German is a useful language to know for several reasons. There are many native German speakers, around 120 million people, most of whom live in central Europe and German culture has long contributed to the world heritage in a wide range of subjects such as music, philosophy, literature and science.
Though English is certainly the world's lingua franca, German influence does not only stem from its past. Over 60 million Americans, 2.7 million Canadians, 12 million Brazilians and several millions in Eastern Europe and the rest of the world have German ancestors and some of them still form German-speaking communities within their respective countries.
German grammar suffers, unfortunately, from the popular myth that the language is hard to learn, the grammar is complex and the pronunciation difficult. Seeing how you're reading these words you've not been inundated completely by these claims so heed this; while intricate, German grammar is fairly regular and, with practice, becomes second nature, and the intricacies allow for a great deal of nuance in expression. Pronunciation varies, of course, greatly with the wide geographical spread of its speakers; from Tirolian trilling of ones "r"-s to the softer flow of the northern lowlands, so take your pick.
This course is divided into six levels following the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, ranging from A1 ("Breakthrough", the first level a beginner can achieve) to C2 ("Mastery", near-native fluency). Hence, the first level of this course will lead the student from zero to A1 proficiency, the second level of this course will lead him from A1 to A2, and so on. A brief description of what students should be able to do at each level of proficiency can be found at this Association of Language Testers in Europe and it shall serve as a guideline for the course.
A : Basic User
B : Independent User
- B1 - Threshold
- B2 - Vantage
C : Proficient User
- C1 - Effective Operational Proficiency
- C2 - Mastery