I have signed up for B2 Goethe–Zertifikat exam in June. I have already paid for the exam, and want to make sure I will pass it fine. I cannot afford my money to be spent in vain.B2 exam consists of 4 parts: Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking.
Living in Germany does not make it easier for me to find German friends or acquaintances with whom I can speak German on a daily basis . My husband is not German and he does not need to speak German for his work. He is too busy to learn the language, so he cannot help me to practice my speaking skills, for instance.Hence, I do not speak German at home.
I am not a person who likes to chat with strangers, so I cannot start a random small talk in German on a street. Finding a tandem partner would be a great idea, but living in a small city makes it more difficult too. Moreover, I have doubts that my husband would appreciate me meeting German men (somehow most of the advertisements I have seen about the language exchange were from men).
Well, things will improve. At the moment I am busy attending an intensive language course, which means I am at a language school for almost 5 hours per day. Some time later, I can get a stable job and finally meet my first German colleagues.
But what can I do now?
- Ask if my classmates are interested in preparing for the exam together. Not every classmate of mine is going to take the exam, and some of those who are taking it have German husbands/wives ( = they do not need me as their study partner). Nevertheless, I had some luck. I found two people (2 out of 20) who have similar concerns as me. We agreed to study together, which is great!
- Have big ears. Normally, listening to other people’s private conversations is not my thing. Well, our German teacher recommended us to do so. Every time I am on a bus, I try to listen to what people say in German. It happened, that I live in the city full of international students, so I hear different languages on a bus. It takes me 10 min to get to the city center,but even 5 min of listening (and understanding) German makes me feel better. Very often, though, I can hear Spanish/Italian/Russian/Turkish conversations and so on, except for German 🙂
- Find friends online. I have tried to find new German friends online. That’s more challenging than finding English native speakers, but still possible. Ideally, you can practice your listening and speaking skills with them via Skype. If not, you can, at least, practice your writing skills.
- Read aloud. Before I go to the language school every day, I try to read a newspaper article in German. I cannot speak to myself in German, but reading aloud helps me to warm up before my class. If I do not read anything in German before I go to the school, I find it harder to switch to a ‘German mode’.
- Watch German TV. I do not have a TV set, but I am trying to watch German television programs online. I have to admit, I rather watch something in English, but for the sake of passing the exam, I force myself to explore more of German programs.
Watching news is definitely helpful, but if you want to watch something more relaxing, I suggest to watch ‘Galileo‘. ‘Galileo‘ is a German television program that helps you to explore the world and learn about many fascinating topics. What is more, it helps you to learn more about Germany. Programs like ‘Galileo‘ help you to improve both, your listening and speaking skills. Once you hear German expressions in an entertaining context it is easier to remember them and use it when speaking later.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MohSxxPfhmA
I hope to find more tricks on improving my listening and speaking skills as well more German TV-series I can recommend you to watch. I will share more of my thoughts on this topic in the future!