The Story of Bilingual German-English Live Training

One of the worst moments I've ever experienced in German teaching was the time I tried to introduce a class of lunchtime learners to the Akkusativ case. Armed with whiteboard and sample sentences, I walked into the class, and I felt so ready and so excited to be teaching this (what I thought) awesome system in grammar.

"So when you have an object in your sentence, here's what happens..", I explained to them, with colour-coded underlining to illustrate. I thought I was doing well..until I saw everyone's face. In this classroom, at 12:45, in the middle of a busy workday, something clearly wasn't working.

That's when I realised that language teaching and language learning are not the same thing. And even worse, that what I was explaining didn't make sense to half of these people and they didn't care either.

Relevant Teaching

I came out of that class feeling absolutely defeated. I think I even cried, feeling like I'm failing myself and my students. And the experience always stuck with me and built part of the philosophy that is behind my actions now: The LEARNER is in charge of learning a language. And the learner, that's you right there reading these words.

When you're taking classes with me, you can get the solid and important explanations at your own pace in my online courses, but in live lessons I avoid explainers and I never lead with them.

Instead, the key to the Fluent Language method is relevant teaching.

For you as a German learner, that means experiencing language immersion at a good pace, making your own conclusions, and answering questions regularly. It's important to speak or write early, but it's also important that you're learning relevant and well.

Action: Bilingual Live Training

In my most recent teaching venture, I created a bilingual webinar - the first one I ever taught, and a successful one too.

Thank you so much if you were among the lovely people watching on Saturday. It was a challenge for me to teach in this way, but an incredibly rewarding experience to know that the viewers were following along, answering questions, and understanding the immersion concept.

Do you want to try it out? Catch up with the webinar today, and make sure you also download your worksheet and follow along. Click here and find all you need at the webinar live page.

Did you watch the webinar? Did you learn something new and use the worksheet?

Tell me how you enjoyed it in the comments below, and make sure you sign up for my newsletter to learn about the next one.

Top 5 Photo Spots in the Mosel Valley, Germany

When you travel to a location as outstanding as the Mosel valley, it would be a shame to forget your camera. I recently headed home to spend a week preparing for the Fluent German Retreat, and on my trip I collected a few top tips to share with you.

The following sites are not to be missed and can be visited in a day or two. But wie alles an der Mosel, it pays to take your time and slow down to find a relaxed pace.

photo spots mosel

Top 5 Photo Spots in the Mosel Valley

1) Porta Nigra, Trier

Where would Trier locals be without their beloved Porta? This old Roman city gate stands proudly on the West End of Trier. It may not impress you with its beauty at the start, but this location is unmissable as the city's Wahrzeichen - our flagship building. This is where Germany's oldest city meets for coffee.

Insider Tip:

The inside of the Porta Nigra is fascinating, and during the summer you can take guided tours with a Roman centurion.

Eiscafé Calchera, just a few steps away from the Porta, is the city's finest address for Italian ice cream.

2) Straußwirtschaft im Weingut

Straußwirtschaften are the traditional German cousins of microbreweries, run in the wineries of wine country and open only a few months per year. Let yourself be spoilt with local foods and fresh wines right from the cellar. It might be true that we export all the good stuff.

You can find them in every village and know them by a bunch of ribbons, stray or branches (the Strauß) displayed on the outside the house.

3) Altstadt Bernkastel-Kues

Bernkastel-Kues is an absolute Mosel classic, visited for centuries by everyone from convalescent kings to US Army staff looking for a relaxing weekend. This town has everything you could want from a German photo spot: a castle ruin high up in the hills, a traditional market square second to none other, and a romantic bridge across the river to boot.

Bernkastel is bustling, charming, and thoroughly enjoyable for visitors at any age. It's most incredible during the Weinfest der Mittelmosel, crowned with stunning fireworks that reflect in the river on a warm September night.

4) Weinköniginnen

At most German wine, beer or shooting festivals, you are in the presence of local royalty. In the Mosel valley for example, young ladies (usually between 17 and 25) represent their villages, towns and even the whole winemaking region. This job is coveted, and can even lead to a career travelling the world to represent German wine.

5) Moselschleifen

So obvious that it's nearly forgotten, the Mosel river is an absolutely breathtaking sight. Winding its way through ancient slate hills, lined by vineyards, it looks every bit as wonderful as it sounds. The Mosel valley has something beautiful on offer around every bend. Sometimes your eye will be drawn to an old castle, vines on a steep slope or a boat peacefully making its way down the river bends. The Mosel is a unique experience - drive or hike up one of the hills and you'll be spellbound.

Insider Tip:

Look out for the word Moselschleife in a guidebook, and do not let fear of a steep vineyard put you off. My favourite locations are the Brauneberg and the hills above Kröv and Minheim.

Where To Find Out More

This post covers just a few of the beautiful locations in the Mosel valley, and obviously there are hundreds more spots to discover. For example, I love the Josefinenhöhe in Veldenz,

This place is popular with travellers all around the world, yet undiscovered by the big tourist hordes, so prepare to discover your own private trail.

Are You Ready to Speak German?

If you want to experience these wonderful places and speak German with the people that live there, you are invited to discover the Fluent German Courses. These courses offer easy, straightforward explanations and examples to get you talking as fast as you can.

5 Reasons Why You'll Love Learning German in The Mosel Valley (A Big Announcement)

Dear Fluent Reader,

I'm so excited about what I'm about to reveal to you, but first of all let me take a second to honour you as a reader of this blog.

For the last four years, I've spent over 1000 hours teaching the German language to learners all around the world.

I have had the privilege of writing this blog for you guys, recording the Creative Language Learning Podcast and connecting with incredible language learners. You were here when I quit my job, wrote my first book, published new courses. Pretty cool.

But you know what? We've never yet had the chance to meet in Germany.

A Bold New Step For German Learners

Here's what's happening: Fluent Language is going to be hosting the first ever Fluent German Retreat in October!

I am so excited about this - the event is where I'll be showing you live how you can switch into "Deutschmodus", make 10x the progress of a usual week and have an unforgettable experience.

This is the most daring teaching step I've ever taken, and I'd love for you to be part of it.

Of course I'm also hoping that it will be just the beginning, with more languages, events and retreats to follow.

Why a Retreat?

If you're a dedicated language learner, you probably spend dozens of hour staring at books and screens. I know what that feels like.

It is undeniable:

Every language learner reaches the point where they are sick and tired of repeating the same activities. The point where it's time to bring your language skills to life. You're lusting for a new experience, a language immersion that can offer that coveted German breakthrough.

You can take language courses. But as you already know, simply learning in a classroom isn't enough. It also isn't what I dreamt of offering you, because I have been dying to show you how awesome my Germany is.

With the Fluent German Retreat, you can sign up for an unforgettable week of language immersion right in the heart of German wine country.

This experience is about taking a break from your usual life, switching gears and entering your own German mode. I'll be leading the experience, building up your speaking skills, supporting you with my years of experience and knowledge.

Discover Germany's Hottest Destination

Our amazing location, the Mosel valley, deserves its own moment of attention on our blog, considering it must be one of Germany's most thrilling landscapes. It's truly special, and it's also my own home which I cannot wait to share with you.

Allow me to tell you more about what makes this place the best location for you to learn German:

  • This region is hot in traveller circles right now. It was #34 on The New York Times's list of 52 Places to Go in 2016. Imagine telling your friends about how you learnt German on a wild stretch of German river, sipping the wine that was grown there..
  • This is fairytale Germany! You'll get lost in the charming Gassen of Bernkastel, chat to winemakers at a wine tasting and disccover ancient Roman amphitheatres and city gates in Trier - all in your target language.
  • The city of Luxembourg - a Unesco heritage city and polyglot paradise speaking 3 official languages - is only 20 minutes away.
  • If you're the active type, I'll have some amazing hiking trails to recommend to you. And if you not, you'll love kicking back on a relaxing boat tour.
  • The Mosel has been renowned for the quality of its wines for thousands of years. It is wine heaven. And we've all heard that language learner's wisdom about speaking more easily with a glass of wine in your hand.

Ready to hear how you can join us on the Retreat and have that German breakthrough?

You Are Invited To This German Experience

  • Are you a German learner ready for a week of immersion, fun and relaxation?
  • Does the prospect of speaking German for 5 days make you feel energised and excited?
  • Do you want to start speaking to native Germans and boost your speaking skill by 50%?

If you said yes to these questions, then it's your perfect time to join the Fluent German Retreat.

There are only five places available, and at the current time the applications have opened and are coming in. So if you're interested and would like to secure your spot, make sure you complete the no obligation RSVP form quickly to avoid disappointment.

It's so exciting to have put this event together and to open it up for your applications. Let's meet each other in Germany!