My philosophy is that learning German should be fun and interesting. When you turn it into a satisfying and enjoyable experience, you will learn much faster and keep your motivation high. This is crucial for your long-term success. But how can you create an effective and entertaining learning environment? The secret is in the tools and materials you use.
Learning German is much more efficient when you use content that you're really interested in. Materials about topics that you like will boost your skills and help you progress fast. If you regularly read a blog about traveling, look for a travel blog in German and subscribe to it. Do you have a dog and are you an active member of a dog forum? Choose a German online community for dog lovers and become a member.
In the following list, you will find a selection of websites that offer free materials covering a wide range of topics.
Duolingo is a free language-learning platform that offers extensive lessons and speaking practice. It has a gamified skill tree that users can progress through and a vocabulary section where learned words can be practiced. You can also use their iPad app to follow the lessons. Duolingo is a lot of fun, and if you're learning German, you should definitely check it out.
Slow German is another useful podcast for everyone who is learning German. It is aimed at intermediate to advanced learners, but there are also interesting episodes for absolute beginners. Slow German is produced by a radio journalist and offers information on a wide range of topics, from food & beverage to history and friendship. Absolutely recommended!
The University of Texas at Austin
The Center for Open Educational Resources & Language Learning (COERLL) at the University of Texas is one of 15 National Foreign Language Resource Centers funded by the US Department of Education. The overall mission of these federally funded centers is to improve the teaching and learning of foreign languages. In the German section of COERLL, you will find a lot of interesting texts, videos and audio materials that are very helpful for learning German.
Deutsche Welle, or DW, is Germany's international broadcaster. The service is aimed at the overseas market and broadcasts news and information in 30 languages. In addition, DW maintains an impressive variety of materials for German learners of all levels. You can choose from German courses in your language, slowly spoken news reports, easily understandable articles with audio files, and much more.
DaZPod is a podcast for German as a second or foreign language. You can listen to the episodes either directly on their website or on iTunes. At DaZPod, you will hear true-to-life stories in authentic German, stories you can readily understand with just a little prior knowledge of the language. This is a great resource for language learners and an easy way to improve your German.
In case you know additional helpful websites, please feel free to add them in the comments below.