Frau Zimmermann

31 Oct

Fiona McFadzean

Frau Zimmermann’s outstanding enthusiasm and expertise make her one of the most inspirational tutors I have ever had.

I was fortunate enough to be taught by Frau Zimmermann in both my first and third years at this university. In my first year I struggled badly with German and came close to failing a number of assessed assignments. Without Frau Zimmermann’s patience and support, I would not have reached Honours level, let alone have had the confidence to go to Germany on my year abroad. At the same time, my marks in both assessed coursework and exams improved dramatically.

In her capacity as the Senior Language Tutor for German, Frau Zimmermann clearly showed her dedication in the field of language teaching. She always went the extra mile for her students, marking and giving feedback on any extra work handed in to her and organising not only the weekly grammar workshop known as the Sprachwerkstatt, but also competitions such as Heidi in den Highlands and the Rätsel challenge that encouraged students to continue using and improving their language skills in a less formal setting.

Moreover, Frau Zimmermann’s efficiency and organisational talent is legendary in the German department. As Senior Language Tutor, the lessons she prepared allowed students to explore their own opinions on a wide variety of topics. Assignments were marked and returned to their respective writers promptly and with highly useful comments. Queries of any sort were treated in a similarly efficient and professional manner. I will never forget the morning when I checked my email only to discover that she had already written the reference I had only asked her for the night before. I had sent the email just before midnight and she had replied by 8am informing me that the reference was waiting for me outside her office! Despite her busy schedule, Frau Zimmermann made time for students to discuss any concerns or worries they had about their work or the course and usually addresses these directly even when no prior appointment had been made.

Very few tutors really tailor their tutorials to meet the needs and interests of their students. Frau Zimmermann never failed to do this. She took a genuine interest in the progress and development of every single one of her students. One Sprachwerkstatt, for example, only myself and one other student turned up and yet she still insisted on continuing with the workshop for our benefit.

Nowadays, many people dismiss the importance of language tutors at university level. However, for all the students Frau Zimmermann taught in her capacity as Senior Language Tutor, she made the difference. Although it is deeply regrettable that the Senior Language Tutor position has now been abolished, I am sure I am not alone in wishing to congratulate her on her new post of Language Development Officer!

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