Cooper Thompson


        Coaching, Counseling, and Supervision in Nürnberg


   About me

   What is

   My approach



   from clients


   Living in

     Adjusting to
     Life in Germany

     Being in
     a Cross Cultural

     Difficulties with
     German Language



Difficulties with German Language

  • Does it seem really hard for you to learn German?
  • Do you feel nervous using German?
  • Do you believe that you have to be perfect when you use German?
  • Is there something about German that you don’t like?
  • Is there something that seems to interfere with you learning German?

For some people learning a second language is enjoyable; for some people it is unpleasant and difficult. While I like the idea of learning other languages, learning German has been for me a tedious, scary, hard process.

I have been living in Germany, and learning and using German since 2003. At first, I was scared to use German, I felt nauseous when I went to class, I thought I had to be perfect with grammar, I didn’t like the sound of German, I didn’t recognize my own voice, and sometimes people ignored me when I tried to talk with them.

Now, I feel pretty satisfied and relaxed using German. I can almost always understand what others are saying, and I can usually communicate what I want to say. Still, there are times when it takes extra work to communicate in German: I don’t completely understand what is being said, or I can’t find the words for what I want to say, or I can’t remember the new word I just learned. Then I wonder, “will it ever be easy to use German?”.

I’ve tried several approaches to learning German. In my experience, learning German is usually taught as a cognitive and behavioral process: there is new information to learn (for example, vocabulary and grammar), techniques for learning (journaling and role plays), and of course, practice, practice, practice (with speaking, listening, and reading). What isn’t addressed in German classes are the emotional and social aspects of language learning and the challenges that someone faces trying to learn a language.

Furthermore, the goal in most language courses and schools seems to be to speak like a native, with near perfect grammar and without a “foreign” accent. But there are other ways to think about being fluent and successful as a language learner. For example, your goal could be to communicate with people and to keep your identity as a “foreigner.” If that is your goal, then speaking like a native is not important, but what is important are things like getting comfortable with making mistakes, and finding ways to communicate successfully even though you have a limited vocabulary.

If you are also experiencing difficulties and challenges learning German, then I might be able to help you. We can explore together your own goals in learning German, and then find strategies that might work for you based on your learning style, personality, and experience with learning languages. It turns out that there are literally hundreds of strategies that people use when they learn a new language, and people approach the task of learning a new language in very different ways. Maybe together we can find an approach that will work for you, or at least be good enough so that you can reach your own goal and feel satisfied.

Tel: +49 (0)911 989 4662

Lange Zeile 30, 90419, Nürnberg