A Guide To The Different Options Available To Help You Learn German Online
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 12:52:25 PM
Learning German online is fairly easy given the range of options available. It has been spoken by many nations in the EU for centuries, shaping the English language and its grammar, and many school children across the continent learn the language as part of their school's curriculum. There are therefore many different types of program, lesson and website on the web catering for all kinds of learners – whether you are a complete novice looking to expand your linguistic range, a former scholar wanting to brush up on some phrases for a holiday or a child hoping to aid their own education.
Because there are so many people wanting to learn German, for whatever reason, the market is saturated with German versions of all the best and worst programs and websites you can think of, all with the aim of aiding your progress in some way. With so many to choose from, how can you be sure that you have found a worthy product and are not just wasting your time? To help you make a more informed decision, this guide will briefly explain the benefits and problems involved with different methods for people at different stages of learning.
What options are there for former students who want to exercise their linguistic muscles for a holiday?
This is one of the easiest ways to learn German online – partly because you already have the basic knowledge and understanding but also because you have lots of different methods of learning available to you. If you just need some simple phrases and to perfect your pronunciation it may be worth trying some online phrase books. Some of them are a little hard to negotiate and understand, but if you have the patience then you may find it worthwhile plus there is the extra benefit of it being free. On the other side of the coin are the apps for your mobile, while these can be costly in comparison, they are worth the expense for the ability to take them to Germany with you and have the phrases you need within easy reach.
Where do you turn if you are an absolute beginner with no background or basic knowledge?
If you are completely new to German, or say have a child that has just started their secondary education, these methods mentioned above may not be suitable quite yet. Instead you should look towards interactive, child friendly sites and beginner lessons. There are a number of websites around which allow children to hone their language skills via a range of games and quizzes, all with an interactive, fun edge to make them enjoyable and repetitive.
Often these are tailored to the very young so older children – and especially novice adults – may find them a little underwhelming; however there are websites tailored to certain ages and curriculums and free online lessons from organizations such as the BBC that can provide some basic knowledge or a starting block for future study. These courses have the benefit of being free, but could perhaps be viewed as limiting and not enough of a challenge. For adults in the latter category that wish to really test themselves and take full advantage of the chance to learn German online, there are further options that can provide more of an education.
Take the academic approach to learning German online by enrolling in university, investing in software and earning some qualifications
This statement may seem like an extreme step from the methods outlined above – jumping from simple online lessons to becoming a university student - but it is a method that many people are using. The idea of earning a qualification for your hard work is an incentive for continuing to learn German as a second language because not only can you claim to speak it, you will have a piece of paper to prove it and add to your resume. Getting this qualification – as a degree or diploma – via a university can be easily achieved via distance learning. All the materials are sent out to you so you can receive a university standard education within your home, and many institutions offer tutor support and student support to make the experience easier. The downside of this option is the cost and the time it take to complete. These courses can be time consuming and are by far the most expensive method available.
For those of you tempted by these methods and rewards but put off by the time and fees, it may be worth looking at signing up for some language software – particularly with Rocket Languages who offer official certification as one of their incentives. But read these consumers reviews first. The academic equivalent of this qualification may not be a high ranking as one from a university, but it is still respectable and can be achieved in less time at a fraction of the cost. By signing up for the Rocket German program, you will receive materials, access websites, communities and all the help you could need to start learning German online and proceed into more advanced levels of study.
Rocket German (Review: Found here)is not the only option in language software by any means, there are a host of competitors out there offering different structures, rates and incentives – such as the well-publicized and recommended Rosetta Stone (Reviews: Over here). These rivals have their own perks and disadvantages and are worth further research, but it is generally agreed upon that Rocket German provides the more comprehensive and well-rounded education.
So, in conclusion…
As with most products and services that can be found online, there is no single and guaranteed method that will enable you to learn German online more efficiently and effectively than any other. When it comes down to it, it all depends on your reasons for learning German and your ultimate goal. If the prospect of a qualification and challenging, progressive education in the language captures your interest then the distance learning and software options could be the way to go, but if you are looking for a more casual, simple introduction – or even reintroduction – to the subject there are plenty of websites and apps available to make the process simple and enjoyable.