´s quite a long journey to learning Deutsch. B1 Test is only for permanent visa. If you want to apply for a Deutsch pass, you´ll need to pass the next test, Deutsch-Test für Zuwanderer.

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