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Language Classes

For MDC employees

The MDC offers German and English classes available free-of-charge to all MDC employees, including PhD students.

German Classes

Classes are offered  twice a year, usually in Spring and Fall, with no more than 12 participants per class. The levels of classes are assigned in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

You can test your German online here to have a preliminary idea of your level of knowledge. This will be confirmed by an introduction test carried out by the teacher before the classes start, however knowing beforehand the level of your proficiency in German is helpful for assessing the number of students potentially taking any class.

Annette Schledz from the Graduate School coordinates the organisation of German classes and you can inquire about what classes are available and when they start. Please contact Annette at aschledz@mdc-berlin.de.

If your level of German knowledge is better than B2 or C1, and there are no regular classes at the MDC suitable for you, you can discuss with your Research Group Leader if there is a possibility that he/she funds an external German class for you from the group’s budget. Alternatively, you can apply for support to the MDC Committee for further education. Please visit the intranet for more information.

In Berlin

If you have registered at one of our partner universities (either Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin or Freie Universität Berlin), you are eligible to join regular German classes organised by the corresponding language centres. Please visit the relevant web-pages (HU Berlin / FU Berlin.

There are also numerous schools teaching German to foreigners in Berlin, so you can find one suitable for you. Here are a couple of useful links:

Self-study and Distance-learning

You might wish to study German at your own pace, without attending any formal classes.  Here are a couple of useful tips and links:

  • Deutsch perfect: you can do exercise on-line or access audio-texts to train your listening and understanding of spoken German. You can also subscribe to this monthly magazine (it costs approx. € 65 for 12 monthly issues; you can also buy it at a Newsagent). The magazine has a very readable set of articles adapted to 3 levels of German knowledge (easy, middle, difficult), with explanation of vocabulary and useful grammar exercises. The articles cover current affairs related to life in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, cultural and historical topics, tips on German usage at work or for everyday activities. As a subscriber, you will have a wider range of on-line training options.
  • Practise your German on-line using the Goethe-Institut links
  • Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster. There you can do a free interactive online German course, a radio language course for beginners.
  • Annik Rubens’ Podcast ‘Slow German’, she provides a range of texts spoken slowly for easier understanding, with transcripts of the texts also available.
  • You can hear interviews with the writers at the www.literaturcafe.de.
  • You can also opt for a distance-learning class, e.g.