You can learn German through listening. Listen (zuhören) carefully to German around you, the way people speak, the intonation, the tone of voice, body language.
Listening and observing is a powerful tool. There must be a good reason (der Grund) why people only have a pair of eyes and pair of ears and only one mouth. That's why I believe you can learn a lot through listening and observing carefully how other people speak German.
Most of us have problems with listening. We also seem to struggle to observe (beobachten) carefully what is going on around us. As a teacher of German I try to see the details as well as see the wider context of my students' situation. I am trying to be aware of what can trigger the best in my students or what can deter (abschrecken) them from speaking German.
The key challenge is to encourage my students to speak German without any fears and hesitations. I know some people who can encourage me without saying a word. For example my cleaner. When I hear her cheerful and happy humming (summen) I feel kind of encouraged by her happy attitude. There is no need to talk . We can achieve much more with sweet honey (der Honig) than with sour vinegar (der Essig).
In my German lessons with my students I always try to encourage my students to do a lot of listening activities. It is also important for me to create a relaxed atmosphere during my lessons.
Topics for discussion for our German lesson:
1. What motivates you to learn German?
2. What discourages you from speaking German?
I am feeling kind of off today. I wonder why? My kitchen is a big mess (die Schweinerei). Kids run around the house like wild monkeys making even bigger mess. It seems like my apartment is kind of clogged or congested (Verstopfte Wohnung). I decide to clean up the mess (aufräumen). Get rid of all the rubbish. In moment like that, when I get rid of all the noise, trash around me I am able to find my calmness (Gelassenheit). Just the feeling of letting it go (loslasssen) is great. Not the feeling of indifference (Gleichgültigkeit). Just a feeling that life is a gift. Precious present. Have a nice day.
Topics for discussion for our online lessons via Skype:
1. How do you feel when you have a mess in your flat?
2. Do you have a simple life style? How would you describe your lifestyle?
Is stress good or bad for you?
For me stress can give me extra power (die Kraft).
In some situations stress can be helpful (hilfreich).Stress can be a challenge (die Herausforderung ).
There are situations which can challenge you in your life (Im Leben gibt es Situationen, die uns herausfordern). For example stress at work (Stress auf der Arbeit) or relationship stress (Beziehungsstress) , you name it.
Topics for our conversation lesson in German:
1. What is stress for you?
2. Do you often think "no" and say "yes"? Is it stressful for you?
I have two teenagers at home. It is not easy. People say our two generations have totally different values (Werte). This is especially challenging if you live in the consumer society (Konsumgesellschaft).
I know that I am not in the position to control my kids, however it is not so easy for me to give up my power ( Macht und Kontrolle aus der Hand zu geben).
I know my kids should learn to take the responsibility for their own actions (die Verantwortung für ihr Handeln zu übernehmen). There are tensions, there are conflicts. People tell me that conflicts are quite natural at this stage of life (Konflikte sind in dieser Lebensphase ganz natürlich). Somehow I find it challenging to build the bridge between my past and the future of my kids (Brücke zwischen Vergangenheit and Zukunft zu bauen)
Topics for discussion in German for our online lesson:
1. How was it when you were a teenager?
2. Did you have a lot of conflicts with your parents? How do you solve them?