Frequently asked Questions

 

How do I know whether my WiFi is fast enough for German online lessons via Skype?

The bandwidth required by Skype depends on the type of call. Bandwidth is used as a synonym for data transfer rate, the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period (usually a second). Network bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps). Skype provides a table indicating the minimum download and upload speeds required, as well as the recommended speeds for best performance:

Call type

Minimum download 
/ upload speed

Recommended download 
/ upload speed

Calling

30kbps / 30kbps

100kbps / 100kbps

Video calling /
Screen sharing

128kbps / 128kbps

300kbps / 300kbps

Video calling 
(high-quality)

400kbps / 400kbps

500kbps / 500kbps

Video calling
(HD)

1.2Mbps / 1.2Mbps

1.5Mbps / 1.5Mbps

 

To test your bandwidth you can use a speed test. This will give you information about upload and download speed, you can then compare to the Skype table.

 

How does Google Docs work?

Google Docs is the web-based  editing program that allows users to create, share and edit documents through a secure networked system. There are also offshoots called Google Sheets and Google Slides that allow users to create spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. The beauty of the Google Docs system is that users can upload Word or other text-based  documents into the system and convert them to the online editing program. From there, multiple users can work on the same document in real time, adjusting margins, adding pictures, editing content and putting the finishing touches on documents from any location with internet access. (Source: coolheadtech.com)

 

What is the difference between a structured German lesson and a conversational German lesson?
A structured German lesson follows a so-called lesson plan whilst a conversational German lesson focuses on a more communicative approach. However, both types of lesson need preparation and a knowledgeable professional teacher. A structured lesson is either based on concrete examples and leads to a grammar rule or starts with a grammar rule and leads to exercises with examples. Vocabulary will usually be clarified and later applied. A conversational lesson requires that you already have acquired knowledge. I recommend at least CEFR level A2. A conversational lesson gives you the opportunity to speak, and together with your tutor, reflect on grammatical structures and discuss vocabulary. In both cases it is utmost important to engage in as much foreign language interaction and communication as possible. The learning effect, of course, strongly depends on each individual learner. Equally important is a good student-tutor-relationship as this will promote your learning progress.

 

I don't know my language level. What do I need to do?

One way to find out what language level you are at, is to take an online test. Even better would be a test and a short oral assessment of your language skills. The optimal solution would be the two latter plus a strengths and weaknesses analysis. By taking all three options you will get a well rounded picture of yourself, which will help you to establish your learning goals and suitable type of German lesson.

 

I have understood and mastered German grammar, but I feel I cannot speak German. Why is that?

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What is the Common European Framework of References for Languages?

The CEFR’s scales of foreign language proficiency are accompanied by a detailed analysis of communicative contexts, themes, tasks and purposes as well as scaled descriptions of the competences on which we draw when we communicate. This helps to explain why the CEFR is increasingly used in teacher education. There are six scales or language levels starting from basic user at A1 to proficient language user at C2. If you have plans to study and/or work in a German speaking country or one of the DACH region, you will have to pass a language exam to proof your language level set by each university or future employer. If you require German to socialise, it is of course up to you to take an exam. In any case it will be helpful for you to know your language level to pick the right language course and to review your language learning progress.

 

Can you write or correct my essays, course work, emails or business communication?

As a professional translator I have been translating various texts into German and as certified German tutor I can help you to improve your listening and reading comprehension as well as actively coach you with your speaking and writing skills, for professional purposes, to get better exam results or to prepare for the all important job interview.

 

How are translation rates calculated?

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