The number of people learning German online has increased during the pandemic, with students fulfilling life long desires of learning German, others changing careers to work in the German market, and some learning just for fun. Whatever the motivation for learning, we always see common mistakes made during study, but these don’t have to be challenges, they can be stepping stones into a great learning mindset.
Making mistakes is part of the learning process, it’s how you develop as a German student. If you want to become fluent in German, you must embrace your mistakes and build them into your learning strategy. Avoiding mistakes only keeps you stuck in your comfort zone, and that is not where the magic happens. Catching mistakes early on will guarantee huge success in your online German language journey.
1. Thinking your pronunciation is wrong- German has it’s own unique sound and phonetics which may seem daunting at the start, but with weekly class discussions and opportunities to do speaking activities and presentations, you will soon speak like a native German. We recommend audio books, Netflix movies, German radio and more to help you pick up the pronunciations, and our native German teachers are always here to support and guide you on anything you don’t know. In our student stories you will see how all our students comment on how fun and interactive our classes are, we do not judge you or your ability, we just ask that you try and most importantly have fun doing so.
2. Not knowing your learning style- All students come to GermanMind with different motivations, and all come with different learning styles too. Some students want extra homework every week, some plan additional study sessions with goals like learn 10 new words everyday, some prefer learning via audio and visual methods, others want to learn by speaking in class and arrange virtual chats with classmates to enhance their skills. It’s important you know what works for you, including the time you have to dedicate to learning and resources available. Once you understand what method excels your learning, you create a learning discipline that will help you to retain the German language even better.
3. Focusing too much on grammar- Grammar is found in every language, some easy, some hard, but the trick is to start with the easy grammar so you can build your confidence with the language. Many students feel grammar is the most important aspect of learning German, but concentrating on one area alone will only make you lack in others such as vocabulary, or listening. At GermanMind we take a comprehensive approach to learning German with mixed methods, encompassing the four key language skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, which do include grammar, but we don’t get stuck on it. In April we introduced Vier at GermanMind where we are teaching German language skills daily with 4 hints, tips or tricks everyday, including grammar, so please check out our Instagram and Facebook for full details.
4. Learning once a week- Yes! Our German classes take place once a week, but learning German is a daily occurrence. Two hours a week will not create enough of an impact in your brain to retain a new language, or spike your motivation or passion to do so. Learning German is not a full time job, we are only asking for some daily activities such as speaking German aloud, reading in German, watching a German TV show, listening to audio, and completing your weekly homework activities of course. A habit is created in 21 days, and if you persevere with spending 10 minutes a day improving your German, you will see how consistency will lead to huge progress by the end of your 6 week course.
5. Having unrealistic expectations- Remember how long it took you to perfect your native tongue, be patient and committed when learning German and we guarantee you will flourish in the language. We always ask our students to set goals when starting their German course online, and these can vary from fluency in one year, to knowing how to order food and drinks when on holidays in Munich or Berlin. There is no competition in class, each native German teacher will work with the students' needs to help them reach their goals with extra curricular activities, additional reading resources, support and more. We never compare our students, and neither should you. As mentioned before everyone has a different motivation, a different goal, a different learning style, so identify yours, and with commitment and self-discipline you will soon exceed your expectations with great results.
Learn to love mistakes, and use them as a reflection of your learning style and an opportunity to develop as a student. We have new online courses beginning soon, catering to all language levels from beginner to intermediate and advanced. Check out our timetable for full details, and don’t forget our Instagram for all the language tips and tricks this month.