In our German classes, we tell our students to listen to German music and watch German film or T.V to strengthen their skills of retaining the language, help them understand the German culture, and to understand the German dialect better.
As children we were all taught through song, and for most of us the first one we learnt was the alphabet. Learning new words and phrases through song gives us a greater ability to retain the words and expressions more effectively. The repetitive nature of songs, and the rhythm helps us to memorise words and the context they are used in. We teach our students a variety of modules, and one’s that are more challenging are often simplified by adding a rhythm. No matter what language you speak, we all know at least 10 songs we can sing at any one time, a trait we can take advantage of when learning a new language.
Pop songs, rock songs, love songs, they all count, the music allows you to listen carefully to pronunciation, and repeat while singing along. Pay attention to the diction used and pronounce the words as they are sung, this will allow you to speak like a native German. It is important to stick to the genre you love most, and try to pick one song a week, and learn in small sections.
Namika is a favourite singer of mine, who has clear pronunciation and great upbeat songs. My only request is you have to sing along, have fun and just remember if your dog is howling while you sing (thanks Henry hund) then you’re doing it right!
It’s the weekend and you’ve just finished work, and really want to study but also want to relax-swap your netflix series for a German movie. From beginners to advanced students, watching a movie in the native language will help with comprehension, memory and pronunciation.
Watch a movie with or without German subtitles and allow the language to sink in. I would suggest taking note of words you are unfamiliar with and checking in the dictionary. You will also learn a lot about German culture from these movies, the style of humour in a comedy, the depiction of history etc. Netflix have a wide variety of German movies available here in Ireland, romantic, comedy, historical, horror and more, so no excuses to not give them a try! You can also watch some German movies on Amazon prime too.
Movies are fun to watch, and learning German is fun too! However if you are having difficulty with understanding a German movie, then switch back to your favourite movie in English and use German subtitles. You will understand the storyline already, and it will be easier to grasp the meaning of the words.
Mixing music and movies up for a moment - check out ‘Frozen’s-Let it Go’ in German, a song I think we all know and love! Maybe this can be your introduction into German study from home. Take it away Elsa-