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Seven German Words and Phrases That Sound Funny in English
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The literal translation of the word means horny. However, thanks to slang, it also means cool or great. So one could say that my cooking is really horny.
“grief bacon” This describes the state of overeating due to stress and/or anxiety. I eat a lot of bacon even when I don’t have stress. So I guess this doesn’t apply to me.
This literally translates to “back pipe face”. It means that someone has a face that looks like it needs a good slap. Ouch!
“Someone who wears gloves and throws snow balls” Basically, every troll who posts mean comments online. If I ever get a mean or unfair comment, I’m going to accuse them of wearing gloves and throwing snowballs.
“ear worm” The next time you get a song stuck in your head, you can say that you have an ear worm. (Everyone will totally understand what you mean.)
Your “inner pig dog”. It’s basically that little voice in the back of your head that comes up with excuses as to why it’s okay to stay home and skip the gym.
“world pain” This is used to describe the feeling when something in the world doesn’t live up to your expectations.
5 Tips for English Lesson Plans That Save Valuable Time
When I took my TEFL class, I received a lot of training on lesson preparation. This was extremely helpful for learning things such as target language goals, target activities, and different methods to engage various learning styles. However, one thing that my class didn’t really prepare me for was for how to manage time effectively when you have a high number of classes. As a TEFL English Trainer in Germany, I teach a lot of different courses – about 15 to 20. I wrote down a range because some of the classes I teach only meet once a month.
So in a perfect world, I would create detailed lesson plans for all of my classes – but that would be impossible. Here are a few tips to help you save time preparing for your English lessons that I have learned from my experiences.
Whenever you start a new class, always take notes on the students. Find out their jobs, their hobbies, and a few fun facts. I do this every time and it helps me not only manage remembering things about all my students, but keeps me focused during the introductions. Moreover, once your class finishes for the day, write down what you did. This doesn’t have to be a detailed list. I typically just write down the page numbers from the book, conversation topic, and if something was particularly difficult for the students. Additionally, I write down a few things I want to do for the next lesson. This helps me save time later as I already have a general idea of what I want to do for the next class.
Make Your Lesson Plans Once a Week
Set aside time once a week to do ALL of your lesson planning. I know some teachers who plan lessons every day. This is not a bad practice, if you only have a few lessons per day. However, after a long day of 8-10 lessons, I don’t want to go home and have to do more work.
First of all, I use Google to schedule all of my appointments and lessons. This way, I can quickly see where I have to go the next day and what I need to do. Moreover, I set aside time (typically Sundays) where I plan everything I need for the week. By using Sunday, I can mentally prepare myself for the week and prepare all of my classes on the same day. If a class requires you to make copies or prepare something more time-intensive block off an hour during the week to do this. I often plan my lessons and Sunday and if I need to make copies, I go to the school to save my ink (my printer was relatively cheap and thus the ink is a bit expensive).
Save and Organize all Material
Anytime you have to create a lesson or syllabus from scratch, save it and back it up! I saved a few things at the beginning, but after a computer crash I lost literally everything (including invoices I needed for taxes). Make a folder on your desktop and inside the folder, create additional folders. I labeled mine ALevel, BLevel, Clevel, and a few others. You can decide on what works best for you. (Note: ALevel is for beginners, B is for intermediate, and C is advanced as per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.)
Ask Students to Bring in Material
This is not only a good tip for saving time but for making a better learning experience for your students. Ask them to bring in emails, marketing materials (in English!), or anything else related to their job. By doing this, you can get a better insight of their daily tasks and create more impactful lessons for your students. I do this all the time at the beginning of a class start.
Keep a Small Book for all Classes
Take a small book and create an ongoing to-do list. Quite often you will have small things that come up during your lessons. A few examples might be to send a reminder email, make a new attendance list, bring a copy of ABC for the next lesson, or a room change. Review your reminders often, but at the very least, review every Thursday and Monday.
Cost of Living in Germany (Compared to America)
In my opinion, they end up being about the same. Some of the living expenses in Germany are higher than the USA while some of the living expenses in America are higher. That doesn’t really help much, does it? I’ll explain what I mean.
Let’s make a small list of general living expenses:
utilities (gas and electric)
car (and gas)
Note: I’m leaving things like pension, health insurance, and a few other things because those get a bit complicated. They change depending on if you are self-employed, contracted, public/private something or another, and the list goes on.
Also, I have compared the city where I am from (Cincinnati) to where I live now (Wuppertal).
In general, the actual cost of rent seems to be cheaper than the USA. I’ve ran a few numbers and compared these on different websites. The cost of rent can be cheaper by around 20-30%. Moreover, in Germany the sizes of flats/apartments are highly varied. The emphasis in Germany seems to be much more on what you pay per square meter.
These are without a doubt, much more expensive in Germany. Germany has stronger regulations and taxes on energy sources (focusing more on renewable energy). I compared my home (a medium-sized, tri-level) to a similar home in Germany and discovered that the cost of utilities increased by about 40-60%.
Cars and Cost of Fueling:
The cost for fuel is much higher in Germany. In this comparison, I have converted euro to dollar and liters to gallons. This comparison should speak for itself.
As of: April 17, 2017 (Wuppertal, Germany to Cincinnati, Ohio)
$5.56 per gallon (Wuppertal, Germany) – $2.40 per gallon (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Food and Dining:
Overall, I think the food is cheaper in Germany. This is mostly my opinion. Something important to note here is that the grocery stores in Germany are relatively divided. What I mean is that there are cheap stores that provide discounted prices compared to the bigger stores which can be more expensive but with a higher selection and quality. Due to this divide/segmentation (not sure what to call it), the prices fluctuate heavily. However, on the average, I still think the prices are lower. I went back home to Cincinnati a few weeks ago and the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables (at a quick glance) seemed to be anywhere from 20-30% more expensive.
However, I think dining out in the USA is generally cheaper (but not by much). One of the biggest things to note here is “free refills”. In Germany, you have to pay for every drink (including water) and there is no such thing as a “free refill”. The average cost per person at a decent restaurant (including a drink) tends to run about 20 euro in Germany. Just don’t get a refill/second drink!
German Culture and Lifestyle: Greetings
As an American living in Germany, I have learned a lot about people. In my city, (Wuppertal) I have met people from all over the world – Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Greece, Syria, Iran, and many others. It has been in these intercultural exchanges that I have learned a lot about people and other cultures. There are notable cultural differences that I have found to be interesting throughout my experiences in Germany. I won’t go into all of them in this post, however, I would like to address the way Americans and Germans greet each other.
In the USA, it’s quite common to greet someone with a “Hello. How are you?”. I never really thought about it, as I have grown up my entire life knowing this to be both a polite and courteous way of saying hello. I suppose that I don’t really care how most people are doing, unless if they are close to me. But this is still my preferred way to say hello. It just simply sounds nice – at least to me, anyway.
In Germany, it’s quite uncommon to use this greeting. I have tried to use it (in German) to Germans. They often seem to either be confused or they respectfully answer the question knowing that I am some type of strange foreigner from a galaxy far, far away. But really, they prefer just a simple “Hello”. They might also say “Good day”.
What is interesting about all of this is when a German asks me why we say “How are you?”. I don’t really know what to say. I mean, how do I answer this? I guess to put it simply – I just like it. For me, when I say hello to someone, whether I know or the person or not, I want to be friendly.