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A “Crash-Connect Course” Experience Posted by on Feb 22, 2021 in For Learners

Hi there!

Introductions first: my name is Bridgette Claery and I just joined Transparent Language full time as part of the Engagement team. As you can imagine, it is hard to engage folks on something you have not done yourself, so the first order of business was four weeks of intensive German tutoring with Christina from the team. (Can you believe I get paid for this?!)

Whether you…

📅 need motivation to fit language into your busy schedule

🗣️ are nervous to work with a native speaker

⁉️ haven’t even really thought about live tutoring yet

I hope sharing my experience Transparent Connect may inspire you to seek out a tutor to boost your studies and make the most of every minute you are investing.

“DABLing” in German

Studies have shown that when it comes to learning foreign languages, combining technology and human instruction is more powerful than either computer learning or human instruction alone.[1] With our Declaratively Accelerated Blended Learning method (lovingly known as DABL), we utilize Transparent Language Online in a “flipped-classroom” approach, where the instructor will assign lessons to finish beforehand. This way, you will begin to familiarize yourself and memorize key expressions, vocabulary, and grammar, and when you meet with the instructor, you will be able to use this ‘declarative memory’ to have conversations in a contextual setting. You do some memorizing and practice upfront so that the work you do with your instructor is deeper, more meaningful, and more impactful.

Following this method, for every hour with my instructor Christina, I spent two hours in our Transparent Language Online. Therefore, this four-week experiment equivalated to four hours with my instructor, and eight hours in the platform.

Results – Vocabulary

Throughout all of this, I have learned 244 German words and expressions! Vocabulary size is a good indicator of your level and tracking it can be motivating as you progress in your language. With Transparent Language Online, we make tracking and continuously practicing your vocabulary words easy. All I must do is hit refresh for some quick vocabulary review! Set a goal for yourself of how many vocabulary words you want to learn; if I could learn 244 in hours, how many can you learn?

What was especially fun for me during my classes with my instructor is that we were able to take the 244 words and expressions I know, play with them, and create all new sentences. Christina helped me see the grammatical and word structure of German, which allowed me to easily create even more things to say and say them right. Having a native speaker correct your pronunciation on the spot is a wonder.

Results – Grammar

Apart from key vocabulary and expressions, I also learned some grammar. We practiced the verbs ‘to be’ and ‘to have’, how to conjugate present tense regular verbs, as well as the difference between the informal and formal you. Now I am even more ready to take what I have learned and begin to construct grammatically correct conversations with native speakers.

Results – Culture

I learned some cultural notes that will equip me to better navigate my experience with native speakers. Did you know that Germans are very particular about the way you address someone – in formal settings they pay extra close attention to titles. If someone is a doctor, you must call them ‘Herr Doktor’ or ‘Frau Doktor’ in a formal setting. Good to know, I would hate to embarrass myself in a professional setting! Once you begin to get to know someone, you can ask them to use the informal ‘you’. In fact, the verb ‘duzen’ means to use the informal ‘you’ (du) and ‘siezen’ means to use the formal ‘you’ (Sie).

What I learned (other than a boatload of German)

In a short amount of time my confidence in German has grown immensely. Grammatically, culturally, and lexically. I even feel like I sound German, and no, I do not sound angry… I am happy as a clam. 🐚

The great thing about Transparent Connect courses is the flexibility. Meet with your instructor every day or once a week, whatever works best for your schedule. Trust that you will be in good hands as they help you to achieve any linguistic goal you may have!

If you’re putting in the time to learn a language, explore how blended learning with a live tutor can help you make the most of it and why vocabulary acquisition is so essential to the process. I challenge you to get to 1000 learned vocabulary words before me!

Works Cited

[1] U.S. Department of Education. Evaluation of Evidence-Based Principles in Online Learning. https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf (2001)

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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement Associate for TL. Gaelophile. (Soon to be) Digital Nomad. Check out my personal blog, A Polyglot's Inkblot: https://www.apolyglotsinkblot.com


Comments:

  1. Diane Toombs:

    Thank you for your email….
    I love….ove….ove languanges!
    Right now I am learning Spanish but alas! when I ”googled’ I found EdX so started with that.
    Totally forgot about Transparent Language Online!
    I want to learn a few languages but French is what I’d like to learn next. Do you teach French?
    Kind Regards, Diane

    • meaghan:

      @Diane Toombs Hi Diane! We do offer self-guided French lessons Transparent Language Online and you can add on live French tutoring with Transparent Connect! You can learn more about the tutoring (which includes access to Transparent Language Online) here: https://www.transparent.com/personal/connect/


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