I have recently moved in Frankfurt to do a research stay at Goethe University and I’m hoping to improve my German too. I know, my accent is thick, my grammar rough, and it takes me ages to construct a relatively intelligible sentence, but please, speak to me in German! It is very frustrating when people turn into English only after you have pronounced the first sentence. The gym class, the uni registration, the shopping in the supermarket, they are all live courses! As a language teacher, I’m dismayed to see how quickly people in Frankfurt turn into English. They mean to be welcoming and helpful but for me, it’s a missed opportunity to improve my language skills!
Next time you are approached by a foreigner trying to communicate with you in your mother tongue, don’t switch languages too quickly! I’m sure s/he will feel very proud of having managed to understand you! Danke schön!