This is how Ender went from B1 to B2 level in German with the F.A.S.T. method, under the guidance of Stavroula– you guessed it, teacher of German.
This interview is not just a testament to the power of language learning but also a testament to the transformative journey that awaits those who embrace innovative methods.
So, let’s embark on this insightful expedition and hear firsthand about the experience of taking the leap from B1 to B2 with the F.A.S.T. method.
What do you think about the F.A.S.T. method?
“The general structure of the course worked really well for me. I liked the pressure of having quite a bit of homework each week. This kept German on my mind throughout the week since it was more work than I could do in a single night. I also liked how the assignments were separated into the four basic language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking).
For me, the written assignments were a creative way to replicate the types of ridiculous complaint emails I receive at my workplace (an essential part of German culture) while also improving my formal grammar.
The speaking assignments were challenging for me. The materials I really enjoyed were the ones that seemed tailored to me: watch a film and discuss it, talk about the tv shows premiering this week, talk about your favorite book, watch a new age YouTube video and review it in a 15-minute presentation. My one critique would be that too many of the assignments were standardized tests or practice tests. I didn’t have any need for that and of course the standardized tests were less interesting than the other assignments.”
What is your opinion if we compare the F.A.S.T. method with the traditional one?
“I guess my language classes have always been F.A.
The S.T. was more motivating for those assignments.”
(Don’t know what the F.A.S.T. method stands for?
Check it out here: https://languageandmotivation.com/our-method/)
How did learning German impact your life?
“The boost through B1 and B2 gave me a lot more courage to navigate my life in Germany. I can now order food in a restaurant without visible underarm sweat. Also, at work, I can more confidently email embassies and other officials without worrying that my German is too sloppy or not formal enough.”
How did you experience your lessons with Stavroula?
“Stavroula is an excellent teacher. I was extremely nervous before my first lesson and over our 3 months together, she calmed me down, walked me off the ledge, and got me to look forward to lessons.
As I prepared the presentations or written assignments it was fun to think about how she would respond. The part of the lessons I enjoyed most were the spontaneous chats and wild tangents we would sometimes get on. This may seem like a small thing, but being able to have unplanned chats about subjects I cared about and being able to express exactly what I meant in a nuanced way was really encouraging.
The other thing which Stavroula really excelled at was finding holes in my knowledge, especially grammar, and explaining it clearly. Sometimes things from A2 or B1 fell out of my head and it was great in a one-on-one class to be able to tidy up the cobwebs in the corners of my German brain.”