Hello, sweet blog readers! I have returned once more to bring you a delightful slice of language-themed cake.
Because I recently completed a four-week semi-intensive German course and I want to let you know how it went.
My language journey was, well, um..non-existent in 2022. There was a lot of life, a lot of work and a lot of stress.
Time for learning was minimal and if I’m being 100% honest, I couldn’t be arsed.
But towards the end of 2022, I started to get the urge to learn back. So, I did some digging. There are a ton of online courses out there, but some of them are unfathomably expensive despite their money-back promises (looking directly at you, Lingoda 👀) or they require your physical presence.
And I get it. For some people, learning in a classroom works. Me? I’m not bothered. Plus, I live in a small town and could do without the 16,50€ daily return train fare to the city or the €2 per hour parking fees.
Online language schools just fit my life better.
I’ve done courses before. I’ve taken private lessons before. But I wanted a course that would really, truly make me excited to learn German. Something I could get my teeth into. Something that would help me excel and progress, but was also interesting.
I know…seems impossible, right? Well, no!
Through some internet searching and a giant advert in a Berlin U-Bahn station, I came across Lalia Berlin language school and it completely changed how I viewed the language learning process.
Read on for my full review! 👇
*DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST IS NOT SPONSORED OR AN AD FOR THE SCHOOL, I AM JUST A LONE BLOGGER WRITING A REVIEW!*
What is Lalia Berlin?
Lalia Berlin language school is a German language course providing a fresh approach to teaching and learning the German language. They offer “live, communicative, student-centred classes”.
Their goal is to empower the natural use of German. They focus very little on grammar rules (score!) and prioritise oral proficiency and conversation skills.
Sure, you learn a bunch of new vocabulary and there’s a wee bit of grammar where it makes sense. But it’s pragmatic, realistic, and has the sole focus of helping you improve communication.
You know what that means? NO TEXTBOOKS!!! 🎉
How much does Lalia Berlin cost?
This was a HUGE selling point for me. In my opinion, Lalia is one of the most affordable online courses available.
For a 4-week course, you’ll pay €219. If you know you want to learn for a longer period of time, then you can save money by signing up for 2 or even 3 courses at once.
If you choose to participate in just one course, then you’ll also get an early bird discount for your follow-up courses.
How big are the classes Lalia Berlin?
They only allow a maximum of 8 students per class, but oftentimes there are fewer. My class consisted of 5 people at the start and by the end, we had dropped to 4.
I think this is a great way to learn. During my first A1 course, there were more than 10 people in the class, allowing too little time for everyone to get speaking practice in.
How long are the classes at Lalia Berlin?
Learning a new language is exhausting, especially as an adult when you usually have work and personal life to figure out as well.
Some of these intensive courses have you learning German for a full 8 hours per day, plus homework. It’s too much. Your brain needs time to process everything.
In my Intermediate High 1 class, the lessons were a little over 60 minutes per lesson, 3 days per week. However, the Lalia website informs that lessons are 50 minutes each for beginners.
For me, this was the perfect amount of time to learn new vocabulary, a bit of grammar and get speaking practice in.
What was the teaching method like?
As I mentioned earlier, Lalia takes a realistic and pragmatic approach to the learning process.
During our four-week course, we had one overarching language goal: to learn and use “connector” words and phrases that would help us form longer and more natural-sounding sentences in German.
Each week had a theme and each class broke down that theme into smaller chunks. And the themes were not your average language school topics. Throughout the four weeks, we covered:
- The increased use of English in Germany, particularly Berlin, and whether it is a good or bad thing.
- The differences between older and younger generations.
- Reasons to be mad at your neighbours and how to express your dislike for their activities. (EIN SEHR WICHTIGES THEMA FÜR DIE DEUTSCHE INTEGRATION!)
- Solidarity, DDR propaganda and protests.
We received homework assignments each teaching day, but before you get horrendous flashbacks to your school days, let me confirm that the homework assignments were a) fun, b) interesting and informative, and c) short. I spent approx. 30 minutes per day on homework.
The big question – is it worth it?
In my opinion? A big fat YES!
Lalia met all my needs and wants for a language school.
- Online classes.
- Affordable price.
- Interesting learning topics.
- Prioritises real-life communication.
- Is semi-intensive without being too much.
How do I join Lalia Berlin language school?
If you’ve come this far and decided that Lalia is the school for you, you can schedule a placement call here (it’s free, yay!). The call lasts about 20 minutes and the person on the other end of the phone just chats with you in order to assess your approximate level.
After the call, you’ll get an email with the suggested course level and a link to book on. Click the link, pay the fee and away you go!
If you’re already pretty confident about your learning level, then you can head straight to the course page and enrol directly.
I’ll be signing up for another Lalia German language course later in the year. Maybe I’ll see you there?
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