There are many ways that you can learn German online and what’s more, you normally don’t even have to pay tuition fees! Thanks to a range of websites, apps and online courses designed to help you move forward with learning German, you can easily find a resource that suits you.
One of the biggest benefits to learning online is that you can do it when and where you want to.
So, for example, if you work shifts and can’t find a class that can accommodate your non-working hours then an online course or tutorial might be the perfect option for you. Online resources facilitate learning and make the entire process more convenient and easy. And ease of learning goes a long way in today’s society.
Similarly, if you have a family to support and can’t realistically do anything for yourself until after your children have gone to sleep at night, then having access to online materials can be your saviour.
Alternatively, your company might imminently be sending you on a work placement in a German-speaking country and you may not have the time to commit to lessons during the day due to ongoing business responsibilities.
It can be difficult to find time for German lessons around your family and professional life. Photo credit: thetejon via VisualHunt.com
Regardless of your reasons for learning German, you are sure to find lots of helpful content on the Internet.
Do remember, however, that not all resources found on the web can be trusted so try to stick to official sites rather then blogs, and try not to forget also that learning through online materials is just one part of language acquisition. You must speak it and experience conversations too to be able to advance, although some courses do offer the opportunity to experiment with speaking in the foreign language to.
That said, some genuine blogs can help to supplement your learning by providing an insight into things like German culture, slang and gastronomy, among other things.
Many online resources have been adapted to help beginners learn German, some of which are part of renowned British-based corporations while others are the products of specialist German-speaking companies. The BBC, for example, has a dedicated space for online language lessons in addition to its famous Bitesize site designed for school revision.
The purpose of the BBC Online Courses is to provide a range of lessons that can be followed at the student’s own pace. As part of their online language courses, German is offered with a 12-week beginner’s course which teaches all of the basics and awards you with a BBC certificate when you come to complete the final assessment.
You can sign up for this course for free and the BBC will even send weekly mailings containing encouragement and tips to help your language-learning journey.
The introductory course itself is made up of clips to watch and listen to, with the opportunity to read transcripts and key language terminology in writing. The practical subjects include greeting people, asking for directions, buying rail tickets, checking into a hotel, as well as many more scenarios that learners are likely to be faced with during their time in Germany.
You will want to learn the basics, like how to buy a rail ticket, to get by in Germany. Photo credit: Schnitzel_bank via VisualHunt.com
Deutsch Lernen, on the other hand, is an Austrian-derived language course which focuses on learning German with interactive exercises. It offers ten German lessons for complete beginners and a further twenty-four grammar-related lessons for more advanced learners.
The free course also looks at German language orthography, i.e. the language’s conventional spelling system, and proposes two tests to help learners assess their progress.
Babbel, meanwhile, is a mobile app and organisation founded by two German managing directors which offers learning resources for various languages. The idea of the ‘Babbel Method’ is to keep language learning fast and fun while adopting world-class techniques, proven strategies and the strongest academic learning practices to teach languages.
Speed, especially in such a technology-driven world, is of utmost importance to many learners, as is ease of access. This is why Babbel has found such great success. It offers powerful and progressive lessons which guarantee the shortest path to real-life conversations thanks to dialogues, cognitive techniques, speech recognition activities and topics tailored to your native language and personal preferences.
Deutsch Akademie is a comprehensive online German course that offers more than 20,000 German grammar and vocabulary exercises, making up up over 800 hours of interactive online resources. The course is structured in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and is therefore a great way to teach yourself the language in a well-informed and progressive manner.
Additionally, this course is perfect for those who wish to build on their existing skills. The advantages are that you can control your progress, there is a qualified German teacher on hand to answer your questions and the grammar points are each presented with clear explanations and examples.
DuoLingo is a very popular language learning app that boasts the ability to help you learn German by spending just five minutes a day going over its mini-tutorials. The ‘addictive’ app enables students to earn points for correct answers, race against the clock and move up levels. All of these aspects combined make of DuoLingo an exciting way to learn a new language like German.
Its slogan is: ‘Learn a language for free. Forever.’ This serves as a great reminder of just what is on offer here – the ability to acquire a new skill for life for absolutely no money at all.
The owners of DuoLingo seem to have targeted this app at young professionals with limited time on the hands, who turn to their mobile phones during breaks from work, as well as those commuting to work with little else to do with their journey time.
Apps like DuoLingo provide a great platform for learning whilst on the go, like on your daily commute to work. Photo credit: Davide D’Amico via Visual hunt
However, the platform is now available for classroom environments too with thousands of teachers already using its lessons to enhance their own teaching methods.
If you’ve ever thought about studying German in Germany, check out ‘study in Germany‘ for great tips about learning German and moving to the farther-land.
Rocket Languages is an award-winning language learning course provider based in New Zealand, but providing learning resources to pupils across the world. A relatively new addition to the language learning community, Rocket Languages was formed in 2004 by passionate linguists in an attempt to break the mould of traditional language learning techniques.
Starting with Spanish, the team developed a very successful online course that enabled beginners to speak Spanish from the very first lesson, and they have since built on this success with further releases addressing French, Arabic, Mandarin, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Russian, all adapted for native English speakers.
Members can trial the courses for free before committing to buy the full set of lessons, many of which include interactive audio lessons that are great for learning in the car. All content is available 24/7 and a user-friendly mobile app makes learning easy whilst in the go.
Last but not least there is Memrise, a language learning app which features games, native speaker videos and other recreational activities to make learning fun. The main purpose of the online platform is to combine memory techniques and entertaining content to create a welcoming environment in which language progression can take place.
Based very much on scientific evidence, this app aims to encourage the acquisition of a second language using triggers and memorisation techniques which allow the brain to come up with and retain information related to their chosen language.
As you can see, there’s a broad range of digital resources on offer for language beginners, many of which offer different benefits, but all of them share the same goal: to help you to learn a new language.
If your learning German, be sure to validate your German level with a certification in the German language.