Learning a new language like German can be challenging, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun! Varied learning is not only fun, but also good for motivation and remembering what you have learned.
We asked our GermanMind students about their favourite methods for learning and practising German, and their best tip? Feel free to be a bit silly in your new language!
Try using the language in this new way to improve your confidence and speaking skills. And yes, one of their suggestions is actually "watch TV".
Change your mindset.
"One thing that really helped me learn was to mentally narrate my day in German. I was constantly thinking things like, 'And now I'm looking for my glasses. I can't find my glasses. Where did I put my glasses yesterday?", doing my inner monologue in German. That was really good to find out where I had gaps in my knowledge, what grammar I was struggling with and so on."
Talk to yourself (without judging!).
If you can't get your brain to talk in another language, try talking out loud to commit yourself to practising the language every day.
"In high school, I tried to make a habit of talking to myself in German while driving or walking. That really helped me get used to thinking in German, and it helped me feel comfortable moving my mouth in a new, weird way."
Learn while you watch a new show....
Another popular tip from our learning experts was to watch TV shows or movies in German when the content is already familiar - the perfect excuse to finally watch TV just to learn.
"When I was in Germany learning German, the most helpful thing was to watch my favourite subtitled films, write down useful expressions, including some colloquialisms, and then repeat them several times. I wanted to make sure these expressions really stuck. At one point, I even turned off the subtitles."
...Or watching old favourites in a new way.
It's fine to start with subtitles in your own language, but don't be afraid to switch them to the new language, especially for shows you're already familiar with. All the action will help you piece the language together!
"In general, I like to use films for language learning because the visual input really helps to clarify the meaning of the language content. Also, watching TV shows is fun, so you don't always feel like you're working, but you're definitely learning!"