Read on for six top tips on how to learn German in an effective and enjoyable way.
Here are six ways to learn German with ease:
1. Make German part of your daily routine
No matter what level your German is, making it a part of your day-to-day life works wonders. This is a great way to regularly expose yourself to the language and learn new words in real-life scenarios.
Link reviewing new words with certain everyday activities, for example, and review new vocab every night before you brush your teeth.
Setting up a study plan can also help you to keep track of your progress and remind you of your goal, even when you’re on the go.
As little as 10 minutes of practice a day can make a difference. As long as you keep it up, of course!
2. Learn in chunks – context is everything!
Learning German in context is a brilliant and simple way to not only learn multiple words at once, but to also really remember them long-term.
So instead of learning “Auto” (car), try memorising common chunks like “mit dem Auto fahren” (to go by car / drive a car).
Connecting a word with an action can help trigger images that our brains store as a vivid memory, instead of a secluded entity. Easy and efficient!
3. Speak German as much as possible – even if it’s only to yourself
Speak, speak, speak!
This tip might sound obvious, but it’s important, especially for beginners.
Speaking not only helps you memorise new expressions – the more you speak, the more you train your tongue and the muscle memory in your face. This helps you get a feel for German and really improve your pronunciation!
So even if you don’t talk to native German speakers: speaking out loud to yourself can make a huge difference.
4. Dive into the culture with German language media
Forget about flashcards, put your textbooks away and…turn on the TV!
German films are often nominees at international film festivals like the Golden Globes, so why not immerse in the German language with some popcorn and “Toni Erdmann”?
Or if you prefer sci-fi mysteries, why not try the first German-language Netflix original series “Dark” with English subtitles?
Podcasts like “Fest und Flauschig” are a great way to get to know the German culture and humour – yes, humour!
Don’t worry if you can’t understand everything – listening will help you get a feel for the sound of German.
5. Make learning German rewarding
Staying motivated is important when learning German. And a great way to keep motivated is by rewarding yourself from time-to-time (ideally with German rewards!).
Reward yourself for making it through grammatical cases by watching a German TV show, cook a German dish after learning a new tense, or memorise the words to a German song you can sing along to.
In short, mix up your learning with things you enjoy.
6. Don’t try to be perfect
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes when learning German!
This might be hard to come to terms with in the beginning, but the best way to learn and progress is by stepping out of your comfort zone.
When you meet German speakers, don’t be shy. Be open to their feedback and corrections.
Chances are, if you’re serious about improving your German skills, you’ll be learning for a good few years. So learn from your mistakes, but don’t let them hold you back or dampen your spirits!
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