The step from GCSE to A-Level took me as a bit of a surprise. I had attained good results in my GCSE’s and decided to pursue German as an A-Level. I always believed I was a strong language speaker, I liked my teachers and was particularly fond of the subject.
After the first few months of my AS-Level I began to fall behind in German - I was struggling to keep up with the workload and found it hard to put in the hours outside of the classroom to maintain good grades. I became really frustrated with myself and started to doubt my ability, which was then mirrored in my grades.
Shortly after receiving a particularly bad mock result, my German teacher offered the class the opportunity to go on a 5 day trip to Frankfurt. Originally I was apprehensive and didn’t want the trip to put me off the language even more. After encouragement from my teacher and classmates, I was on my way.
I was excited about seeing the sights around the city, however I was much less enthused about the country and the language. Upon visiting Römerberg Square I got chatting to a friendly local about the trip and our plans for the following days. By the end of the conversation I realised I had spoken in almost perfect (if a little slow) German the whole way through.
From there I didn’t look back! Throughout the entire trip, my classmates and I tried our best to only speak German, even to each other. I encouraged people I met to correct my grammar and I even took a notepad to all the attractions to write any local phrases or words that could help me in my next exams.
As well as experiencing the language and culture, and amazing food, our group visited the German stock exchange, science centres and gorgeous scenic parks. The accommodation we stayed in was beautiful and the people there were lovely, even when trying to understand our not yet perfected accents!
My trip to Frankfurt gave me the confidence I needed to re-engage with the German language. When I arrived home I got my head down and worked really hard both in the classroom and outside of school. It wasn’t easy - I found myself repeatedly referring to my notepad I took to Frankfurt and using language I had picked up during my time there. Not only was I working harder but I was enjoying the subject a lot more.
At the time of our trip to Frankfurt I was applying for University, considering courses in business. My trip to the financial and business hub of Germany settled my desire and by the end of the trip I had decided on my course in Business management. After receiving a high grade in my AS-Level I ended up changing my course to Business management and German. I couldn’t be happier with the path I have chosen, I owe all my language speaking abilities to my trip to Frankfurt and the perseverance of my teacher. I’m so glad I took the opportunity to discover more about the German language and the culture!