26 Feb Learner Spotlight: Verdah Faisal
From A1 to C1. This month we feature Verdah Faisal, a former chemistry student at the American University of Sharjah, who is currently studying German to pursue her undergraduate degree in Germany. Find out about her personal quest to learn a new language and her preparation for a big life change.
Guten Tag Verdah! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Guten Tag! I’m originally from Pakistan, but I was born and raised in the UAE. I’m currently taking German one-to-one courses at Eton Institute and devoting most of my time and energy in mastering the language. An interesting fact about me (and unrelated to learning German) is that I have 40+ first cousins!
How many languages do you speak?
I speak Urdu, English, and now I can finally add German to the list. I’m not yet fluent in German but I’m certainly getting comfortable, and I clearly see the path to fluency!
That’s great to hear! Tell us your reason to learn German.
The reason I chose to learn the language is that I intend to restart my academic journey and enroll in a degree program at a German university. I’ve done research and learned that public universities in Germany are free of charge for domestic and international students! Since then I could not get past the idea of studying in Germany. Also, all courses are taught in German and so it’s mandatory to be fluent in the language.
“Public universities in Germany are free of charge for domestic and international students! Since then I could not get past the idea of studying in Germany”
How long have you been learning German?
I started learning in August 2017. It’s been almost 6 months now. The other day at the metro station I came across a group of German tourists and I was thrilled listening to them speak! It was my first time hearing it outside of class and I was able to understand what they were saying! I know enough to be able to order food, follow directions and have a basic conversation.
“..I came across a group of German tourists and I was thrilled listening to them speak! It was my first time hearing it outside of class and I was able to understand what they were saying!”
What level do you aspire to reach and how long do you plan to do it in?
I want to reach level C1 (advanced). I’m hopeful and confident I’ll reach it by end of March 2018.
Wow! March is almost here! Impressive! Do you find any language similarities between English and German?
There are some similar words in English and German but spelled and pronounced a little differently. Personally, I think the two languages are vastly different. On a different note, German compound words are really cool!
Are there any techniques or tips for learning German more quickly?
You can learn a lot from reading books and watching movies. For me, these are two best ways to learn German. Sometimes I take a productive break time and watch YouTube videos, they help me review and practice the content I learned in class. Online forums, German websites, and other internet resources are also very useful.
“Sometimes I take a productive break time and watch YouTube videos, they help me review and practice the content I learned in class.”
What advice do you have for other language learners?
My advice is that learning a language should not be rushed. There’s no shortcut and you have to immerse yourself in the language. Most importantly, you need to make enough time to practice and interact with people who speak the same language.
Inspired to learn the German language? Join a one-to-one or group course here.