This is an interview with Mary, a member of our C1 group. If you would like to see why Mary enjoys our meetups, try one today with a free trial.
Tell us about yourself, Mary.
I am a freelance recruiting consultant and an Accredited ICF Certified transformational and a Law of Attractions Coach. I have a PhD in Organisational Psychology. I have been counselling for many years. I am also am a Success Coach - I coach CEO's and business entrepreneurs. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, I have been virtually connecting with people all over the world by coaching and transforming their lives.
I was born in Mainz, Germany, and grew up in Dubai. But my family roots are from India.
Have you moved country to improve your speaking skills?
I moved back here to Germany in 2016 because my entire family was living here. That was a big pull for me. I also wanted to establish my career here, and make sure that my children got a good education. I felt better able to support them in this regard in Germany.
Has it been difficult to re-integrate?
Living in Germany again has not been much of a challenge for me, as I have been visiting my parents here since 1996.
I am familiar with the country, the culture, and the warm people. As I have always been pretty outspoken in nature, and due to my multicultural background, connecting with new people from different countries has never been a issue for me.
What has been the hardest thing for you in learning German?
Nothing in particular stands out too much. The best way to improve your German is to read an article every day and listen to the news or something like that. Although actual conversation would be the best. I have German friends that I talk to on a regular basis which has added to my fluency in German.
How has Deutsch Gym helped you in your language learning journey?
I would like to do more classes in German and practice more. Attending Deutsch Gym has been very helpful for me and has been a productive use of my time. My fluency in German has improved, and this has given me additional motivation and confidence in speaking the language without searching for words or thinking for too long.
It’s my goal to progress to C2 level, and unfortunately C1 is the maximum group available in Deutsch Gym I can join, I believe.
I always take time at least 10 minutes prior to the meetup to learn more about the day's subject in the Deutsch Gym meetup. This has helped me gain new ideas and improve my vocabulary. This preparation helps me to construct these words into a sentences ahead of time, so I can better explain the concepts I am talking about to the group. This assisted me in dominating new words that I had heard of before, even though I hadn’t yet used them in conversation.
How often do you attend Deutsch Gym meetups?
I try not to miss a session on Deutsch Gym if I can help it. But due to work meetings it does happen sometimes, but most week I can make most of the meetups.
What other learning methods have you tried?
I did intensive courses up to B2 about 3 years ago. But without any exercises or real conversations in German, one tends to forget what they have learnt. Therefore constant reading, listening, and talking can help us to remain up to date with the language and its vocabulary.
If you were to learn German again, from the start, what is the one thing that you would do differently?
It would have been good to work in a German-speaking company with German colleagues. I think that would be the best way to improve and get a good grasp of any language. But I have always worked through English and I currently conduct coaching virtually with people in different parts of the world.
Other language learners will be reading this blog. What tips for them do you have in learning languages?
As specified earlier, reading articles in German everyday, revising grammar, constructing sentences, writing short stories, and communicating with people will help accelerate your German language proficiency to another level.
Do you have any book/podcast recommendations that have helped you with your language learning?
There are plenty of German videos for different level learners on YouTube. Search for “German Lesson C1” or “How to do an interview in German” or “Questions for tourists in German”. YouTube is very useful - there is a video for almost any topic you can think of.
One of my favourite channels on YouTube is from Hallo Deutschschule on How to Conduct an Interview for B2 & C1. This helped me to deal with interview questions.
There are plenty of interesting German books for Kindle that will help you improve your vocabulary. Go discover them!
Now for a general, non-language related question! What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?
I believe the world is full of kind and beautiful people - I know if I ask I shall receive.
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