Our recommended format for individual students is the 90-minute “double unit”, taken at least once a week.
In the first half of each lesson, the student is encouraged to communicate freely and spontaneously with the teacher on any number of topics. During this phase, the instructor corrects gently but above all takes detailed notes on any errors and/or gaps in the student’s knowledge of pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. During the second half of the lesson, the teacher transforms these notes on-screen into bilingual written “feedback sheets”, i.e. approximately five pages of vocabulary lists, grammatical explanations, etc., in which all of the relevant language issues are addressed. At the end of each lesson, the student receives both a printed and a digital copy of these original materials to study from at home.
Rather than insisting that learners grapple with the intricacies of the vocabulary and grammar of a foreign language exclusively in that language (the “immersion” approach), our bilingual method encourages students to express themselves in the target language as much as possible but also makes judicious use of the student’s mother tongue (and/or English) in order to ease communication. Many elements of German grammar, for example, can be understood much more easily when they are explained in and/or in comparison to English than by using German terminology alone.