When you invest your time and money in German lessons online, it’s only logical that you want to get the most of your investment. But it’s not enough to just attend your lessons. To get the best results from German lessons online, you’ll want to do some preparations both before and after each online session.
The first thing you’ll want to do to dominate your German lessons online is to prepare for your lesson while offline. This means that you already know what you expect from the online lesson.
Take a look at this list of eight ways to dominate your German lessons online:
Map out your weak points in German.
If you don’t know your weak points in German, it’s hard to improve. One of the things that will happen with online German lessons such as Rosetta Stone group lessons is that the teacher will not necessarily correct your mistakes. You need to ask your online German teacher to evaluate your abilities.
After students complete many lessons it’s common they end up at an intermediate plateau, unable to reach an advanced level. This is where you need to dig into new learning methods, tougher assignments, and lots of feedback to help you become an advanced German speaker. One to one lessons are best for advanced speakers so you can focus on improving German at a personal level.
Go back to your motivation: What do you need German for?
What is the vocabulary you will need for your current stage of German? In other words, why are you learning German? What is your motivation? Where will you need and use German?
In order to answer these questions, consider whether you need German at work, for university studies, at home, as a tourist, to get around town, for business, and so on.
If you need German for more than one of these reasons, create a rating for each category from 1 to 10, with 10 being ‘very important’ and 1 being ‘not at all relevant’. Then focus on learning the vocabulary and expressions for the most important reason that you’re learning German.
Based on your current level of German, what do you need to learn next? Work with your online German teacher to discuss a plan to incorporate what is relevant to your current situation. So this brings us to the next point:
Build a rapport with your online German teacher.
Communicate with your German teachers in advance to them know what you want to achieve with your upcoming online German lesson.
The best German teachers will be communicative with you. They will also be happy to work with you to tailor each online German lesson to your needs and goals. If you don’t communicate your needs to your German teacher, then the teacher will likely go with whatever default plans they have.
If you’re doing group lessons online, you’ll be at a disadvantage because you won’t be able to tailor the online German lesson to your specific needs. That’s why we recommend one-on-one online German lessons.
It’s important to communicate with your German teacher both before and after the lesson. When the lesson is over, offer your teacher feedback on what you liked most and what you would like to see improve for the next lesson.
Keep a record of each online German session.
Take notes during each online German lesson — or better yet, record the session so you can play it back
If you don’t take notes you’re missing out on the chance to review your lesson later. If you prefer to record the lesson, whether with an audio or video recording, you’ll have the opportunity to play back the lesson and you’ll have a better overview of where your weaknesses and strengths are when you speak German.
Let the German conversations flow.
Ask your German teacher to not interrupt you each time you make a mistake. Instead have the German teacher recap your major mistakes at the end of the lesson. Have the teacher send a list of your common mistakes to you via email.
This all relates to the importance of communicating with your German teacher, which we mentioned in point three. Before each lesson, spend time regularly reviewing the structures that you are missing and the grammatical and syntactical errors that you are making.
Go beyond your German comfort zone.
It’s important to always be learning new words, expressions and constructions to keep up the challenge. German is a difficult language to learn. The formation of compound words and the strict grammatical word order make it so different from English that it is difficult to construct a complex sentence without making some kind of error.
If you only stick to simple sentences you’ll never be able to hold high-level conversations in German on professional topics. You’ll only be at that level where you get by when going around town ordering food and buying tickets. That’s why you’ll always want to seek out new challenges to push your German to the next level.
Language learning is a long-term commitment. Make your lessons an integral part of your weekly schedule. That way you’ll build the German learning habits you need to keep your learning goals on track. If you slack off and skip a lesson here or there, you won’t be able to make the progress you need.
Even worse, you risk dropping off completely. Many German students end up giving up. So study German every day, if even for just 15 minutes. Studies show that binge studying is ineffective. So smaller units of time are best to keep your German moving along at a steady pace.
By studying for just a little every day, each time you have an online German lesson, you’ll find that the progress you steadily make will show through and then your online German teacher will have an easier time helping you with the areas of German that are the hardest for you to grasp. It helps if you keep notes while you study so that you can refer to them and keep track of the concepts that you find the most difficult. Being persistent is the key to success in learning German.
Have a language-learning partner offline to share your online learning experience.
Nothing will motivate you more to keep you on track with your German-learning goals than having an offline partner with whom to share your German-learning experiences. Meet each other face to face and talk list to each others’ successes and frustrations with the German language.
Share insights that you learn about German, such as your favorite new words and expressions. Talk about German culture and cultural differences between your native culture and German culture. Discuss regional differences in German culture as well as Austrian and Swiss culture. Share your favorite tips and tricks to memorize new vocabulary and expressions. Talk about your favorite apps for learning German. You can share Anki and Memrise lists with each other and encourage each other to always go further with your German learning.
With these eight tips you’ll get the most out of your online German lessons and reach an advanced, fluent level of German in the long run.
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