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Resources:

Using resources is as personal as learning styles and I can only list below a couple of websites and resources which I personally like. Please drop me a line under 'Comments', if you have any additional suggestions.

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One of my all-time favourites (for all abilities).

Please see further details under "Five free* apps for language learning" below.

Andrew Balaam is running www.languagesonline.org.uk -  http://www.languagesonline.org.uk/Hotpotatoes/germanindex.htm, which offers a lot of interactive activities (for beginners and intermediate learners).

The Goethe-Institut offers a huge variety of resources and information, including many texts, sound files and exercises provided by their staff around the world (for advanced learners).

The Deutsche Welle offers a huge number of texts, sound files and exercises (for advanced learners).

Vorleser.net offers more than 750 downloads of literary texts and sound files free of charge (for advanced learners).

Leo is a translation website that is still preferable to other search engine translation sites (for all abilities).

Grimms Grammar is a great website which might help you with appreciating German grammar (for all abilities).

I have used TaskMagic for many years now, creating all sort of activities for learners of all ability. It is certainly one of my alltime favourites!

NB: Arguably, it works best on a touchscreen laptop.

Five free* apps for language learning:

(*most free apps try to introduce you to products that come at a price)

 

Here I introduce five free apps for language learning and two personal favourites.

It does not require expensive research to know that everyone’s learning is in many ways similar but might require different ways/strategies, and that variety increases enjoyment and therefore (hopefully) success in language acquisition. Undoubtedly, immersion into a foreign language and explanation of patterns is the best way to learn a language. However, not everyone is in the position to travel and there is surely also a place for independent/self-study. Books used to play an important role, but more and more the internet and mobile phone apps seem to be replacing the printed word. Websites and apps have ‘come a long way’ and are becoming more and more interactive, supporting and challenging individuals’ learning. “Anytime, anywhere”, for however long, come into their own!

A short internet search reveals the latest reviews and recommendation, but obviously it depends on the learner and what is good for one might be useless for others. Here are a few apps recommended by many authors, such as Marta Krzemińska (www.lingualift.com), which she refers to as “Best free language learning apps“.

 

The following five apps seem particularly popular:

 

1. Memrise offers many different languages learners can either tap into or spend time to achieve a certain proficiency level. Based on textbooks and vocabulary lists, as well as more ‘unusual’ content, Memrise is trying to utilise repetition, mnemonics and humorous associations (memes) to support learning and especially recall. The competitive element to outscore others might just add the possibly needed extra motivation to persist.

 

The following reviews will give a first insight:

http://skillcookbook.com/memrise-review

https://www.g2crowd.com/products/memrise/reviews

https://www.thebalance.com/memrise-review-1357058

http://languagetsar.com/memrise-review-2

www.highya.com/memrise-reviews

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-using-Memrise-Duolingo-for-language-learning

 

So, next

2. Duolingo makes the learner use all four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). It tries to combine fun with drill and is currently available for Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish and Swedish.

 

The following sites are some of the many that offer reviews:

https://www.fluentin3months.com/duolingo

http://fluentlanguage.co.uk/blog/duolingo-review-fluentlanguage

http://uk.pcmag.com/duolingo-for-iphone/4912/review/duolingo-for-iphone

http://skillcookbook.com/duolingo-review

http://snarkynomad.com/a-thorough-duolingo-review-after-finishing-all-of-french

https://www.lingholic.com/duolingo-review

 

3. Mindsnacks aims to pair language learning and gaming, using cute animations. Each of the nine different languages is structured into nine games and focus on practising listening skills, vocabulary and grammar. Learners can monitor how they are progressing, aiming to achieve proficiency. Certainly a fun way of learning the basics and a timer can add to the thrill.

 

Here are again a few sites that offer reviews:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/learn-spanish-mindsnacks

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/learn-french-by-mindsnacks

http://powlyglot.com/mindsnacks-review

https://www.wired.com/2012/10/reviews-language-learning-apps

https://thepolyglotblog.wordpress.com/.../review-mind-snacks-french-app-for-iphone

https://edshelf.com/tool/mindsnacks-learn-spanish

 

4. Busuu is exploring 12 different languages to learn and supports learners exploring word, phrases and sentences, even short conversations, supported by audio clips. The short “travel course” offers an effective way into language acquisition.

 

The reviews vary a lot:

https://www.fluentin3months.com/busuu-livemocha-review

http://languagetsar.com/busuu-review

http://kokothepolyglot.net/2013/08/22/should-you-consider-busuu-when-learning-languages-review

https://www.thebalance.com/busuu-review-1357040

http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/site-reviews/busuu.shtml

 

5. MosaLingua provides the usual lessons with the standard topics for beginners. Learners can listen to specific conversations in situations tourists are likely to find themselves. Based on flashcard drill, the app encourages learners to listen, repeat, record, spell and memorise.

At the end, it is down to the individual learner to decide which app, if any, suits them best, and it might even be a good idea to refer back to good old-fashioned CD-ROMs. The EuroTalk’ Talk Now series (NB: The CD-ROMs come at a reasonable price, if bought second hand!) is one of many, but very engaging, entertaining and certainly appeals to some learners’ competitiveness.

 

Follow the hyperlinks to access a couple of reviews:

http://www.toptenreviews.com/software/education/best-learn-french-software/talk-now-review

http://www.largerfamilylife.com/2015/08/18/we-review-eurotalk-language-learning-apps

 

Last but certainly not least – an absolute must for sessions on mobile devices ‘on the go’ and longer sessions at home:

 

Quizlet!

The URLs below can provide a brief insight:

https://quizlet.com/36198661/aqa-german-gcse-unit-2-reading-higher-june-2013-flash-cards/

https://quizlet.com/12466395/avoir-etre-faire-et-aller-flash-cards/

If stuck, just refer to the YouTube tutorial, such as “How to use Quizlet”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ6EXXRv8oU.

 

Again, learners just need to have a go and decide whether this one is ‘the one’.

Most importantly, all learners ought to enjoy their learning, using whatever strategy and resources and focus on the fun that can be had learning new languages!

 

Sources:

https://www.lingualift.com/blog/best-language-learning-apps/ (20/04/2017)

http://www.fodors.com/news/7-outstanding-language-learning-apps-and-websites-11121 (20/04/2017)

 

Further reading:

 

“THESE LANGUAGE APPS ARE ALMOST AS GOOD AS HAVING A BABELFISH IN YOUR EAR” by Simon Hill, http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/best-apps-for-learning-a-foreign-language/ (20/04/2017)

 

“10 Great iPhone Apps You Can Use To Learn A Foreign Language” by Tiffaney Matheus, https://www.igeeksblog.com/5-great-apps-you-can-use-to-learn-a-foreign-language/ (20/04/2017)

 

“The 5 Best Apps for Learning Spanish as a Beginner” by Kaytie Norman, https://www.brainscape.com/blog/2015/06/best-beginner-apps-for-learning-spanish/ (20/04/2017)

Websites that might be of interest:

 

http://deutschdrang.com ***

http://www.lggs.org.uk/german2/10830.html ***

http://slowgerman.com ***

https://www.zdf.de/kinder/logo *** and

https://www.zdf.de/kinder/logo/alle-logo-sendungen-100.html ***

http://gut.languageskills.co.uk/index.html **

 

https://revisionworld.com/gcse-revision/german *

http://www.germanteacherresources.com*

 

 

NB: The websites certainly offered interesting resources when I accessed them last. However, as websites change and URLs sometimes get taken over, the quality of what was on offer might have changed by now.

Call me, Sönke Beyer, on 07751149854

email info@learnwithagerman.com or
skype learnwithagerman

to arrange an initial consultation

 

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