German for beginners: Definition

Beginner level in German can mean a couple of things. It could be that you’ve never ever been exposed to any German whatsover, that you literally know nothing. This makes you an ‘absolute beginner’.

Equally you could have acquired a handful of words and phrases, you might be familiar with how to greet people and introduce yourself. Your knowledge might still place you at beginner level in German, but technically you might be described as a ‘false beginner’.

Compared with other languages, German at beginner level is a real fun challenge. It’s one of the quirkiest languages to learn yet the grammar is quite mathmatical and logical. Once you get the basics down, the rewards come fast. German vocabulary is highly memorable which makes learning it quite amusing.

If you’re considering learning German from absolute beginner level in Germany, we have excellent programs with our partner institutions in Europe, but equally you might prefer to follow a beginner’s course with us either remotely or face-to-face at ILI.

German lessons for beginners at ILI Massachusetts

It may be that you plan to go to Germany some day for work, pleasure or specifically to take a language course there. You might have other reasons for starting to learn German, maybe to communicate with family and friends or work colleagues here in the US.

Our German lessons for beginners are all about making you feel comfortable and building your confidence in a positive and enthusiastic environment.

German for beginners as a program will take you incrementally through the basics of the German language from the very beginning. Proceeding logically through the language means you can progress smoothly, build your confidence and get a sense of achievement from early on. 

Who are German beginner lessons for?

Well that might sound like an obvious question, so let’s look at who they are not for!

Please don’t join a beginners German class if:

  • you used to live in Germany some time ago
  • you studied German for an extended period of time back in college, or
  • you describe yourself as a beginner because you feel your intermediate German is a bit rusty, and you’ve “practically forgotten it all”. 
  • your level has been higher than ‘German beginner’ in the past 

German for beginners is for those folks who are approaching German for the very first time around or who have only ever seen a handful of words and phrase, not those whose level has lapsed a bit.

The reason we make this distinction between beginners German and other levels is that it would be intimidating and demotivating to be in a class where someone knows it all already, if you are grappling with new language for the first time.

What if I know a handful of words in German. Am I still a beginner?

When you think about it, we all probably know a few words and phrases in German. 

If you’ve ever had a relaxing afternoon at the biergarten, savoring a cold hefeweizen or a seltzer and all of the sudden your plans went kaput because of a rainstorm, you know what we’re talking about! 

If you’re a German beginner, we don’t expect you’ll know how to put German words into a sentence or understand any German when it’s spoken to you.

Why is it important to be with other German beginners when you start learning? 

There is a very good reason to be in the safety of a group of other German beginners. It’s all about confidence. We think that speaking another language is probably 90% about your confidence. We all have our good days and not so good ones. With language learning, there’s something really lovely about being in the same boat, and discovering the language together. 

We know how it is, to process so much new information and simultaneously take those first steps to generating new language for ourselves. It’s exciting and special and we want you to enjoy that process.

Can I take any format of German course at ILI Northampton at beginner level?

Pretty much, yes. Very occasionally, we might not have a total beginner group available for our group German classes. If that’s the case, we’ll let you know and we’ll suggest you start with some one-on-one lessons. This will give you the basics you need and quietly build your skills and confidence, so you’re ready to join the next level up. 

You can browse our German course formats below, and you’ll see that also includes online classes, which are good if you have limited mobility, limited time or you live too far away from us, but you really want to be a part of our ILI learning community.

See you soon! Tschüss!

Online German Course Options

All of the following German course formats are available as an online option. You’ll be able to specify when you book!

Private German Lessons

A picture of a Berlin Germany newspaper.

Our Private German lessons in-person or online allow you to shape your learning around your busy life. You choose the times, days and topics, we’ll do the rest!

Our German Teacher

German teacher, Linda Sileniece, with 3 students at a free outdoor concert in Northampton,MA.
German teacher, Linda Sileniece, with 3 students at a free outdoor concert in Northampton,MA.

Our German teachers are professionals with Master’s Degrees or TESOL certificates and a minimum of one year teaching experience in creative and student-centered teaching.

ILI has been teaching languages and training teachers since 1984, bringing students the best learning experiences.

“I studied German with ILI via a live online german conversation class. The classes were great, and everyone was super friendly. Because they’re so interested in you as a person, it can’t help but boost your self-confidence, and that is critical when it comes to speaking a language. I’m hoping to join the next course and keep going. Thanks Linda and Heather.”

Richard Bradford

Check Your German Level

Unsure of the level you are at in the language you want to learn? Don’t worry, we are here to help.

Ask Samira for an assessment in the language you are interested in. She will arrange an appropriate instructor to assess you in a 10 to 15-minute conversation, and then when you register for a course, we can place you in the class that will be best for you.

If you are a zero-level beginner, you’ll start in our Level 1 class, so need for an assessment.

Or if you are unsure about anything…

Got a Question?

See if our frequently asked questions answer what’s on your mind…

Selected FAQs

We generally use Zoom for our online language classes, as it is widely available and the functionality works well for the way we teach. If you are booking language classes online for your company, and you use a different platform (e.g. Google Meet, Microsoft Teams), we will be able to adjust our delivery to fit in with you.

You will meet people from around the world with a variety of backgrounds in your online class. You will practice everything you would in an in-person class: speaking, listening, reading, grammar, pronunciation, and writing. If you are in a group language class, you will have many opportunities to practice speaking with your classmates one-on-one and in small groups.

  • Having a hard copy of your class book can be a real help. You can pick one up at our school in Northampton. Just give us a heads up when you can drop by so that we have one ready for you.
  • Take a little time before class to get your online learning environment ready. We recommend having good lighting and being within 2-3 feet of your computer camera. This way the teacher and other students can have a more visual feel for how students are reacting to lessons and activities. Have a notebook and something to write with.
  • Read the 7 Strategies for Success in your ILI workbook.
  • We always recommend that students take a little time before and or after your class to review the lessons.
Heather Hall smiling

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What to do next

  1. Explore our German program options and choose the one that suits you best
  2. Get a language level assessment if you need to
  3. Register for your chosen course!

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At ILI, we believe that all our actions should stem from grace and loving kindness.

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  • We operate as an equal opportunity organization.
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