24/04/2024

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Learning German Software – How to Fast-Track Your German With the Latest Technology

3 min read
Learning German Software – How to Fast-Track Your German With the Latest Technology

On one of my recent language study holidays, I met a fellow student who joined our class one day. She had been studying the language for about 3 years at university, but when she tried to talk, I was astounded by the fact that she was barely able to say even the most basic of phrases. This is, unfortunately, quite a common thing for many students of foreign languages, as they do not focus on the right things during their study. As a result, lots of time can be spent (in this case, it was years of her life), with little progress.

In this article, I am going to look at some important study tips for teaching yourself German. In particular, how you can use the latest language products to ensure that you get the right balance of each of the four language skills–reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The Four Language Skills

For best results, you should always consider that each of those skills is of equal importance. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to practice each one equally. For most students, reading and writing is easy, considering they are practised every time you use a language text or dictionary. The real challenge comes with speaking and listening.

Thankfully, there are many audio-based language programs available for home study. These range from vocabulary-based programs (which are basically an audio version of a phrase book), through to the fully-integrated language programs. I refer to these as “integrated” because they allow you to learn all of the core aspects of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation at the same time.

What to Look For in Your Language Program

You should always choose an integrated program over a simple audio phrase guide, since these will assist you to learn the technical aspects of the language at the same time as actually learning the words and phrases. This makes it much easier than trying to learn it piece by piece on your own. An integrated program has explanations and discussions in addition to “listen and repeat” audio practice.

The next key ingredient of a good language program is the presenters that you’ll hear in the audio lessons. Obviously, a native speaker is a must for correct pronunciation. In addition, however, it can be a real bonus to have a course guide who is a native speaker of your own language. Why? This is because their brain thinks the same way yours does (in regards to language), so they will be able to highlight for you the main differences in the language structure, as well as some of the major challenges that you will face when learning German. A native German speaker cannot give you that same insight, and it sometimes makes it difficult for students to bridge the “gap” between two different language systems.

Thirdly, you want to ensure that the course is going to help you with each of the four language skills mentioned earlier–reading, writing, listening and speaking. A good course will always be audio based, with interactive sections for you to listen and then practice speaking aloud. In addition, having written components (either in the form of an accompanying text, or online modules) will help you with reading and writing, and these are a great way of visualizing the concepts that you hear through the audio.

Finally, make sure that the program is comprehensive, in that it covers many different topics, and that is has good reviews from other students. With all of these features in place, you can be confident that the language product you are considering purchasing will help you to speak good German in a short amount of time.

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