The educational concept of the Sprachinstitut Tübingen SIT

For more than 45 years, the Sprachinstitut Tübingen SIT has been offering courses for German as a foreign language. During the entire year students from all over the world attend courses at the SIT in order to learn German in individually selected course formats – in relation to number of hours, content and length – or to expand their knowledge of the language.

Within the framework of our courses, we have developed textbooks and teaching concepts, and in addition to this we also provide teacher training.

This long tradition of learning and teaching is reflected in our time-tested, up to date teaching concept.

Our teaching focuses on communication and situation-oriented linguistic action. In classes of twelve students at the most – and the classes are often smaller than this – our teachers base their lessons on the specific interests and needs of their students. On the basis of this subject-oriented teaching, the teachers deal with the use of grammatical structures and their significance in relation to linguistic action, and then practice this with the students.

It is possible to start a course every two weeks so that each individual can decide when he/she wishes to begin. The beginner’s courses are the exception to this. These begin on a fixed date so that all the students can start learning the language together from the very beginning.

Before the course starts, each student will take a placement test consisting of a written multiple choice test (about one hour) and a one-on-one interview (about ten minutes). The written part of the test will enable us to assign you to one of the common reference levels from A1 to B2/C1 in accordance with the CEFR. The purpose of the subsequent interview is to determine your oral language skills and also to establish your language learning biography and in particular your personal learning objective.

The classes for our language courses will be based on this placement. All those students who have been assigned to the same reference level will then be learning together in one course, which can be either 20, 26 or 34 hours per week, depending on the pace and the learning intensity desired by the class.

Since the students are able to decide for themselves how long they would like to spend in each course, and can book a course for this period of time, there is no real beginning and no end to each course. New students will be starting the course every two weeks while others remain in the class or switch to another class at a higher level if they are progressing more quickly.

Due to this cyclical recurring progression, in which content and grammatical structures are repeated, supplemented and also considered and practiced from different perspectives and in various forms, the teachers are able to give courses which are diversified and geared to the individual needs and interests of the students, all of which enables effective learning. Thus those students who are at the SIT for a long time are able to broaden their knowledge constantly and by repeating this to consolidate complex content so that this becomes automatic. Since it is possible to regroup the classes when new students are added, it is also possible to make allowances for differing paces of learning. Those who learn quickly will make faster progress if they switch classes, and slower learners can stay in their classes longer and build their knowledge steadily and systematically.

Each class has two teachers, which means the students are exposed to two different speakers who focus on different subjects in their classes. The individual learning progress, the assignment of groups as well as the establishment and achievement of personal learning objectives is supervised by the teachers of the course and can also be supplemented, independently of the course, by individual consultations with our educational specialist.

In addition to providing advice about learning progress and assignment to a specific class, our educational specialist will of course be happy to advise you on how to achieve your personal learning objectives such as for example taking tests.

Apart from the actual German lessons (D20/26/34), it is also possible to book additional lessons in specific types of technical terminology or in exam preparation. These lessons are given in small groups (4 people at the most) or can be booked as private lessons.

In your spare time, you will be able to supplement what you have learned in your lessons by getting to know the other students in your class better and of course by exploring Tübingen and the surrounding countryside. This region has a great many places of interest and provides plenty of opportunities for those who enjoy sports and for other recreational activities as well. We offer a different culture and recreation program every week, and this can be booked in addition at short notice whenever you feel like it.

Each year, 1500 people from more than 70 countries learn German at the SIT. Not only are they successful in doing so, but also manage to have a lot of fun. 400 language learners take language tests at the SIT every year in reference levels A1 to C1. Some students spend two weeks at the SIT, others up to nine months or more. The average time each student spends taking courses at the SIT is 4 weeks, and many students come back to us again and again because they want to continue making progress in mastering the German language and they have found a second home in Tübingen and at the SIT.

Would you like to be one of those people? We look forward to seeing you here!