Learning German

Online learning – always available but not suitable for everyone

Do you live in the Epping area? Would you like to learn some German, or maybe improve your existing language skills?

The twinning association organises German and English language courses in alternate years. Each week-long course takes place in the relevant host country, and there are separate classes for beginners and advanced. Membership of the Epping branch may also offer an informal route to practising your German locally.

However, there are also other opportunities for learning German. Please find a list of resources (not recommendations!) on this page.

Some Epping twinners – and no doubt other people locally – would like to take part in more regular German language classes or conversation groups. Unfortunately, there has been a reduction in German language teaching in the UK over the last few years. The traditional adult education providers (local authority and voluntary) offer nothing in Epping itself. And for younger people, many state secondary schools (including St John’s, Epping) no longer teach German, although many independent schools continue to offer this.

Courses, workshops, classes

Local authority and voluntary resources  

Essex Adult & Community Learning offers German courses (for beginners, intermediate and advanced) at its Colchester site (40 miles/65 km from Epping).

University of the Third Age (U3A) in Bishops Stortford (15 miles/23 km) has a German group for older learners with some fluency. Participation would depend on availability, and require membership of that U3A branch.

Commercial provision

Leigh Languages, based in Buckhurst Hill (7 miles/11 km), offer face-to-face German classes at beginners, intermediate and advanced levels (adults, 16+).

Private tutoring: an Internet search will reveal many individuals and agencies offering this service. Some agencies show user-generated reviews; however, private tutoring is largely unregulated in the UK and no formal qualifications or experience are needed to offer tutoring services.

Central London

London is easily accessible from Epping by Tube and has more provision, commercial and otherwise. The following are particularly well known.

The City Lit (Holborn) offers a range of German courses and workshops for adults, both face-to-face and online.

The Goethe-Institut London (South Kensington). This is the German cultural centre in London – one of many worldwide – under the auspices of the federal government. It offers a wide range of facilities and events. There are various language courses on-site and online, some exam-based, for adults and young people.

(See below for online German courses via the international Goethe-Institut website.)

The London German Language Meetup Group. German conversation groups for various levels. Register online and check details of forthcoming meetings.

Learning German online    

Deutsche Welle – state-owned German broadcaster – offers a free comprehensive learning package.

The German Project (free)
This website also has a review of paid-for online courses.

Duolingo (free)

Deutsch-Akademie (free resource materials and exercises; paid-for small-group tuition)

Goethe-Institut: their international website has free online resources for learning German.
There is more general information at www.goethe.de/prj/tgn/en/index.html
(See also face-to-face facilities at the Goethe-Institut in London, above.)

Guide to online German language resources (free to search)

Institutions promoting British-German understanding

The British-German Association

34 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8QB                                                                                                                                This organisation has many resources and activities aimed at “strengthening links and promoting mutual understanding between the UK and Germany”. (There is also a section on twin towns.)

German Embassy, London

23 Belgrave Square, London SW1 8PZ                                                                                                                                      The embassy’s online cultural resources include ‘Staying Connected’, a podcast series “featuring discussions and exchanges about the future relations between Germany and the United Kingdom”.        https://uk.diplo.de/uk-en

Goethe-Institut London

50 Princes Gate, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2PH                                                                                                        “The Goethe-Institut, Germany’s cultural institute, operates worldwide, promoting knowledge of the German language abroad and fostering international cultural collaborations.”                                                  See above for their face-to-face and online language courses and events.                      www.goethe.de/ins/gb/en/sta/lon/ueb.html

The above is for information only – we make no recommendations for any of the resources listed.

Please let us know if you come across any additional resources.