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Getting started with German 1
Getting started with German 1

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Introduction

Welcome to this free course, Getting started with German 1.

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Figure 1

This course will take you on a journey through Germany, Austria and Switzerland and introduce you to the language skills you need to start understanding and using German.

You will start from the basics – simple greetings, introducing yourself and using numbers. In this 2-week course you’ll progress towards being able to join conversations in German.

So, how will it work? Each week comprises 3–4 hours of activities, such as quizzes, reading and listening materials and tips about language learning. It’s a good idea to keep notes, either on paper, or on your preferred digital device; in any case, each week you’ll be encouraged to add to your own personal language notebook and decide how best you can go about memorising and practising key phrases and vocabulary.

Some of the activities encourage you to record yourself speaking German, for example on a mobile or tablet. Once you have recorded a word or sentence you can listen to yourself and, often, there will be a model answer for you to compare your own recording to. This will help you improve your accent and develop confidence when speaking. So, you might want to think about which recording tool or software to use for those exercises.

First of all, however, take some time to decide how you’ll allocate time to your studies. Learning German, like learning any language, is a gradual process; it’s often described as ‘a marathon, not a sprint.’ ‘Little and often’ is the best approach, so if at all possible, spread your 3–4 hours over the week, rather than devoting one whole afternoon or evening. This will give you plenty of opportunities to revisit vocabulary and language structures, to revise quickly what you did last time and above all to practise and consolidate. This is the best way to learn vocabulary and perfect your accent.

The course lasts two weeks, with approximately three hours of study each week. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete another week’s study.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • say hello, goodbye and some of the first phrases you might use when meeting a German speaker
  • count from one to ten
  • understand the basic rules of German pronunciation
  • pronounce different German-speaking countries and places
  • introduce oneself and say where one is from.