Learn German Online Free

Looking for an easy method to learn German online free? Language courses are available to you, free of charge, from your home computer through the Internet. Although not all courses are created alike, don't assume that a free course will be a bust; some of them can help you get started.

Tips for Choosing an Online German Course
There are many Web sites that ask for a subscription fee, or that charge you on a per-course basis. There are also some excellent courses that are free.

The most important thing to know about learning German online is that you get out of it what you put into it. The effort you make to focus on the lessons and work through the information will affect how well you learn the language. Some people simply don't learn as well when they're left to do it on their own. Decide if an unstructured learning environment will work for you. If you're uncertain, try a free course and see how it goes before you invest in an online course.

When learning a language online, you need several different ways of accessing information to facilitate the learning process. Completely text-based courses aren't enough, unless you're a strong visual learner. Better courses include audio, video and pictures so you can hear the pronunciation and engage several areas of your brain while learning the language.

Audio guides should be a minimum requirement for any course you take. With audio and video, you can hear the pronunciation and also hear the tone in which the words are spoken. Without that reinforcement, you won't pick up the subtleties of the language. 

Pictures are also valuable, because the brain responds to visual stimuli. Information is learned more deeply when you involve more of your brain in the process of styudying. This is because the information gets stored in many ways, making it more accessible later.

Where to Begin
Here are some recommended free Web sites for learning German online:

  • Deutsche Welle, http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,266,00.html: This course is free, and includes beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, with audio, and pdf files for download. There are many different courses to choose from, with multiple lessons in each. The site is well-organized and easy to navigate.
  • Deutsch-Lernen.com, http://www.deutsch-lernen.com: There are 10 beginner lessons and 24 advanced lessons with interactive content available on this site. Users have access to the whole site once they register, including an online dictionary and German tests to check your proficiency as you go.
  • Exeter University Beginner's German, http://userweb.port.ac.uk/˜joyce1/abinitio/index.html: This course was developed by Paul Joyce of the University of Portsmouth. It contains 12 chapters of audio and text files that range from beginning to advanced German. Each chapter has cultural lessons as well as helpful conversation techniques, a guide to the German alphabet and grammar, as well as vocabulary and a verb table.  
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