In January, two years ago, I enrolled in a course in German at the Goethe Institute in Lima. The course was the top-level ( Oberstufe is his name in German), and lasted eight weeks. Classes are held on Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 12:00 noon with a break of thirty minutes.

We had fourteen students enrolled, of which six were girls. Our teacher was a German whose name was Markus Maier, a journalist by profession, then a professor of Goethe.

The course fee was one hundred and fifteen dollars approximately, plus the cost of the book that was about twenty dollars.

Students at the Oberstufe were entitled to use the Library free of charge. Otherwise the right to use the library costs about twenty dollars a year. We also had the right to use the Self-Learn Center, which is a room where there are computers and audio equipment for language practice. In computers were offered a lot of exercises to solve and this helped in learning. In the audio equipment we could hear the pronunciation of the language and exercise ourselves in it.

The method used by our teacher, Markus, was the choice of topics that were discussed in class and we expressed our opinion about them. Also we read articles, not so extensive, in order to learn new words and expand our vocabulary.

In that course was introduced an innovative new method: Learning Platform ( Lernplattform ), in which all students were connected to each other through Internet and also with the teacher. This meant that not only we would learn on Saturdays, but also other days of the week and kept us busy. Markus on Sunday gave us a task to be solved in the space of four days. This task was to review a topic and send to teacher our opinion in writing, all through the platform. He then sent us corrections, one day before class, ie Friday, and there we could see what mistakes we have committed and teacher recommendations to correct them. These messages and comments were seen by all students.

One of the tasks on the platform was to write a short script. Students formed pairs, each of which had to create and write a story. Naturally, in this case, except the teacher, any couple could see what the other wrote. I wrote a story with Adriana, who has already spent four years learning German here. She pronounced well and spoke it fluently. Has not yet been in Germany and acquired all her knowledge in the Institute. Some of the other students had not yet reached this high level of knowledge and you could see, especially when they had to speak in German. The best story was chosen by the vote of the students and we reached the second place. The first place was won by Johanny and Freddy. Johanny came from Pozuzo , a former colony of German immigrants in the middle of the Peruvian jungle.

At the break we went to the coffee shop that had an outdoor terrace where we sat in groups to have a talk. Institute facilities were comfortable. Much of the furniture has been brought directly from Germany. He also had an auditorium where they could watch movies in German, listen to lectures and see plays as also artistic groups some of whom were German.

Finally, at the end of the course, after receiving our certificate, I noticed that my German had improved and expanded my knowledge.

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