My present method for studying the German language

My current method for studying German is to try to study on average 2 hours a day / 15 hours a week, including speaking and listening, reading and writing in my protocol.  The three-hour German lesson on Saturday, and the one hour conversation practice with my fellow student on Friday take care of most of the listening and speaking aspects of learning. We use a topic based vocabulary list and make topics up from that in order to use those words. I do get some further listening practice watching old Derrick TV shows sometimes, for which I use earphones to enhance comprehensibility.

After Friday’s conversation I write a blog about some of what we discussed, and try to write grammatically correctly.  So this takes care of most of the writing practice.

And I read Die Bild and Deutsche Welle Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten on some days during the week, giving me my reading practice.  They also read out the news, although I listen to full speed, not the slow recording, for further listening practice.

The biggest hurdle in becoming fluent is vocabulary, so every time I come across I word or expression I don’t know, or only recognise but can’t remember well, I add it to my word list.  I write English (or sometimes  German if I know it well) on the left side, and German on the right side of my landscape orientation A4 page.  I collect new words and expressions from all of the above activities, and ensure I make a new double-side A4 word list every day, with 18 – 20 lines per side, usually.

a word list

a word list

The next day I will study this list once, first going through each translation, out loud if by myself, second translating, first from English to German (the hardest), and then from German to English. Then I do the other side of the page. Later in the day I will study the previous day’s word list (making this the second time for this list), and towards the end of the day I will study the previous day’s list once more, for the third and final time. I will mark all words that I can’t properly remember, and they will go onto the word list I make the next day.  Then I throw that word page away, as restudying doesn’t really help. This way I make one new list a day, and finish and dispose of one list a day, and as I write the new words one day, and then study them for the next two days, I am exposed to them for three days in a row, and more if I don’t remember them and have to add them to a subsequent list.

And what I really need is much more speaking and listening practice with people.



Die Bild

Deutsche Welle Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten




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