German philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein famously said that “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” To learn a new language is to expand the limits of your world. Taking German classes or learning about German culture will undoubtedly expand your ability to relate with native German speakers and the cultures of German-speaking countries.
The German languages, German Deutsch, is the official language of Germany and Austria, as well as being one of the official languages of Switzerland. German belongs to the West Germanic group of the Indo-European language family, along with English and Dutch. There are also native German-speaking populations in Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Belgium and Italy. German is a native-language of between 90 and 95 million people worldwide and is spoken as a second language by 10 to 15 million people.
Germany is the economic powerhouse of the EU and therefore the German-language is a very worthwhile foreign language to learn to speak fluently. It will increase your access to jobs, networking and education within the German-speaking world.
Choosing the right German courses
German lessons do not have to be costly or difficult. The most effective German courses will involve language immersion, where German learning takes place in an environment where every person is encouraged to speak German all the time. Such a type of German class is widely available and gives students an opportunity to build their conversational German as well as learn German grammar.
Typical German courses will involve a German teacher facilitating a group that learns from each other, while a private one-to-one German class will involve the learner practising directly with a native German speaker.
German classes Australia - Goethe-Institut
Goethe-Institut is the home of German culture in Australia (and many other non-German-speaking countries). Here you can find information about German culture and you can take German courses, where you can learn German grammar, learn to speak German with fluency and also engage in cultural and linguistic immersion activities. According to its website, the Goethe-Institute offers “German courses, events, experience, cultural exchange and country information (about Germany).”
German Language Schools
German language courses are also available in Australia outside of the Goethe-institut. Many language schools offer German for beginners, intermediate or advanced learners. These are the often same schools where teaching is done for Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian and other foreign languages, from beginner level all the way to advanced level.
In Melbourne for example, as an adult learning German you can take German courses at Monash University and the University of Melbourne, as well as many other institutions through University Languages Portal Australia. The Council of Adult Education also offers various language programs, depending on demand.
You will likely first take a placement test, which will assess your knowledge of German grammar and German pronunciation, before you are placed into the correct German course for you.
Free Lessons Online
If you are looking for free German lessons, look no further than applications such as Meetup, where language exchanges are often organised. With the sizeable German-speaking population in Australia, you should be able to find someone willing to teach you German face-to-face in exchange with you helping them with their English. This is a great way to learn unique German expressions and slang, which textbooks will not teach you.
If you prefer to learn online from the comfort of your own home, then there are many ways you can learn German online, with some websites even offering a free German lesson before you commit to paying for more. Websites such as Superprof, iTalki and AmazingTalker are great platforms to find the perfect German teacher for you. You can search through various native-speakers on these platforms who are trained in offering excellent German language classes.
For Free German lessons online, look no further than websites such as Deutsch-lernen and learn-german-easily for grammar and pronunciation practice. YouTube also has many great beginners to advanced German material to help you improve.
Take your German skills overseas!
Have you thought about travelling to Germany as the quickest and most exciting way to immerse yourself and quickly build language proficiency? Through the Language Assistant for English in Germany program, you can do just that! While helping as an English language assistant at a Language School in Germany, you can build your German knowledge and, upon return to Australia, could continue training with the Goethe-institut to become a German as a second language teacher! The opportunities that this will open up for you are many! Wittgenstein really was right all along.
If you wish to build up your ability to speak with a native speaker, then you should consume many native sources of German. A few good places to start are with German music, of which there is a lot on YouTube and Spotify. You can also watch or listen to the news with Deutsche Welle. Their podcast is aimed at Intermediate German speakers and will help you learn about German current affairs and culture as well as improve your German vocabulary.
Travel to Berlin
Ah, Berlin! The eclectic and vibrant capital of Germany. Building your proficiency up to an advanced level, where you can have a fluent conversational exchange with a real Berliner is one of the great rewards! Get beneath the surface of one of the world’s most interesting and historic cities by speaking German with the locals. Showing off your language skills might even make a bouncer more likely to let you into a Berlin nightclub!
Find a language course you love
The most important part of learning a language is being able to sustain motivation as a learner. You must find the right tutor, German language course or free online resources which are going to make you want to keep learning German!
Finding out how to learn German will be different for everyone. Some people love comprehension activities, while others want to build their conversational fluency! Others love grammar activities, and some people want their German studies to help them to master the German vocabulary. Everyone has their unique language-learning goals, so determining what yours are will help you decide where to look for German courses or German lessons.
Just view the various events and contacts available on Google to learn more about finding the perfect level lesson or private tutor for you, as well as reading about the experience of any former student.