Start conversing in German from your first day of class! Our regular courses (see below, offered in either an in-person or remote format) and grammar review courses are arranged in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels A1 (beginner) through C2 (mastery). Our curriculum is designed so that you can reach the level of proficiency in German you want to achieve, whether your goal is being able to complete internationally recognized proficiency exams like TestDaF or to comfortably spend time living or working in a German-speaking country.
We highly recommend building upon the language skills learned in our regular courses by also taking our special courses. These courses specifically focus on exploring topics such as film, literature, art, politics, and business through conversation and German-language discussion.
Our careful selection of coursebooks and supplemental materials ensure that you will not only learn language structures, but you will also be introduced to the history, geography, and culture of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Our instructors all have years of experience teaching German as a foreign language in New York and beyond, and they bring their strong educational backgrounds in linguistics, literature, translation, international relations, film, visual art, business, and pedagogy to the classroom.
Beginner I (CEFR level A1.1)
Coursebook: Spektrum A1, chapters 1-6
This is an introductory course to the language and culture of German-speaking countries, intended for students with no previous experience learning German. Learning a language requires a significant investment of time and hard work, and this course, as the first part of two beginner German courses, is an intensive learning experience.
Topics range from ordering coffee or food in a restaurant to traveling through German-speaking cities. The introductory German class endeavours to foster confidence in the language, with an emphasis on speaking. In groups and pairs, you will discuss preferences, experiences, and topical issues, as well as develop the communicative skills necessary to feel comfortable traveling and engaging in everyday life in a German-speaking country. Written tasks range from writing about yourself to more creative endeavours, such as writing about your dream house or apartment.
Beginner II (CEFR level A1.2)
Coursebook: Spektrum A1, chapters 7-12
This course is the second part of your introduction to the language and culture of German-speaking countries. In this course, you will expand your understanding of important vocabulary and customs: travel, food, health and wellbeing, and contemporary German society and culture. You will also learn more advanced language elements and syntactic rules, including past tense, the use of adjectives, comparisons and superlatives, and more complex sentence structures.
The focus of the course will continue to be spoken communication and everyday language use, but there will also be increased attention to reading and writing tasks. Since the goals of communicative and grammatical competence are ultimately inseparable, you will be guided towards using German as accurately as possible. You will be encouraged to explore on your own using the internet: researching plays, movies, or concerts to see in Berlin or in Vienna; shopping for clothes for your next summer or winter vacation; and learning more about the health care system in Germany.
Advanced Beginner I (CEFR level A2.1)
Coursebook: Spektrum A2, chapters 1-6
The Advanced Beginner levels introduce more complex sentence structures and grammatical elements. At the A2.1 level these include: subordinating and coordinating conjunctions and clauses, dative verbs, reflexive verbs and prepositional complements, and relative clauses.
You will also read longer and more complex texts and discuss topics such as migration, family, travel, and media. In addition to learning how to express your opinions and emotions in a more sophisticated way in German, you will also engage in useful practical activities, such as making train and bus reservations by reading current online schedules and mapping out travel routes.
Advanced Beginner II (CEFR level A2.2)
Coursebook: Spektrum A2, chapters 7-12
At the A2.2. level, students learn the simple past tense and therefore engage more extensively with a great array of texts in German, such as fairy tales, newspaper articles, and short stories. In addition, you have the opportunity to practice your own writing skills, drawing on your ever-widening vocabulary and German language skills. Further grammar topics include: verbs with the dative and accusative cases, the genitive case, infinitive clauses, and an introduction to the passive voice.
You will discuss different living preferences (city or country, apartment or house), cultural interests, career goals and paths, and holidays and traditions in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. In this course, you will also learn how to describe a film in German, to explain sequences of events, and to work with non-fictional texts.
Intermediate I (CEFR level B1.1)
Coursebook: Spektrum B1+ Integriertes Kurs- und Arbeitsbuch, Chapters 1-4
The Intermediate I class focuses on more sophisticated language structures to express complex concepts. Grammar topics introduced include the subjunctive moods, coordinating conjunctions, and the passive voice in the present, simple past, and past progressive.
Learn how to express wishes and desires, give advice, express hypotheses, and debate pros and cons while reading and discussing topics such as nutrition, careers, business, and volunteer work.
Intermediate II (CEFR level B1.2)
Coursebook: Spektrum B1+ Integriertes Kurs- und Arbeitsbuch, Chapters 5-8
The topics covered in the B1.2 class include: health, travel, daily life, speaking about the past and future (historical events and their influence on the future), literature, and art. Learn more about structural forms such as Subjunctive I and II, simple past, and passive constructions.
Intermediate III (CEFR level B1.3)
Coursebook: Spektrum B1+ Integriertes Kurs- und Arbeitsbuch, Chapters 9-12
An integral bridge between the intermediate and upper levels, this course is designed to review and consolidate language skills learned in the intermediate levels.
Upper Intermediate (CEFR level B2- modules A, B, and C over 3 terms)
Coursebook: Erkundungen B2: module A Chapters 1-3; module B Chapters 4-6; module C Chapters 7-8
Delve deeper into the German language by reading Austrian, German, and Swiss works of literature, watching and discussing German-language films, and reinforcing grammar skills learned in the beginner and intermediate levels.
Modules A, B, and C do not need to be taken in order.
Advanced (CEFR level C1 - modules A, B, and C over three terms)
Coursebook: Erkundungen C1: Integriertes Kurs- und Arbeitsbuch
These three modules are designed to help students advance their understanding of eight integrated language skills: reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, vocabulary, cultural competence, and pronunciation. The advanced level is divided into three modules (A, B, and C), each focusing on different themes.
Module A covers chapters 1-3 in Erkundungen C1: "Reden wir mal übers Wetter," "Glück und andere Gefühle," and "Erfolge und Niederlagen." Themes include smalltalk, expressing surprise, annoyance, or interests conversationally, formulating opinions, or talking about happiness, emotions, moods and about successes in work and in hobbies. Structural topics include forms of the past, temporal or local prepositions, adjectives, modal verbs, subjunctive II, and genitive prepositions.
Module B covers chapters 4-6 in Erkundungen C1: "Fortschritt und Umwelt," "Das Reich der Sinne," and "Geschichte und Politik." You will discuss traditions of food and nutrition, important historical events, German politics and polticians, new developments in media, the environment and "green" Germany. You will enhance your skills in structural forms such as modal verbs, relative clauses, adjective clauses, subjunctive I and imperative.
Module C covers chapters 7 and 8 in Erkundungen C1: "Ton, Bild und Wort" and "Lebenswege." You will present pros and cons, describe changes, discuss concerts, music, healthy living, and climate change. You will practice language structures, such as forms of the passive voice, prepositions, nouns with prepositional objects, and verbs with prefixes.
Modules do not need to be taken in order.
Mastery (CEFR level C2 - modules A, B, and C over three terms)
Coursebook: Erkundungen C2: Integriertes Kurs- und Arbeitsbuch
Master the following eight integrated language skills: reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, vocabulary, cultural competence, and pronunciation. The mastery level is divided into three modules (A, B, and C), each focusing on different themes.
Module A covers chapters 1-3 in Erkundungen C2: "Sprache und Kommunikation," "Vergangenheit und Gegenwart," and "Stärken und Schwächen." You will discuss German in the context of other languages, communications, and the power of the media. In addition you will familiarize yourself with discourse surrounding history and memories as well as strengths and weaknesses, and power. The class focuses on practicing language structures including separable and inseparable prefix verbs, subjunctive I and II moods, and comma rules.
Module B covers chapters 4-6 in Erkundungen C2: "Erziehung und Ausbildung," "Forschung und Technik," and "Besonderes und Gewöhnliches." In the context of themes such a career, technical advancement, the environment and environmental pollution, medicine, emotions, and better living, you will review and perfect your knowledge of grammatical structures including the passive forms, modal verbs, and participles as adjectives.
Module C covers chapters 7 and 8 in Erkundungen C2: "Kunst und Kultur" and "Politisches und Amtliches." Learn more about German literature and art, as well as politics and the economy. Master your knowledge of German adjectives and their usage, as well as appositions and prepositional phrases.
Modules do not need to be taken in order.
Grammer Review A-levels and B1-levels
This course is for those who have completed the A1 and A2 levels (A-levels) or the B1 levels and who would like to review or brush up on their grammar and improve their conversational skills. Part of the class time will focus on grammar related questions and exercises. The rest of the class time will be used for strengthening conversational abilities. After completion, you will be more comfortable with your German-language skills and will have a solid foundation for moving on to the next levels (B1 and B2 respectively).
Reading Knowledge 1 and 2
Coursebook: German Quickly: A Grammar for Reading German
Enhance your research skills by learning how to read and translate German scholarly texts. The courses are conducted in English, and RK1 does not require any previous knowledge of German. After completing both courses, students can take a Reading Knowledge Exam for a certificate in the course.
Expand your understanding of German language and cultures with our selection of special courses for language levels A2 – C1, such as: Berlin: Past and Present, Introduction to German Film, Stories and Conversation, Creative Writing, and Business German.