Native German Tutor with 20 Years of Teaching Experience
German Tutor &
Founder and director of Olesen Tuition
Hello, I'm Jens. I'm the founder and director of Olesen Tuition. Originally from the Cologne area, I've been a qualified German tutor for 20 years. I hold First-class undergraduate and graduate degrees from RWTH Aachen University and the LSE, and I have recently completed a D.Phil. at the University of Oxford.
Over the past six years I have also worked as a university fellow, having taught at Oxford, the LSE and RWTH Aachen. I have successfully prepared students of all levels and ages for certificates of the Goethe-Institut (A1-C2) and other test centres; school examinations, such as GCSE and A-Level (AQA and Edexcel), International Baccaleauréat (IB) and French Baccaleauréat (Bac), and Cambridge Pre-U German; university exams at Bachelor, Master and PhD-level; for their relocation to, or job interviews in, a German-speaking country; or I have helped them to gain and improve their competence in the language more generally.
Work with a fully-qualified German tutor
Throughout my teaching career, I have brought thousands of students up to fluency and many more to intermediate level with a unique combination of tailored vocabulary training, solid grammar foundation and my challenging yet motivating teaching style.
Why working with a native German tutor will help your German
The aim of my German tuition is that my students read, write, understand and speak my mother tongue to the best of their abilities. Being a native speaker puts me in the position of working on my students' German in all aspects of language learning - from improving their pronunciation and intonation of German words, expanding their vocabulary in "Hochdeutsch" (standardised German) to advancing their understanding of various idiosyncrasies in German grammar. Even though many of these aspects can of course be taught by a non-native teacher, only a trained native speaker of the language will know whether your choice of words is not only appropriate but also natural in the context in which you used it, and will be able to help you speak German without accent.
Unlike other German tutors, I don't believe it is possible to focus exclusively on conversational German. While speaking German is an important part of the learning process, even the most basic of sentences tends to require a good understanding of several, often interconnected, grammar rules. Hence, a good understanding of German grammar is essential. Otherwise, you would run before you could walk, and unfortunately the latter strategy is often encouraged by tutors who follow a conversational approach. Instead, my lessons involve speaking, writing, reading, listening, and a thorough grammar training, so that you learn the language properly. My grammar training has proved to be so successful over the years that I'm currently preparing my material for publication.
My approach to teaching German- simple but correct
With absolute beginners to the German language, I start by looking at the basics, such as how to introduce yourself, express likes and dislikes, and talk about your hobbies. In the process, I explain the conjugation of regular and irregular verbs, and key rules regarding German syntax. I also advise on the proper pronunciation of German words and point you to those letters that sound different than in English. While building your vocabulary on a range of topics from here on, our main focus will be to keep your sentences simple but correct, before gradually adding complexity as we move along.
Beginner students often struggle to express their ideas not because their vocabulary is so basic but because they try to translate literally between their native language and German. Simple but correct stops students from translating by keeping their focus on German grammar, by showing them to simplify their ideas with ease and by encouraging them to make good use of the German words they have learnt. Even fairly complex ideas can be expressed in simple terms when you think of synonyms for what you'd like to say and you concentrate on bringing your point across. The advantages of this approach are grammatical accuracy and confidence in writing and speaking. As soon as my students have developed the flexibility to simplify with ease, we work towards increasing nuance and complexity of their sentences through text work, grammar training and discussions in class.
Intermediate and advanced students also benefit from my approach as it helps them to unlearn mistakes they made in the past and develop their fluency in speaking and writing. Having used and refined my method during the last 19 years that I have been teaching the language, I am convinced that simple but correct will allow you to learn German properly.
My German tutoring services in London and online
Whether you are looking for one-to-one lessons or prefer to learn in a small group, on the following pages you will find a course option that suits you. Private German tutoring and intensive German courses are designed for students who intend to progress quickly in the language through lessons that are tailored to their individual needs and interests. My German group classes are an affordable alternative to private lessons and ideal for those who learn best in a small group of like-minded students. If you intend to learn German for work or you are looking for German lessons for your employees, my in-house German language training in London will help you achieve your aims. Finally, if you are studying for an exam in German and you are looking for support to get top marks, my German exam preparation tutorials will be the right option for you.
Are you unsure which of these options is best for you? Just get in touch and I'm happy to advise.
Please do not hesitate to contact me, should you have any questions. You will find answers to the most frequently asked question here.
I look forward to hearing from you.