"Whoever says A(utonomy) must also say B (eratung)." Personalised support for your learning process.

Lan­guage learn­ing coun­selling

"Whoever says A(utonomy) must also say B(eratung)." Personalised support for your learning process.

Learning a language is like an exciting adventure: always on the move, full of surprises and sometimes a little complicated. The ways of dealing with it are just as varied and colourful. In order to take into account all your different knowledge, goals, motivations and habits, we offer individual language learning advice to support you in your learning process.

Our advising for language learning service (ALL) is intended for anyone who wants to learn a language (autonomously) or improve their skills, whether for a stay abroad or simply out of interest. This can happen within or in addition to a language course, when learning in tandem or even without formal courses or other learners.
"Autonomous learning" does not mean that you are left alone, but that you can consciously shape your own learning path. SLB is

  • an integral part of the tandem course
  • an open offer
    • for learners in tandem regardless of the course (more on tandem learning at ZfS).
    • for language course participants at the ZfS who have registered for "Autonomous Learning" in order to receive 1 additional ECTS point for a language course. You can take an SLB and get this credited to your learning time.
    • for all students who will soon be spending a semester abroad (future outgoings, see below)
    • for all other foreign language learners at UPB (with or without a language course) who want to make their learning more effective / more conscious, be it on a linguistic level or in the organization of the learning process and at any stage: whether you do not yet know how & what you actually want to discuss or already have (too) many ideas and are looking for a good start.

If you would like to arrange a meeting, simply send us an e-mail with 2-3 suggested dates or a suitable time frame. There is a questionnaire for you to prepare (see below). You will then receive a confirmation via e-mail.

  • We can meet in person or online.
  • I speak and understand German, English, Français y un poco Español well
  • How long? One appointment lasts about 60 minutes. Further meetings can be useful - think of the journey of your learning process!

Re­com­mend­a­tions for out­go­ings

Whether you are travelling in the language of instruction or the local language (in countries such as Sweden or Poland, teaching is often in English), a semester abroad definitely offers plenty of opportunities! In a real environment, you get a lot of input in the target language and countless opportunities to learn. Unfortunately, this potential is often underutilised and underestimated1.

Even though being abroad is only one part of the language learning process, there are significant differences between home and abroad.

4 Examples:

  • Predictability: Communication situations abroad are often less predictable - you could be approached unexpectedly at university or on the street, for example.
    Possible preparation: You could focus on reacting spontaneously (this can be practised!), activating your prior knowledge and practising compensation strategies with your learning or tandem partner (e.g. using a similar word if you can't think of the word you're looking for).
  • Real-life situations: Communication situations abroad are often much more real ("holistic"). For example, you actually shop in a shop in the foreign language instead of just practising it under simplified learning conditions.
    Possible preparation: You could use different senses and channels (seeing, hearing, acting, etc.) when learning.
  • Feedback: You will often receive less feedback or correction abroad, as the locals are usually not language teachers and may be less language-sensitive.
    Possible preparation: You could practise strategies to ensure understanding, such as asking questions in the target language to make sure you are expressing yourself correctly.
  • Pace: Communication situations abroad are often faster and more demanding, for example in lectures.
    Possible preparation: You could practise taking notes quickly or acquire vocabulary for likely conversational situations.

Individual differences between learners, such as motivation and enjoyment of communicating, as well as the activities they undertake, have the greatest influence on language acquisition. This is why individual language learning counselling (SLB) in advance is the best option.

Language learning counselling can also be useful after your stay abroad, especially if you are no longer surrounded by the target language as much.

1 see also the study by C. Braun (2010), the main results of which can be found in the "Recommendations for Outgoings" (download below) and are supplemented with quotes from ZfS interviews with former outgoings.

„Through the support of the advisor, there has been substantial progress in my independent German language learning journey, and I would recommend everyone who wants to learn or improve a language to visit her.”

Harshit,
Participant
business-card image

Ilka Dönhoff

Zentrum für Sprachlehre

Tandem learning, Autonomous Learning, Language Advising, Strategy Workshops

Write email +49 5251 60-2095