Hallo! Ich bin Nicole! I am professional instructor for German as a Foreign Language.
Here you will find information on learning German with me and with my other clients. At the bottom of this page you will find a form to fill out to see about taking German lessons.
Neues Kundenprogramm ab 2019
New Client Program in 2019
Starting in 2019 there is a new program for German lessons. Now in your tuition you receive 40 Private Lessons + 11 Enrichment Activities per year.
40 Private Lessons
Who can take lessons together?
You can take a lesson by yourself, with your spouse/partner, with your kids, or with a friend in another state/country. Special pricing may apply, so please do ask.
Why do people take German lessons?
Gute Frage! (Good question!) People take German lessons for many different reasons. Often they:
- want to speak with the locals when they travel in a German-speaking country.
- gave up on all of those apps.
- have a German spouse/partner/friend.
- want to study abroad, do a post-doc, or apply for a fellowship.
- love German.
Where do lessons take place?
Your lessons take place in a dedicated, online classroom which we use for every lesson. (And no one else ever gets to see.) You and I can type and edit text, highlight, draw, and make notes. Want to keep a copy of what we've done? Natürlich! Just export the whiteboard at the end of your lesson and refer back to it at your convenience.
Your classroom allows us to see each other, hear each other, view documents and even share a whiteboard, which both you and I can write on. Here’s what your classroom will look like:
Features of the online classroom:
- feel safe with secure (encrypted) access
- enjoy live audio and video
- view whiteboards, PDFs or pictures simultaneously
- download your whiteboards - see what we did in each lesson on your own computer
- use the highlighter, drawing, and mark-up tools
- share a pdf/picture and mark it up with text and drawing tools
We can also share our screens, use note pods to write and edit texts live, and there are even more advanced options. This is about as interactive as you can get without meeting in person.
What materials do we use?
We only use materials that were created specifically to help you learn to speak German. All the course books I use are from German publishers and I use different books depending on your age and needs. The additional speaking exercises, games, worksheets and grammar practice books are all from German publishers, too.
I also include authentic materials like advertisements, brochures, postcards, videos, and news articles. These materials could be from Germany, Austria or Switzerland.
I *don’t* use English language materials and I *don’t* use textbooks. (The only exception is if you need tutoring.)
Is it a set program? Or do I get to make requests, too?
While we use a course book as a foundation for your lessons, there are two important, additional elements to private lessons:
We work at your individual pace. If you need extra help on a topic, we stay with it and work until you've got it. This means I’ll gladly explain the topic several times, use visual aids and I’ll give you additional worksheets and grammar exercises when I can.
You can make requests to add topics you want or need assistance with. This is the beauty of private lessons: options!
You get your homework German Practice in an email, too:
Instead of homework I call it “German Practice” now. (Homework is for school. Practice is for fun!) After every lesson you receive an email with a list of your practice items for the next lesson. If you print it out, you can even use it as a check-list for the week. So quick, so easy.
11 Enrichment Activities
In any 12-month period you will receive 11 credits you can use to:
- attend Buchgemeinschaft (book club) or Sprechseminar (Speaking Seminar) to learn new vocab and practice speaking
- visit Bürostunden (office hours) to ask questions and get homework help
- meet other clients at a Kundentreffen
- complete a Zusatzaufgabe (an additional assignment) or attend a Lokale Aktivität (a local activity)
Group activities also take place in their own secure, online classroom.
How do I schedule my lessons? And the enrichment activities?
Your lessons take place weekly at a regular time that we choose together and I send you electronic calendar events. If something important crops up, then we find another time that week which works for both of us.
Enrichment activities, some of which are also group activities, are scheduled 1-2 months in advance and you select them based on your schedule and interest. I schedule them on a variety of days at different times.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Feel free to read all the Questions and Answers or only the ones you have.
New to German or New Here:
I’ve never learned a foreign language before. Can I take German lessons, too?Yes! I have worked with many beginners and can help you with every aspect of learning German from how to learn vocabulary to finding resources that are helpful to you.
I need tutoring, not private lessons. Can I tutor with you instead?You sure can! Tuition is the same price and we follow your curriculum instead. You still have access to the 11 enrichment activities.
I’d like to take lessons with a friend/partner/spouse/my family. Do you teach partner/group lessons, too?I sure do! Please tell me how many people are going to take part in lessons and how many different households it is. I’ll send you the special pricing.
Are you going to get mad/yell at me if I don’t do my homework?No, I won’t. I promise.
Simply tell me at the beginning of your lesson and I can adjust for that lesson. I can help you with your homework or we can move on. Also, if you know you have a busy week coming up, simply tell me “No homework for me this week, please.” And I won’t assign you any.
What are your other clients like?My other clients are open, inclusive and interesting people who speak German at all different levels. They have a wide variety of backgrounds and careers. Some folks have jobs in technology or medicine, some are tradespeople, some are consultants, some are still in school, some are retired, and some have a German/Austrian/Swiss parent. Clients I have or do work with are from the US (Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Massachusetts), Canada and Switzerland.
Everyone is welcome here and that's a philosophy my clients hold as well.
What do your current clients say about their lessons?You can read what other clients (past and present) have to say on the testimonials page.
Do I have to speak German all the time? Do you ever speak English with me?If you’re a beginner, then we speak more English at the beginning. As you acquire skills then we speak more German and less English. Generally I encourage you to say whatever you can in German and for the rest we use English.
I’m an introvert. Are you going to make me talk about myself?No. While you do need to know how to hold a general conversation, which includes basic introductory things about you, I won’t be asking you the personal details of your life. That’s not my job. My job is to help you communicate in German, so I welcome you to make up answers if that’s more comfortable for you. The goal is to speak in German, not exchange personal details.
How will I know I’m making progress?This is really, really cool. You’ll notice you’re making progress:
- when German words come to you while you’re doing other activities
- when your in-lesson speaking improves
- when you begin to dream in German (that’s always a fun one) or perhaps
- when you notice you are figuring out more and more on your own
You’ll surprise yourself!
Grammar & Vocab:
Do I have to be strong in grammar to learn German?No, you don’t. You can learn the regular grammar terms with me or we can use substitute terms that I’ve developed with other learners.
Accusative and Dative are a mystery to me. Can you help me? I’m so frustrated.Absolutely! I will help you differentiate the two, practice the application of each, and you will learn which one to use when.
Do you teach slang and swear words, too?Yes, in fact I teach just about everything in German. A language is a living thing, so when it’s appropriate, I include slang, Umgangssprache (colloquial terms) and swear words, which you can read about here.
In general, you are welcome to ask me anything about German.
My accent is horrible. Can you help me?Of course! I’m also a professional, classical singer so I’m well equipped to help you with German pronunciation. Whatever your native language is, I’ll help you learn authentic German pronunciation.
I have German customers. Can we focus on that business relationship?Of course! Germanic work culture is different from what we have in the US, so it’s important for you to work to bridge the gap.
I have dyslexia. Can I still learn German?Yes, indeed! We can use the serif fonts in the classroom, I can adapt worksheets for you using a couple of different tools, and the best news of all: German is much more predictable than English when it comes to writing it (orthography). I've worked with several people with dyslexia and I'm happy to work with you, too.
Your Tuition Includes:
US$ 192 or EUR 169/month
US$ 288 or EUR 327.50/month
Prices are subject to change without notice. Tuition does not include course books, which run c. $65 including shipping. Additional books may be required and I'll help you source quality used and new books.
Tuition Payment, Lesson Cancellation, and Scheduling Policies:
Here is the fine print, summarized as succinctly as possible.
- All tuition must be pre-paid. Invoices are sent via email and must be paid by or on the 1st of the month. Late payments are subject to a $25 fee.
- Your first tuition payment includes tuition for your first and last month (the "reservation month"). A 30-day notice is required to end lessons. Failure to provide 30 days' notice results in a forfeiture of any paid tuition, including the reservation month. There are no refunds.
- Cancellations must be made 24 hours in advance or you will forfeit that lesson. If you are 15 minutes or later starting your session, it counts as a no-show and I reserve the right not to hold that lesson.
- Emergencies and chronic cancellations (3 or more cancellations in any consecutive, 3-month period) will be handled on a case-by-case basis and decided at my discretion.
- Clients with a lesson on Saturdays will have lessons on Saturdays the majority of the time, but will need to take some lessons during the week during the year.
- A minimum of one parent/guardian of German learners who are under 18 will be copied on all lesson emails, calendar events, newsletters and general correspondence. No exceptions. Parents of German learners who are over 18 and pay for the lessons can choose what they want to be copied on (emails and/or calendar events).
*** Important Update ***
My lesson schedule is currently full and you can get on the waiting list by filling out the form below.
In the meantime, please visit the Events Page to join the book club and register for speaking seminars. And be sure to register for the newsletter (on the top right of this page), too!