In today's episode, I’m chatting with German teacher Kris of Deutsch mit Kris. Kris shares her story of how she got into the German language as a high school student from the Southern United States. She had the typical story many of us know growing up in a place where only one language is spoken, taking a few years of language in school, and performing really well but not being able to speak the language. Yet something happened for Kris that sparked her interest in German, and luckily, she followed that curiosity all the way to living and studying in Germany and then to becoming a teacher of the language.
But her path wasn’t that simple. Kris shares many of the struggles she experienced having a high level of academic German but still not feeling like she could speak it at all. She tells a wonderful story of how she grew into her advanced level German, gaining ability and confidence as she found a way to force herself into speaking situations; she explains how her experiences in language classrooms shaped her entire teaching philosophy and methods; and she talks a bit about what she does to continue learning and expanding her German while living in the country as an advanced speaker and teacher of the language.
We cover being a science/math person who also loves languages, how cultural misunderstandings affect when and how we speak our languages, and helpful versus unhelpful feedback from others. Kris has such an honest and down-to-earth approach to language learning, and listening to her share how she worked to overcome her own hurdles and then translated those into helping her students is so exciting. I love her approach, I love her transparency in her own journey, and I have no doubt you all will enjoy it, too. Kris's online info is below, so you can connect with her, nerd out over languages and math with her, and share her German course with anyone you know who can benefit from her work.