July 2007 issue

Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
City Focus

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German exams

Language schools in Germany offer an array of examination courses and report that demand is increasing, particularly from students interested in studying at a German university.

Examination courses for students of the German language have become more popular in recent years and Henning Pruess from Tandem Hamburg believes that this is due to students being more focussed on their goals.

“[Students] want to learn German for a purpose,” he explains. “Because they, for instance, aim to work in the tourism industry or because they might want to study German here or in their home country. Therefore, certificates are becoming more attractive and the growth of the EU with more open borders and travel possibilities helps to support that development as well.”

Patrick Semidei from DID Deutsch Institut, which has centres in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich, says that they started offering a Gesellschaft für Deutsche Sprache (GfdS) diploma course in 1993 due to student demand and this is still their most popular exam course. “Long-term students are eager to take and pass examinations because they receive a written proof of their efforts and achievements which they are very proud of,” he says. “The long-term diploma courses are especially popular with international students who want to follow university studies in Germany.”

The exam course market for German language schools has been affected in recent years by a change in university entrance requirements, which means that German universities no longer require international students to sit their own individual entrance exams to test their language ability. The Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH) and the Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF) are both recognised by universities in Germany as an indication of a foreign student’s language ability, although the TestDaF appears to be becoming more popular overall.

“The TestDaF exam is growing in popularity as more and more universities change from DSH to TestDaF, as the latter is more reliable and more practical for universities,” says Lennart Güthling from Humboldt Institut in Argenbühl, which introduced specific preparation courses for this exam in 2002. “Due to the increasing number of students who needed to be prepared for the exams, we decided to introduce special courses. This way, our students receive the best possible support in order to pass the exam successfully.”

Students of the German language can sit a range of examinations, including Zertifikat Deutsch and Zertifikat Deutsh Plus – components of The European Language Certificate (TELC) – although often students take these after studying on a general German language course, according to Brigitta Alkofer from the Humboldt Institut. “The TestDaF is the only German language course for which we offer a specific exam preparation course,” she says. “For all other exams, our highly intensive general language courses with 30 lessons per week are more than sufficient.”

Sven Haushalter from Carl Duisberg Centren in Berlin emphasises that students wanting to pass the TestDaf are more likely to succeed after completing a specific preparation course. “Even students with an excellent knowledge of the German language found difficulties taking the TestDaF,” he says. “Participating in the preparation course allows the students to become familiar with the test’s procedure.”

The TestDaF, which includes reading, writing and speaking components, is taken by students online and schools are continually looking at ways to improve their preparation courses and update their delivery methods. “We have invested in new materials, we have created many materials ourselves and we have updated our classroom computer systems so that mock tests can be done in class and students can record their voice and listen to their pronunciation,” says Pruess.

At DID Deutsch Institut, keeping up-to-date is also important. “Before the introduction of DSH/TestDaF courses, we ran teacher training workshops to make teachers familiar with the contents and demands of these courses,” says Semidei.

Despite booming business, Semidei predicts that the introduction of tuition fees at German universities could have a negative effect on the exam preparation market in the future. However, Güthling believes that the future looks a lot more positive and demand for exam preparation courses will continue to grow. “Although Germany has introduced student fees, [our] universities are still rather inexpensive,” he says.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.





Boa Lingua
CI - Central de Intercâmbio
Discover Canada
ESL - Séjours Linguistiques
TK Tours

Capls Canada
English Australia
Quality English

CareMed International Travel Insurance
Student Guard Insurance

Malta Tourism Authority

Alphe Conferences
CEC Network

English Australia
English Language Company

Academie Linguistique International
Algonquin College Ottawa
Bodwell College
Cowichan Valley School District #79
East Coast School of
      Languages (ECSL)
English Bay College
English Language Training College ELTC
Eurocentres Canada
Global Village
(Australia, Canada, USA)
Ilac - International Language Academy of Canada
International Language
      Schools of Canada (ILSC)
Intrax English Institute
Language Studies Canada
Lethbridge Community College
London Language Institute
Malaspina University College
National School of Languages
Pacific Language Institute
Richmond School District #38
Saint Mary's University
Saskatoon Catholic Schools
Stewart College of Languages
Study English in Canada
University Canada West
University of Toronto
Vancouver Community College
       International Education
Vancouver English Centre
Vanwest College
York University English
       Language Institute

American Intercontinental
       University, London
      (Australia, Canada, Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand, UK, USA)
Bell International
InTuition Languages
       (Australia, France, Germany,
       Ireland, Italy, South America,
       Spain, UK, USA)
Islington Centre for English
LAL Language and Leisure
      (England, Malta, South Africa, USA)
Liverpool International
      Language Academy
Malvern House College London
Millfield School
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's College
Sels College London
Southwark College
St Giles Colleges
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada, England,
      France, Germany, Ireland, Italy,
      New Zealand, South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
Twin Group
University of Westminster
West London Business College

France Langue
French in Normandy
Home Language International
      (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil,
      Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic,
      Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France,
      Germany, Holland, Hungary, Ireland,
      Italy, Japan, Malta, NZ, Norway,
      Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain,
      Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA,
Institut Linguistique Adenet
SILC - Séjours Linguistiques
     (England, France, Spain)

Carl Duisberg Centren
      (England, Germany)
F+U Academy
      (Austria, Germany, Russia)
Humboldt Institut
inlingua Berlin
International House Berlin - Prolog
Lichtenberg Kolleg E.V

Atlantic Language Galway
Centre of English Studies

EC English Language Centre
      (England, Malta, South Africa)
inlingua Malta

Christchurch College of
      English Language
Languages International
Riccarton High School
Seafield School of English
University of Canterbury

EAC Language Centres
      and Activity Camps
      (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales)

Cape Studies
Good Hope Studies

Babylon Idiomas
      (Argentina, Costa Rica, Spain)
      (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica,
      Cuba, Ecuador, Dominican Republic,
      Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Spain)
International House Sevilla - CLIC
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispánico SL

EF Language Colleges Ltd
      (Australia, Canada, China, Ecuador,
      England, France, Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain, USA)
      (Australia, Canada, England, France,
      Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta,
      New Zealand, Russia, South Africa,
      Spain, Switzerland, USA)

ALCC - American Language
      Communication Center
Kaplan Educational Centers
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Zoni Language Centers
      (Canada, USA)


Global Lifestyles
IH Vancouver

IH Newcastle
Tellus Group
Twin Group

Malta Tourism Authority