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companyBBC & Films Incorporated"Films Incorporated" is not in the list (BBC, BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Scotland, BBC Wales, Associated-Rediffusion, Thames, Carlton, ATV, Central, Anglia, ...) of allowed values for the "Company" property.
started16th Jan 1990
ended19th Mar 1991
last rpt28th Mar 1997
8 school years
duration15 mins
age rangeAge 14-16Age 13-16
languagede/enIn German & In English

BBC TV GermanHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious series: A Level German Next series: The German Collection HierarchyNext.gif

Lernexpress is a German-language BBC schools TV series from the 1990s, covering German Language for secondary school pupils.

German language presented through interviews and films about real German teenagers and adults, in a lively and quite fast-moving format presented by German teenager, 18-year-old Sonja Zimmer. Sonja talks to viewers, including some English at first but wholly in German during later episodes, and goes to meet and interview the subjects of the programmes.

The first series Introduces teenagers from the north German city of Hamburg Violet-marker.png , with the last two episodes going further north to meet those who live and holiday on the North Sea coast in Nordfriesland Violet-marker.png .

The second series is based around teenagers in the south German city of Munich Violet-marker.png , the mountain town of Mittenwald Violet-marker.png on the Austrian border, and around the state of Bavaria Violet-marker.png .

Lernexpress was generally advertised as aimed at ages 14-16 studying for their secondary school exams, but the teacher's notes acknowledged that they could also be used for beginners and intermediate pupils at later stages including sixth forms.

As a general German series for secondary school pupils leading up to GCSE and Standard & Higher Grade exams Lernexpress replaced the earlier, studio-led Mach's Gut!. Later in the 1990s it would in turn be replaced by the even more lively series Hallo aus Berlin.

An accompanying Lernexpress im Radio series was broadcast in the first couple of years.


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Titles & Theme Music

The two units, or series, of Lernexpress had completely different opening titles and logos, with the same theme tune.

The first shows a series of stylised images from around Hamburg and the northern states where it is set, including images of Sonja and some of the people she meets. It has a black and yellow design.

The second shows the same type of images but from around Munich and Bavaria where the second unit is set.

The programme title from the first version is shown above, and the full second version is available to view online.

Episode List

# # Title Broadcast
Lernexpress 1
1. (1) Ich über mich #1990-01-16-00-00-0016 Jan 1990
2. (2) Die Familie #1990-01-23-00-00-0023 Jan 1990
3. (3) Mein Zuhause #1990-01-30-00-00-0030 Jan 1990
4. (4) Die Schule #1990-02-06-00-00-006 Feb 1990
5. (5) Freizeit #1990-02-13-00-00-0013 Feb 1990
6. (6) Die Stadt #1990-02-27-00-00-0027 Feb 1990
7. (7) Ich habe Hunger #1990-03-06-00-00-006 Mar 1990
8. (8) Wie komme ich nach...? #1990-03-13-00-00-0013 Mar 1990
9. (9) Auf dem Land #1990-03-20-00-00-0020 Mar 1990
10. (10) In den Ferien #1990-03-27-00-00-0027 Mar 1990
Lernexpress 2
11. (1) Winterferien #1991-01-08-00-00-008 Jan 1991
12. (2) In den Bergen #1991-01-15-00-00-0015 Jan 1991
13. (3) München stelt sich vor #1991-01-22-00-00-0022 Jan 1991
14. (4) Wir treiben Sport #1991-01-29-00-00-0029 Jan 1991
15. (5) Du bist was du ißt #1991-02-05-00-00-005 Feb 1991
16. (6) Kleider machen Leute #1991-02-12-00-00-0012 Feb 1991
17. (7) Was möchtest du später werden? #1991-02-26-00-00-0026 Feb 1991
18. (8) Funk, Film und Fernsehen #1991-03-05-00-00-005 Mar 1991
19. (9) Soldat oder Zivi? #1991-03-12-00-00-0012 Mar 1991
20. (10) Servus Bayern! #1991-03-19-00-00-0019 Mar 1991


Year Term Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Channel Details
1989-90 Spring 1990 Tuesday, 9:25am Wednesday, 9:50am BBC2
1990-91 Autumn 1990 Tuesday, 9:25am Wednesday, 9:50am BBC2
Spring 1991 Tuesday, 9:30am Friday, 11:30am BBC2
1991-92 Autumn 1991 Monday, 9:10am Tuesday, 9:15am BBC2
Spring 1992 Monday, 9:10am Tuesday, 9:15am BBC2
Summer 1992 weekdays, various times BBC2
1992-93 Autumn 1992 Monday, 11:55am Thursday, 11:30am BBC2
Spring 1993 Monday, 11:55am Thursday, 11:30am BBC2 Thu not Scotland
1993-94 Autumn 1993 Friday, 9:00am BBC2
Spring 1994 Friday, 9:00am BBC2
1994-95 Autumn 1994 Monday, 9:00am BBC2
Spring 1995 Monday, 9:00am BBC2
1995-96 Spring 1996 Tuesday, 9:05am Thursday, 9:30am BBC2 Tue series 2, Thu series 1
Summer 1996 Tuesday, 2:00am+ Wednesday, 2:00am+ Thursday, 2:00am+ BBC2 23-25 Apr
1996-97 Spring 1997 Tuesday, 2:00am+ Wednesday, 2:00am+ Thursday, 2:00am+ Friday, 3:00am+ BBC2 25-27 Feb & 28 Mar

Lernexpress slide 1996.jpg

For overnight trnsmissions as part of Night School TV and The Learning Zone the 20 episodes were split across three 2-hour long compilation programmes shown over consecutive nights.

The final broadcasts in March 1997 consisted of episodes 1 & 15 shown as part of a Language Season 'Young Learners' compilation programme.


Presented by Sonja Zimmer
Language consultant Rosi McNab
Graphic designer Linda Sherwood-Page
Film sound Julian Baldwin

Christopher Lovelock

Film camera Godfrey Johnson
Film editor Amber Lane
Videotape editor Alan Dixon
Production assistant Lizzie Wiffen
Research Kerstin Wachholz
Producer Susan Paton


Teacher's Notes

Teacher's Notes

A booklet of notes was published for each term, containing programme summaries, worksheets, vocabulary lists and transcripts.


Each term's programmes was released as a video pack containing a VHS video and the teacher's notes.


Two student's books were published by Longman, written by series consultant Rosi McNabb.

Book 1: Buy from Amazon

Book 2: Buy from Amazon

Audio cassettes

Two audio cassettes were also released, and transcripts of the cassettes were sold seperately.



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