Pre-integrative language training – the Goethe-Institut's focus

“I am starting to communicate here”

For immigrants, learning German can be the key to numerous possibilities. It offers an understanding of the country and its people, but above all it helps with the integration process. A letter of experience.



Dear Mr Türk,

I am writing you this mail to say thank you. I took a course at the Goethe-Institut and obtained the Zertifikat A1. Just like all the other course participants, when I first started the course I thought: What on earth is this examination all about? Why do they want to send us on a course? I have now been in Germany for around three months and am taking an integration course.

In our class there are about 15 participants and, apart from me, everyone came over to Germany between 8 and 15 years ago; they can speak German, but everything they say is completely wrong - there is no understanding of the grammar. Although they can communicate with the teacher (or rather, the teacher tries to understand them), if the teacher asks them to read the alphabet, they cannot do it, and if he asks them to write something down, they cannot do that either, even though they have now been in Germany for 15 years.

On the other hand, they can speak because they have picked up a lot from listening to others, while I am not that used to spoken German yet and quickly get frustrated that verbal expression is still quite difficult for me and I have to think hard about what I want to say to someone before I can say it. However, I know that it will come with time and I will be able to speak perfect German, as I have taken a course at the Goethe-Institut.

It was only here that I realised how important what I learnt in those two and a half months on your course really is. I can only speak “a bit of German”, but I can read and write and I am familiar with the grammar. I wish I had had the opportunity to participate in your course for a whole year instead of just two and a half months.

Mr Türk, please could you pass on a message to my coursemates? Could you tell them that you get an amazing amount out of the course, even if you only attend for two and a half months? The organisation, the course system and the methods used are perfect. I am gradually starting to be able to communicate here, and the more I can communicate, the happier I become. I enjoy it and therefore I am more determined and more eager to learn. I owe you and everyone who works at the Institut a big thank you.

I have so much going around in my head, but I simply cannot find the right words to express the importance of the course you offer, but I think you understand what I am trying to say, so I think I should stop there. I greatly appreciated my teacher [...], and I would be very grateful if you could pass on my regards to her.


Adem Ünlü

Translation from Turkish: Goethe-Institut Istanbul

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