We are GermanNow! We are more than 1000 volunteers in Berlin, making sure that refugees get access to initial German language skills for free – and regardless of country of origin or official status.
We teach in the emergency shelters inside an ex-department store in the Karl-Marx-Str. and in the hangars of the former Tempelhof airport. The latter is one of Germany’s largest refugee shelters. The project was born in September 2015 in the Jahnsporthalle (a gym), which has now stopped being an emergency shelter.
You do not need any special skills to participate – save for a solid grip on the German language – nor do you need any previous teaching experience. Nobody teaches alone and the teams always have experienced teachers in the mix. Professional German language teachers regularly give introductory courses on teaching methodology and didactics.
Through donations we finance the teaching materials for our numerous volunteers and the many refugees, including the teaching booklet Willkommen, self-made vocabulary lists in 6 languages, as well as an extensive online collection of worksheets, etc.
The philosophy of our project emphasizes direct, mutual, neighborly help. The first impressions that people get after arriving in a new country are crucial. That period of time will always be remembered. We show the refugees: ´´We are your fellow citizens and look forward to a life with you among us.´´ We are the direct contact for their concerns and needs and also offer our personal support beyond the teaching of language skills.
Our group enables an immediate first contact with the German language right after the refugees’ arrival in the emergency shelters. The focus is on acquiring basic, conversational German for their daily lives in Berlin. The work in small groups ensures an intensive learning process.
Organization of the classes
The syllabus consists of various topics that rotate every three weeks. A specific topic is taught during two consecutive days, for example ‚introducing yourself‘, ‚family‘, ‚clothing‘, etc. We use teaching materials that are made available to teachers online and free of charge, as well as a conventional textbook for some of the classes.
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