Teaching with pictures

In Allgemein by sabineLeave a Comment

Hi teachers! Here are some quick tips on how to use pictures in your classroom. I use it in online teaching and for teaching German, but it can be easily adapted to other languages and classroom settings.

1. Bilder des Tages/ Pictures of the day

Use some pictures from the News and let students describe what they see. This works with all levels, for higher levels you can add discussions about the news topics. You can let students click through and find 5 interesting pictures to describe, or, if you have to be political sensitive, choose some photos before class. The page I ususally use for this is: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/thema/Bilderblog and then e.g. “Momentaufnahmen im März”.

Reuters is also a good choice for the pictures of the day.



2. Bildergeschichten /picture stories

Here students describe a sequence of pictures  as a story, you can even let them tell the story in different tenses. Good material: Vater und Sohn


Find tons more here: Bildergeschichten von Digitale Schule Bayern

Another good one is Five card Flickr stories : a sequence of 5 photos, students have to make up a story using these. Very creative exercise, you can also let students write the story as homework.


3. The classic: Use art to teach some culture and to get students talking. They can describe pictures and also tell about how they make them feel, what the intention might have been, how the colours work, etc.etc. If you want to make this also about culture, let students research some famous/favourite artists and give small presentations.

4. Comparing. Students have to find the differences in two pictures. For the pictures, I just google “Fehlerbilder” or “Suchbilder”.

5. Picture dictation. Simple idea, but especially children have a lot of fun with it. “Dictate” them a picture, tell them step by step what is in the middle, on the left, top of the picture etc. The student then has to to the same and dictate you a picture. This can get you some very funny results. For online lessons, let students either draw and then hold the picture into the camera, or use twiddla. For material, if you don’t want to make up their own: search the internet for picture dictations or just use any drawings or photographs you wish. This is also great for themed lessons, like picture dictating a monster on Halloween, or practising christmas words with a christmas picture. You’ll have a lot of fun with it!



Happy teaching ♥ And feel free to share your own ideas in the comments!

14 German Idioms & words for Valentine’s Day

In Allgemein by sabineLeave a Comment

14 German Idioms & words for Valentine’s day.

1. Er ist verrückt nach ihr: He’s crazy about her.
2. Total verknallt sein: to be madly in love

3. Jemandem schöne Augen machen: to make mooneyes on somebody
4. Auf Wolke 7 schweben: to be on cloud nine
5. Schmetterlinge im Bauch haben: to have butterflies in one’s stomach
6. Liebe geht durch den Magen: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

7. Jemandem den Kopf verdrehen: to turn somebody’s head
8. Der Herzensbrecher: the heartbreaker
9. Der Knutschfleck: the hickey/lovebite
10. Unter die Haube kommen (= den Bund der Ehe schließen) to tie the knot

11. Jemanden verkuppeln: to set sb. up
12. Liebe macht blind: Love is blind
13. Jemdandem sein Herz zu Füßen legen: to lay your heart at someone’s feet
14. Die Turteltauben: the lovebirds



Lovebirds Image courtesy of panuruangjan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net // Heart Apple Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New website for reading German: Subjekte

In Allgemein by sabineLeave a Comment

Great for learners AND  teachers: Subjekte is a new website for German learners who want to practise reading German while also learning interesting facts about Germany (politics, culture and much more). The best thing: the language used is “only as complicated as necessary”. Definitely worth a look & a read:

→ www.subjekte.net

reading german

Happy reading ♥

German conversation: Der Schnee (Dialog)

In Allgemein by sabineLeave a Comment

Level: Lower Intermediate

A new part of the dialogue series is finally here! A short but typically conversation about snow, with vocabulary. Enjoy ♥

German Conversation- Der Schnee

Dialog: Der Schnee

A: „Ach guck mal! Es hat geschneit. Alles weiß draußen!
B: “Darauf hätte ich dieses Jahr auch verzichten können.”
A: „Warum magst du denn keinen Schnee?“
B: „Schnee ist kalt und beim Fahrradfahren friert man sich die Hände ab. Oder man muss morgens sein Auto erst mal freikratzen. Und auf den Straßen ist doch nur hässlicher Schneematsch.“
A: „Hm. Aber wenn ich mich richtig erinnere, hast du gegen eine ordentliche Schneeballschlacht nichts einzuwenden!
B: „Na gut, dem kann ich was abgewinnen. Und, wenn ich so drüber nachdenke, ich liebe eislaufen auf einem zugefrorenen See.
A: “Siehst du, du nicht alles am Winter ist schlecht!
B: „Ich kann den Frühling trotzdem kaum erwarten…”

guckento look
(geschneit = Partizip II)
to snow
"Darauf hätte ich verzichten können"
"I could have done without it"
sich die Hände abfrieren to freeze one's hands off
freikratzento scrape the ice off of car windows
der Schneematschslush
die Schneeballschlachtsnowball fight
eislaufenice skating
abgewinnento take pleasure in
etw. kaum erwarten könnento can hardly wait for sth.


Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The German Alphabet

In Allgemein by sabineLeave a Comment

So, where to start when learning German? A good idea is to get familiar with the  Alphabet first, so today I’m sharing some helpful links for you to learn it online. You can start right away:

Top 5 links on the Web for learning the German Alphabet


1.Listen and repeat on this website (just click on the letter you want to listen to).




2. Find pronunciation explanation &  help with English word/sound examples at German About

learn german alphabet


3. Enjoy a fun video by Deutsch für Euch:


4. Practise time! Memrise flashcards with Audio for the Alphabet and the special characters (you need a memrise account for this). LINK

learn german alphabet


5. Song:  Fanta 4 – MFG

Listening practise with this famous Song by “Die Fantastischen Vier”. They use thousands of abbreviations in this song, so play it once or twice and write down all that you get. Then compare your abbreviations with this list (and learn their meaning if you klick on the English version).


Happy studying ♥

5 tips for successful language learning

In Allgemein by sabineLeave a Comment

Happy 2015 my dear readers! It’s already been 9 days, and so much happening in the world. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? If you set yourself the goal this year to learn German (or any other language), then here are 5 tips that might help you to start the year off right.

5 tips for successful language learning

1. Know your motivation.  This means, you should always know why you’re learning the language, because reminding you of the answer to this question can be helpful in times when you get stuck a bit in your studies. Your motivation or reasons to learn German can be anything, even if it is “just for fun”. If you have trouble finding your true motivation, then maybe invite friends to learn with you and turn it into a challenge.

2. Set yourself realistic goals. If you think you can become fluent in 3 months..then you might soon be disappointed if you don’t get there so fast. Try to set a goal that is realistic in terms of the time you can spend, the resources you have, and also, your motviation and reasons.

3. Make it a habit. Dedicate at least 10 minutes  a day to  learning German (but do more if you want to achieve goals faster!). This can be anything: a session on duolingo, memrise, reading an article, doing online exercises, doing your homework. Even 10 minutes can help you making a regular space in your life for the language and help you stay motivated.

4. Try out anything new you learn right away! Perhaps you can start a blog where you reflect on your learning while using the new words, or find more direct ways like writing in the target language (try lang8 e.g.), looking for a penpal online,  chatting with someone on skype, talking to yourself,  etc. etc.

5. Have fun. This means, focus your learning on things you really like. If you dread grammar, then try to read more instead , and don’t keep doing exercises that bore you anyway. If you’re intersted in photography, sports, cats etc. then try to find this kind of content in your target language. You can even write a story or a song in the language you learn..there are just so many possibilities!


Feel free to share your own tips on how to success in learning a language in the comments below. I wish you all the best for your language goals and resolutions this year!

Happy studying ♥

10 inspirational German quotes about life

In Allgemein by sabine2 Comments

What do Germans have to say about this thing called “life”? I want to share some German quotes of  famous german-speaking  people with you, enjoy reading and learning some new words at the same time :)

1. Das Schönste, was wir erleben können, ist das Geheimnisvolle.Das Schönste, was wir erleben können,

The most beautiful thing we can experience is mystery.

(Albert Einstein)

2. Ist das Leben nicht hundert Mal zu kurz, sich in ihm – zu langweilen?Ist das Leben nicht hundert Mal zu kurz,-1

Isn’t life a hundred times too short to be – bored?

(Friedrich Nietzsche)

3. Das Leben und dazu eine Katze, das gibt eine unglaubliche Summe.Cat

Life and a cat, that adds up to an incredible sum.

(Rainer Maria Rilke)

4. Wer kämpft, kann verlieren.Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.

He who fights can lose, but he who does not fight has already lost.

(Bertolt Brecht)

5. Auch aus Steinen, die einem in den Weg gelegt werden, kann man Schönes bauen.goethe

Even from the stones placed in your way for you to stumble on, you can create something beautiful.


 6. An allem Unfug, der passiert, sind nicht etwa nur die schuld, die ihn tun, sondern auch die, die ihn nicht verhindern.An allem Unfug, der passiert, sind nicht

All the mischief that happens is the fault not only of those who commit it, but also of those who do not prevent it.

(Erich Kästner)


7. Jeder, der sich die Fähigkeit erhält, Schönes zu erkennen, wird nie alt werden. kafka

 Anyone who retains the ability to recognise beauty will never become old.

(Franz Kafka)

8. Alle Zeit, die nicht mit dem Herzen wahrgenommen wird, ist verlorene Zeit.„Alle Zeit, die nicht mit dem Herzen

All time that is not experienced with the heart is lost time.

(Michael Ende)

9. Was wäre das Leben ohne Hoffnung!Was wäre das Leben ohne

What would life be without hope!

(Friedrich Hölderlin)

10. Nur ein Künstler kann den Sinn des Lebens erraten.Nur ei Künstler kann den Sinn des Lebens

Only an artist can guess the meaning of life.



Happy studying ♥