How do I practice German at home
This is how you learn German quickly and easily
Reading time: 5 minutes
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How long does it take to learn German? Which tricks can help when learning German and why does a language trip make sense? We have collected 15 simple tips for you to learn German.
1. Create a learning plan and set goals
You don't learn German just in passing. Therefore, you should get an overview at the beginning and divide the learning material into small portions. To do this, create lists of topics that need to be addressed and determine when you want to tackle what. Try to be realistic and not place too high demands on yourself. A study plan also serves as a kind of performance control and helps you to better manage the time available. It is important that you also think about why you want to learn German in the first place. Write your goals and reasons for motivation on a piece of paper. Whenever you don't feel like studying at all, you can take a look.
2. Study regularly to improve your German
Who doesn't know that: on some days you just don't feel like studying. Others sit for hours in front of vocabulary and grammar. It is important to study regularly. It is better to do shorter learning units more often and try to really only concentrate on your documents. On the site deutsch-lernen.com you can click your way through German lessons online (and free of charge!). For example, take a short grammar lesson and practice with it every day. Your German will improve faster if you study one hour a day instead of five hours a week.
3. Eliminate all possible disruptive factors while studying
You have finally prepared all your study tools and you want to start learning. But your smartphone is ringing again. The best friend wants to know what was going on at school today. Sure, you have to answer that first and learning will be postponed. So don't let it get that far! Before studying, turn off your cell phone and let your friends know that you won't be available for another hour. Eliminate any disruptions that are holding you back from learning. Even if it is difficult at first, you will soon notice that suddenly a lot more sticks.
4. Always learn German nouns with the articles
You have probably already noticed that the articles in German are very important. Therefore, you should always learn them while learning vocabulary. So it is not simply called "house", but "the house". If you learn the words with the articles right from the start, you will be spared a lot of problems later. By the way, it is advisable to learn the plural form right away. So then it says “the house” and “the houses”.
5. Design practical learning aids for learning German
First you write down vocabulary or important memoranda on a piece of paper. You can use a post-it or a large poster for this. Just as you like it. You then distribute these notes in your apartment. Preferably in places where you spend a lot of time. For example next to the coffee machine, above the stove, on the toilet or on the mirror. Whenever you are in one of these places, you will automatically take a look at the vocabulary to be learned. You will be surprised how well it works!
6. Build donkey bridges and use them to trick your brain
Often there are vocabulary, rules, or phrases that just don't go into your head. No matter how many times you try to memorize it, you won't be able to remember it the next day. It is easier to learn with donkey bridges. They are nothing more than simple phrases or small linguistic detours that help us not to forget what we have learned. You can also think of little stories for particularly difficult vocabulary that lead you to the word.
Example of a donkey bridge: Be smart and just remember nouns are always capitalized!
7. Use a highlighter and highlight important things
Marking key points in learning texts makes perfect sense. This will make you aware of what is important and thus improve your memory performance. Repeating what you have already learned will be much easier for you - this also increases the fun factor. Who is not happy about faster learning effects? But be careful, because the following applies here: less is more! If you color in the entire German text, that's it with the faster learning effect.
8.Give your brain a break from time to time
After an intensive learning phase of 40 - 50 minutes, it is advisable to put everything aside and recharge your batteries. Do not see a break as "lost" time, because what you have learned so far has to be processed before your brain can be filled with new information. Get some fresh air for a few minutes or open the window! This will supply your brain with oxygen and you can concentrate better again. Important: Don't forget to drink while studying.
9. Watch films & series in German
Learning at the same time while watching TV? Yes, it works! In the age of DVDs and video-on-demand providers, films and series can be used as a varied learning method. First check which language the offers are available in, and then watch your favorite series in German. Set the subtitles in your native language. Thus, the vocabulary wanders into your memory - without you having to make an extraordinary effort. The coolest thing about it is: You practice listening comprehension and even your pronunciation and get a feel for the foreign language.
10. Listen to German radio and learn from songs
Of course you need textbooks and intensive grammar units, but you don't have to sit at your desk all the time to practice your listening comprehension. It is important for your hearing that you become familiar with the sound and pronunciation. Whether you're cooking, on your way to university or doing sports: turn on the radio and get your ears used to the German language. If you cannot find a German station in your radio program, use the internet radio. Here you can find channels in almost all languages. Most of them are even broadcast live and are free. If in the future you hear a German song that you like and that makes you curious, then pay attention to what you already understand or what the song is about. Translate vocabulary or phrases you don't know and try to make context. Over time, you will understand more and more of songs or radio news and thus understand more about the country and the culture.
Click here for Austrian radio!
11. Exchange ideas with people who speak German
Do you have someone in your family or friends who speaks German as their mother tongue? Then arrange meetings or start pen pals. If not, then take advantage of social networks. There you will certainly find some groups or forums that deal with German as a foreign language. Perhaps this will open up other great opportunities to hone your German skills. What you can definitely do is join these groups and become active as a user. Ask questions or get helpful tips. The purpose of these groups is to exchange ideas with one another or to help if you don't have a solution yourself.
12. Don't be afraid of mistakes
No linguistic genius has yet fallen from heaven. When learning a language, it hardly helps to just memorize theories. You have to speak a language and mistakes happen. As a child, you had to learn to speak first, and you have often swapped letters or given a completely new name to terms. People from other countries appreciate your interest in their language and will be more than happy to forgive you for small speech errors. The important thing is that you are ready to learn from mistakes - and next time you will know better.
13. Reward yourself after learning German
Another chapter closed again? Very good! Pamper yourself with a piece of chocolate, a cup of tea, or a well-deserved nap on the couch. You can look forward to your performance, even if there is more progress on one day than on another. This will link learning in the subconscious with something positive and you will be better able to motivate yourself to learn in the future.
14. Make learning easier with sketches and notes
Each of us has a different learning behavior and a certain strategy for how we approach learning a language. But it can often help to visualize things. Record words or contexts and take notes on points that are not very clear to you. Feel free to work with different colors or index cards. This will stimulate your imagination and draw attention to what is important. Visualizations make complex statements faster and easier to grasp. They also give you a better overview. Think about German grammar, for example, which is not only a headache, but is also quite extensive. You could therefore break them down into different subgroups, which you differentiate by color. Then take a text at hand and underline the words with the right color depending on their affiliation.
- Noun - blue
- Verbs - red
- Adjectives - green
15. Take a language trip to Vienna and learn from locals
The best and most effective way to learn a language is still to travel to a country where it is spoken as a mother tongue. There you are surrounded by the language all day and experience it in its cultural context. Vienna is ideally suited for this not only because of its central location in Europe and the fact that Standard German is spoken here, but also because of its high quality of life and its diverse cultural and leisure activities. At the ActiLingua Academy you have the opportunity to choose from a variety of courses that suit your language level and at the same time find the right accommodation for you. This of course also includes accommodation in host families, who look forward to welcoming students from all over the world and introducing them to Austrian culture a little closer. The nice thing about a language trip is that you are constantly in contact with people and thus get to know very different cultures. It is a great opportunity to get to know yourself a little better again, to find out your own strengths and weaknesses and to get involved in a different environment. And who knows, it might open up completely new avenues.
If you would like to find out more about Vienna or the ActiLingua Academy, visit us on our website!
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