German Courses in London
Teaching Methods
  • We are guided by the student's ability and preferences. Methods essential to foreign language learning but unnatural to someone only used to speaking his native language will be introduced gradually and gently. You will not have to slavishly follow a "unique" method. It is important that you do not feel stretched beyond your limits. Methods can only be successful if the students enjoy the experience.

  • Lessons at basic/intermediate level will almost exclusively be based on our own in-house textbook "Auf Kurs" ("On Target"). As students progress to the advanced level, they are welcome to introduce their own topics and correspondence.

  • Acquisition of oral skills is the prime target, and the teaching approach will, therefore, be highly interactive. You will be given maximum time during your lesson to use the spoken German you have been taught. This will secure rapid progress.

    Based on our proprietary textbook, new structures and vocabulary are gradually and systematically introduced, quickly leading to realistic dialogues in the classroom. These conversations are "guided" in the sense that the student will be restricted to using the structures and vocabulary chosen by the tutor.

    To illustrate this basic approach: if the teaching topic were "how to express preferences", the tutor, using German, might ask, "Which restaurant would you prefer?". For his answer, the student would be expected to produce a full sentence, not just single words. Should he answer hesitatingly or make a mistake, he will be corrected and encouraged to repeat the correct phrasing until it sounds natural. Finally, he will be asked to use the new structures actively by directing similar questions to the teacher or other students sharing the same lesson. In this way, we ensure that the student spends at least two thirds of his/her lesson speaking German.

  • Direct Method teaching, i.e. using German throughout, is generally adhered to, but we are non-dogmatic and feel that the occasional explanation in English will save time and frustration. As Direct Method teaching makes far higher demands on the student, it will have to be at the tutor's discretion to decide how appropriate it is under the circumstances.

  • The conversational approach described above is modified when students want to sit a public examination. Most will opt for one of the graded examinations organized by the Goethe-Institute, which include "German for Business" options. In these cases, more prominence is given to the written language and examination technique generally.


"When I started the German business of Catalyst Capital in 2005 I needed to improve my German and broaden my vocabulary of business terminology. Jürgen Zöllner Associates suited me because they offered flexibility with lessons held in my London office and at times to suit my busy and varied schedule.

I had a good grounding of German, but had rarely used it in recent years. JZA were able to offer me bespoke one-on-one lessons to refresh my knowledge of the basics and expand my business vocabulary. Of particular help were the discussions centred around our firm's business of real estate investing where the tutor showed himself well informed and capable of providing testing material.

Over the three years I took lessons with JZA my knowledge and confidence of reading and writing German improved significantly."

Tony Yiannakis, former Director of Catalyst Capital