Are We There Yet? 3 Easy Tips To Keep You Motivated To Learn German Fluently
Are you the kind of foreign language student that starts out with guns-a-blazing but a few weeks later have run out of steam? Sadly, I cannot offer you Gatorade to keep you going but you can re-charge yourself with these 3 simple tips to learn German fluently.
Move me momma! Just to jump right in and say it like it is. We all know that there are many different types of motivation, but the type that we are concerned with is intrinsic verses extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to the desire to do something that pleases you and makes you pat yourself on the back. Most studies have shown it to be much more effective in long-term language learning than extrinsic motivation (for an external reward such as impressing the boss or your peers). Unfortunately, most of us are not lucky enough to hire a personal pep squad or self-improvement coach to keep us motivated. Yes, you are going to have to find the power within yourself. It seems that to become fluent in German will take time and perseverance, so how can you stay motivated?
1. Fraternal Twins Separated At Birth
Yes, the process of learning German can be very stressful but keep in mind the cool thing about German is that modern German and modern English both originated from the common Germanic ancestor language and despite their distinct differences, the two languages share many similarities in both vocabulary and grammar. Also, German is spelled phonetically. This means that once you learn the system of sounds, it is easy to predict how the spoken word is written and how the written word is pronounced. Know your German ABCs.
2. Oktoberfest Anyone?
If your ultimate goal is to learn to speak German fluently, then it is important to know that you will become more fluent quickly if you maximize your language exposure. You can start by simply practicing the language with a classmate outside of class. You can befriend native speakers in your community or attend a local foreign language conversation hour, if one exists. Rent a German DVD, or listen to authentic German audio or video online. Or you could attend your local Oktoberfest or plan a trip to attend the world famous Munich Oktoberfest. The first the first Oktoberfest was held on October 12, 1810 and lasted 6 days. The festivities were in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. In Munich the “die Wiesen” (as the locals call it) starts around late September and lasts for sixteen days up to the first Sunday in October. The festival is a vibrant venue where you can eat sauerkraut, drink German beer, practice your German and expose yourself to Bavarian culture.
3. The Gift Of The Gab
Whenever possible, speak German aloud rather than reciting it silently to yourself. As you learn German vocabulary, say the vocabulary words out loud, read passages in the text aloud, and do pronunciation activities orally. Transferring language from your mind to your mouth is a skill that requires a great deal of practice. And you should practice German actively frequently.
The process of learning German can be very stressful, and the impact of your own positive or negative attitudes can be critical to your learning. Self-motivation is the key to staying on track and achieving fluency. Because German and English have similarities, you have a head start when learning German. Ultimately, to learn how to speak German online or otherwise is all about you. Therefore, you must play an active role in your learning by jumping at the opportunities to speak, listen and comprehend German. You'll meet new people, make new friends and most importantly, learn German fluently.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suzanne and Paul share a passion for languages an life-long learning.