[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y integration I must say is going pretty well. Sure I get those days I ask myself if it would ever end and the truth is I don’t think so. The law side of it yes but I feel like every day, I learn something new about this country.
Gorgeousness makes life here so easy for me and there’s not a day that passes I’m not thankful to God for bringing us together.
So, I still attend a language school and getting into the swing of b1 level which is so much harder than a2. That level was cakes and Oreo icecream and let’s not even talk about the total simplicity of a1.
When I first got to Germany, I was required by law to have a basic knowledge of Deutsch to be issued a resident permit. Now the normal thing for an Ausländer is to get the A1 from their country before arriving because that is basically one of the visa requirements when you are moving to Germany.
But as an American, I didn’t require a Visa and I was already married so what they did was give me a permit renewable every five months and referred me to VHS. The condition being I must learn the language or be sent packing regardless of Gorgeousness being a German citizen.
So what was a gal to do? Learn the living language! So the rule(I think) is to get a hold of certain German law goodies, you need to have at least a b2 certificate. Some people end at the a2 level and just learn the rest as they live. But the sad thing about that is you are basically limited to applying for certain jobs which pay next to nothing. You can’t attend school or apply for an Ausbildung. But with the b and c language levels, the possibilities are endless. I’ve got people in my class who speak great German but they still require an actual certificate and some may see this as harsh but for a system that works, it’s great really and who doesn’t want to have the ability to speak another language other than yours right?
Then there are the others who have lived here 5-15 years and they cannot make a simple self introduction. Let’s not even go into their reading ability which I know is unfair to judge but still pisses me off. How difficult is it to read when you have no medical illness that hinders you? A friend says it’s old age but I disagree cos there’s a 21 year old girl who reads like she’s 2. My conclusion being they are simply not interested in actually learning. They just attend so they can write the Prüfung and collect a certificate. This is totally not my business but when you drag the whole class back because of your non chalance, it takes one topic too long to finish cos the Lehrerin wants to make sure you get it and when you spend 10 mins reading two lines with no comma or period, how’s that fair?
Hell, I even volunteered to start a reading group with them, to help them improve their reading but not one person has showed interest so I’ve given up and just hold my upset in check and chip in one or two words in correction.
In my opinion, you don’t need to speak perfect or even read perfect German. Hell, some natives don’t even speak good. People these days rely on Umgangsprache more often and this totally upsets me cos it doesn’t help me improve!
So yes, attending a language school is totally important as it’s the first and important part of integration. My speech has improved, I can very well understand the method of forming proper sentences and the kicker is making a sentence and realising it actually sounds wrong! I would say though that being a native English speaker, it totally helps with the lessons.
Do I look forward to ending the classes and actually living ? Duh! But I am glad I’m getting this chance to learn a new language, albeit mandatory. My dad tried to teach me to speak ibibio but sadly, that class didn’t go beyond 5 mins.
A lot of foreigners complain about the mandatory rule of integration and I do not understand that. Some politician in the USA made a speech about how foreigners should learn English and someone called him racist. Why? He is right. You don’t expect every office and shop to install an übersetzer for every language known to man. It’s time consuming and not to mention expensive. Learn the freaking language and save yourself trouble. It’s not easy living in a foreign country that doesn’t speak your language.