10 Study Tips for German Language Learners
You know we like to help you out, right? Remember those 10 reasons why you should learn German tips we gave you? Well, now we’re following that with 10 Tips for German Language Learners – we kind of figured you’ve probably started a language course following our last set of tips and you might need a little study help!
Our spring session of language courses got underway this week so we thought this was the perfect time for this post – if you haven’t signed up for a class yet, don’t worry, we’re still taking registrations! Click here for more information on that and how to register.
1. Practice, practice, practice.
It’s a simple one, right, but probably the most important. If you don’t practice your new found language skills, you’re not going to remember them and reach that goal of becoming fluent in German. You need to make sure you practice all four major skills, reading, speaking, writing and listening. Try and make it a habit, schedule a set amount of time on a daily basis. It could be 10 minutes after eating your breakfast, 30 minutes before bed or part of your lunch break, either way, you need to make sure you’re doing a little something everyday. Make sure you work on your vocabulary too, you can’t speak German without learning the words!
2. Be consistent.
Taking one class every year is not going to help. By the time you enroll for the next one, if you haven’t practiced and kept up with any of your skills you’re going to be back to square one. Try to keep to the same schedule for your language learning for example, a class per week. Keeping up with classes is vital, taking one semester here and one semester there is good, but nowhere near as effective as taking all four semesters in one year. Making sure you practice on a consistent basis will also help you to build those skills – cramming for an hour here and there is not as effective as allotting 20 minutes or so per day.
3. Don’t expect to be perfect.
Learning a language is tough, especially German! Let’s face it, it isn’t the easiest language in the world to learn, that’s for sure. Therefore, you’re not going to be perfect straight away. Don’t be embarrassed – there will be many times when you may get a word wrong, it’s preposition wrong or the sentence structure but, stick with it and you’ll get there – trust us! You learn from the mistakes and come out the other side even stronger, your German skills will also improve along the way!
4. Be patient.
Look, you’re not going to be fluent after 1 week, 1 month or even 1 year. This language learning thing takes time people and you need to be patient about it. If you’re patient, it will come and you’ll be hopping, skipping and jumping your way to speaking German like a native, but, if you try to rush things, you won’t concentrate as well, get stressed and those skills you’re attempting to learn will not sink in at all. All those hopes and dreams of mixing with the German masses, living and working in Germany will be back to square one.
5. Leave your comfort zone.
You’ve never spoken a word of German before and being thrust into a class with new classmates who you’ve never met can be pretty daunting, right? However, in order to crack this language learning task you need to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to answer a question in class, even if you get the answer wrong. Like we said before, we learn from those mistakes. If you stay in your little bubble and don’t branch out, you won’t learn new things, correct any mistakes you might be about to make or build your confidence.
6. Set a realistic goal.
Don’t expect to be fluent after day 1 and be able to hold a very long conversation in German within a few days, people, that is just not going to happen. Learning a language takes time and dedication, you can’t run before you can walk. Set yourself a goal that is achievable, if you get there before your targeted time then it’s a bonus!
7. Find a friend.
We all know that doing something with a friend is better than doing something on your own, right? The same goes for language learning. Make friends with someone in your class or maybe you have a handy German at home who can help you out. Working with them, practicing together and having fun whilst you’re doing it will definitely make the learning process easier. I mean, who wants to sit on their own with a pile of books when they can talk away in German with a friend and enjoy it at the same time!
8. Don’t be intimidated.
We know what it feels like, you walk into your first language class, there are another 10 people staring at you, you don’t want to get things wrong and feel like you’re under pressure. Well people, here’s the thing, everyone is in the same boat. Everyone in your class is probably feeling the same emotions as you. Learning a language is scary and daunting, it’s often a new experience that you’ve never had before and, let’s face it, it’s pretty tough. Being intimidated is not going to help your language learning process at all. You need to grab it with both hands and run with it, wherever it may take you! Don’t be afraid to speak out in class or let those massively long German words scare you, you’ll get there and soon those massively long German words will come naturally!
9. Immerse yourself.
Try to expose yourself to as much German as possible. Watch German films and TV programs, listen to German radio, read books in German, speak German wherever and whenever you can, leave post-it notes on objects around the house so that you can learn the German words. All this will help you to improve your skills and add to your vocabulary. The best way to learn a language is to fully immerse yourself in it – if you can up sticks and move to Germany for a few months, you’ll be forced to speak the language and that could be one of the best ways to learn it!
10. Have fun.
This one is simple and could be one of the most important tips! Let’s face it, if we don’t have fun doing something, we’re not going to like it. German could be a little tough at times but believe us, learning it is fun too! Enjoy yourself, think of the possibilities that this can open up for you. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, smile and enjoy it!
Do you have any other tips to add to the list?
Posted on April 14, 2015, in Daily News and tagged Atlanta, German, German Language, German Language Learning, Goethe, Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta, language learning, Tips for Language Learning. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.