1. In 2010, you started working at Deutsches Haus at NYU. What would you say makes Deutsches Haus special and extraordinary?
The building and the location are special to me. I guess it’s the contrast of the little old house in the center of noisy and hectic Manhattan that makes it very attractive.
2. You have been working as a German teacher for several years now. Did you always know that you want to teach German?
No. I didn’t plan to become a German teacher.
3. You mainly teach the children classes at Deutsches Haus. What do you like better, teaching adults or children?
I like both equally in a different way. When I started teaching, I preferred adults’ classes, but the more I teach children the more I like and appreciate it.
4. What are the biggest challenges being a German teacher?
One of them is not to get frustrated if something doesn’t work out as planned. In one of my kids’ classes last week for example, I started reading a story that I planned the whole work unit with. After only a couple of pages, the children told me that they find the book boring. I finally stopped reading it, and found another way following my lesson plan. It’s important to take things easy and keep a sense of humor.
5. What is, by your experience, the most difficult aspect for Americans (or English native speakers) to learn German?
For some it’s probably the verb placement.
6. As you have been living in New York for a couple of years now, where do you feel mostly connected to Germany?
At Deutsches Haus. For me it is the language that connects me to Germany. Here, I speak German almost throughout the day.
7. What do you miss most about Germany?
I miss that I understand everything around me. In Germany, every sound and symbol is familiar and I can read people’s behavior quicker and easier. Occasionally, I miss my cultural background and having a history in the country I live.
8. Even though, you have been living in New York for quite a while now, what still amazes you about New York?
I still find the great variety of foods impressive.
9. What places, other than New York, do you find fascinating and inspiring?
None of the places I have been compares to New York in terms of stimulation, but I imagine that Tokyo would be equally inspiring.
10. What is your highlight of the week?
I enjoy the rare moments when the whole house is quiet and there is time to contemplate and discuss ideas.