Classes for Adults
German for Genealogists
This very special course teaches the many elements of the German language confronting researchers in their German genealogy efforts. Even fluent speakers of German are often stalled in their research by not being able to read the old handwriting, and by not understanding the daunting administrative, geographic, historical, governmental, and archival terminology needed to interpret and understand old German records.
This six-week course is taught by Ingeborg Carpenter, and meets for two hours from 10 am to noon once a week. Depending on student interest, this course is taught once in Spring and perhaps again in Fall. A minumum of seven students is required to conduct the course. Check our schedule page to find out if and when it is offered.
Our regularly scheduled courses are shown below. Please check our Schedules page to see when they will be offered.
Beginning Courses 1A - 1D
Our German Language School offers a series of four introductory classes for students who have had either no exposure or very little exposure to the German language. The aim of these courses is to provide students with a practical basic command of the language, as well as an understanding of German culture. The emphasis of this series is on pronunciation, vocabulary building, grammar, and basic conversation. Each course will build and expand on the material learned in the previous course. By the end of this series, students should have a solid foundation on which to continue onto our Intermediate series. Students are not required to start with 1A. Rather they may begin in whichever course they feel comfortable.
Intermediate Courses 2A - 2D
The second series of courses consists of four intermediate classes for students who are either continuing from the beginning series, or who have previously learned German. The aim of the Intermediate courses is for students to build on their foundation of German and use it to increase their comfort in speaking, reading, writing and listening. The emphasis in this series of courses is to equip the learner with the German language skills needed to participate in everyday interactions and transactions at home and abroad. By the end of this series, students should feel comfortable handling brief social exchanges, understanding many sentences and frequently used expressions, reading short texts, writing simple messages, and understanding simple conversations. These courses prepare the learner to continue successfully onto the Advanced course. Students are not required to start with 2A. Rather they may begin in whichever course they feel comfortable.
This course is taught entirely in German and will cover a wide variety of topics and materials, including grammar, reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Currently there is no textbook, as the teacher will bring in a wide variety of materials such as newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, and short literature and professional texts as well as grammar topics, for study and practice based on student level and desire. This course is for all who have completed the introductory courses or those who feel confident in their skills and are ready to expand their understanding and ability to effectively and correctly communicate.
Mixed Levels Conversation
This course is designed to give students the opportunity to converse at skill level. Instructor-guided themes and topics encourage speaking practice with fellow students in a relaxed atmosphere.
German for Tourists
Be prepared for your trip to Germany by learning just enough German to help you in situations such as ordering food and drinks in restaurants, obtaining and spending euros, using proper formalities when meeting people, reading signs on the Autobahn, getting help if problems arise, following parking procedures, obtaining lodging, reading cautionary signs around town, following rules for photography in museums, shopping in stores, using the post office, and much more . You will also learn about some "must-do" activities and some "must-see" sights when visiting any given town. Learning just these bits of the language can be the magic that makes your visit to Germany truly memorable.
All of our adult courses are taught in a modified Communicative approach and include considerable conversation time, pronunciation practice and information about daily life in German speaking countries. Be prepared to actively participate! Although we are adults, we keep our course material and discussions "G-Rated" in order to maintain a high level of professionalism and respect. If you are not sure in which course you belong, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help you determine which course will benefit you most.
Textbooks are available for sale before or after class meetings or you may purchase your text in advance. It can be ordered either via standard booksellers such as amazon.com (but please be sure all components are included and the ISBN is correct).
These texts and our course materials adhere to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines as well as to the Common European Framework (CEF) and prepare students for the Zertifikat Deutsch, an internationally recognized proficiency examination, which is available to take at the Goethe Institute in San Francisco several times each year.