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German Classes and Lessons: a Price Comparison

German Classes and Lessons a Price Comparison

A simple internet search shows mind-boggling options for learning German, everything from free to $100/hour and beyond. Here's a price comparison for private German lessons and for group classes, which should help you understand what you should expect from each and give you an idea of what kind of investment you might want to make for German learning.

I've gathered the information from private institutions that provide classes, community colleges and universities around the midwest and beyond. All of this information is freely available to you on the internet.

What I won't do in this article, is tell you which option is best for you--because you have to make that decision yourself. Once you've read the information in this article, you should feel empowered to find the right investment of time and money for your resources.

And remember: if you're taking a class or lessons and you're not happy, speak up because it's your money. Ask your teacher for what you want, ask questions until you understand, ask, ask, ask! Like I tell all my clients:

It's vital that you tell me what you do and do not like, and that if you don't like something, that we work together to change it. You (and your parents) pay the bill, and that makes *you* the boss!

Here's why we're not talking about apps today.

Computer programs can't help you like a German teacher can.For the purposes of this comparison, I'll be leaving out the free and nearly-free options like apps and expensive computer programs. I'm specifically leaving them out because they can't teach you like a teacher can. An app can't individualize instruction on the fly, nor can an app actually explain grammar exactly the way you need to hear it as an individual. An app or computer program can be really helpful for helping you learn vocabular words or for practicing a specific grammar structure, but that's where that kind of computer automation stops being hepful.

If you're going to shell out hundreds of dollars for an expensive computer program to "teach" you to speak another language, please do reconsider that option. It might cost you less money than a class or lessons, however it might cost you more time and effort in the long run.

Life is short. Learn German well.

Comparison 1: Private German Lesson Prices

You can spend as much or as little (!) as you like on German lessons. What's key is finding the right investment for you. To discover this, ask yourself a few questions:

How much progress would you like to make? How intense should the course be?

How much money are you willing to invest in the actual instruction?

What do you expect to learn? What is your potential instructor offering?

It's really key to know your own expectations. If you don't want to put in time or effort and want to get to know German, go for something cheap. If you're looking to make seriously fast progress and pound German into your brain with a high monetary investment, then go for high-end lessons. And if you want solid progress with solid resources, I invite you to check out the middle-of-the-road options.

Cheap Lessons


High-End Lessons

+ Low Investment $ - $$

- Probably no materials included

- No online classroom

- Expect your teacher to be a hobby teacher (part-time)

- This teacher is probably not certified nor very experienced.

+ A solid investment $$

+ Your instructor is likely serious about your lessons

+ Expect real progress and for your teacher to challenge you

- Materials probably aren't included

+/- You may or may not have an online classroom

+ This instructor should be experienced and have some credentials that you can follow up on.

+ High investment $$ - $$$

+ Materials should be included

+ Expect the teacher to have years of professional experience and serious education.

+/- This may be in-person or online


You know that private lessons are a high-value activity because you get one-on-one time with the instructor and you don't have anyone else asking their questions. You get 100% of the attention and 100% of the value.

Keep in mind that you might be getting what you pay for, so if you don't invest much, don't expect much.

Comparison 2: German Class Prices

This is where there is the biggest span of financial investment. And there is hardly a class on earth that would provide a book, so be prepared to spend an additional $45-200 on books.

Private Institute

Community College


+ Concentrated on German as a Foreign Language

+ Likely smaller class sizes

+/- Funded by donations and classes, so you'll have to check out their additional resources

+ Other students are there because they want to learn

- No materials included

- Not everyone learns at your pace.

Classes like this run $250-$450 for a 9 - 18 week course.

+ Here you'll learn German with a high emphasis on what the college's curriculum requires.

+ College credit

+/- Class size?

+/- Some students will be in class simply to fulfill a requirement

- No materials included

- Not everyone learns at your pace.

Classes like this run $400 - $1000 per quarter, trimester, or semester.

+ You'll have a lot of classroom time with the instructor/teaching assistant

+ College credit

+/- Class size?

- In the first few classes, a lot of people are taking it simply to fulfill a requirement

+ In the higher-level classes, more people will be seriously interested in the language

- No materials included

- The pace is determined for you by the curriculum.

Classes like this run $1000 - $3000 (or more!) per semester.

Phew! That's a lot of variety and as you can see, you have a lot of options for learning German. Consider your personality, your preferred learning style, your budget, and clear a bit of your schedule to make time to experience German.

How does GermanWithNicole.com compare?


In terms of lessons, what I offer is middle-of-the road for lesson tuition. Let's compare the middle-of-the-road lessons specifically to what I offer:

Middle-of-the-road lessons Lessons here at GermanWithNicole.com

+ A solid investment $$

+ Your instructor is likely serious about your lessons

+ Expect real progress and for your teacher to challenge you

- Materials probably aren't included

+/- You may or may not have an online classroom

+ This instructor should be experienced and have some credentials that you can follow up on.

 + A predictable, set tuition that's the same every month.

+ Your lesson is my business, literally and figuratively. You pay me, which makes you my boss.

+ We use Lernziele (Learning goals) to establish progress and create benchmarks for future learning

+/- Books are not included, however some materials are included, including the exclusive Client Portal.

+++ You have your own, private, encrypted classroom with audio, video, and we share a whiteboard and drawing/writing tools.

+ I have thousands of hours experience teaching German as a Foreign Language and I am a certified instructor for German. Before I started teaching German I taught 680 hours of teaching English as a Foreign Language, which I'm also certified for.

The lessons that I offer here are excellent German lessons with individualized attention for the price of a community college course. Make a solid investment in your lessons, and get a solid return.


The decision is yours.

No matter what kind of learning environment you're looking for, be sure to consider all your options and remember: you need to find the solution that's right for you. Try a class, try private lessons for the same period of time, and see what you think. It's your time, your energy, and your money, so find the best solution for you!


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