Unlike its early years, Berlinguas now offers private lessons and online German courses at all levels, from A1.1 to C1.2, with a team of 15 teachers. Yes, we have a website and a structure today, adopting textbooks, aligning with the Common European Framework for Languages, providing attendance certificates—following all the protocols expected of a language school. Some compare us to the Goethe Institute and VHS; others even try to imitate us. It's great to be recognized and reach this level, but on the flip side, being part of such a competitive market is challenging. A unique edge is essential for survival.
So, what makes Berlinguas, Berlinguas?
The answer lies back in 2012 when we had our first private students. Despite the changes over the years, we resist accepting the school label, continuing to treat each student as an individual. Unlike other schools where the structure is imposed top-down, and students must comply, at Berlinguas, the student is known by name and has a voice. We can confidently say our structure is imposed bottom-up. For instance, consider our A2.2 online German course that started on October 1st: when organizing the course schedule, we considered our students' request for a two-week break due to school holidays in Berlin. Would you find something similar at VHS? Another example: with the consent of all participants and the teacher, we changed the days and times of an ongoing course to assist a participant with a modified work schedule. Do you see where we're coming from? In our school, we've had individual classes for couples, courses for moms, courses exclusively for Portuguese speakers, exam preparatory courses, recorded courses, and corporate courses – all stemming from requests from our students, gradually adapted and integrated into our structure.
Additionally, we've been able to bring the personalized treatment from our private lessons into our group settings. Small classes, native English-speaking teachers, lessons tailored to each participant's time and needs, a calm and familiar environment – the student's participation time is respected, they can clarify doubts online and offline, extracting the maximum from each class as they expect and need.
Yes, Berlinguas is a language school, but a hybrid one. Hearing this for the first time, right? Well, that's our distinctive feature, what helps us gain the trust of our students more and more, keeping us alive, resilient, and strong to continue facing the Goethe Institutes of life. How long? Only you, dear reader, can say ;-)
We appreciate our students, teachers, collaborators, and followers for our 11 years of existence!
Come celebrate with us!
Marco & Zoya Ryan