Although there are aspects of the German language which make German more difficult for English speakers to learn, there are also many aspects that make German easier and quicker for English speakers to learn compared to other languages. You can start communicating effectively by learning only a few hundred German words. The German language also has fewer words than English, making German easier to learn.
Knowing this makes learning German a lot easier and faster for an English speaker than other languages. If you are a native English speaker or Dutch speaker, you will discover learning German is not so hard after all since the two languages have a lot in common.
Why Total Immersion Is the Ideal Method for Learning German
This is a natural method of learning. Nobody is born bilingual. Remember how you acquired your first language when you were young? By examining your surroundings, listening to how others communicate, and emulating their speech.
We acquire knowledge from the world around us. There is no alternative. Therefore, if you are surrounded by German twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, you will automatically pick up many things, many of which you would never discover in a textbook.
Opportunities for education exist everywhere
Imagine if all of your daily activities were to be conducted in German. Whether going to the bakery, grocery shopping, speaking with coworkers, watching movies on television or at the theatre, or getting a beverage after work. How much do you believe speaking German in each of these situations would advance your learning?
You learn authentic German
Being entirely surrounded by native German speakers will teach you the language as it is truly spoken, as opposed to how it is taught in textbooks. This includes slang, accents, loanwords, and anything else that makes languages more vibrant, fascinating, and fantastic. Do you believe a textbook would ever teach you these strange German words?
There are no petty excuses
When learning German as a pastime, there are always reasons to avoid speaking the language. Particularly lack of opportunities If you go out in your non-German-speaking home country, you can hardly expect to converse with your dinner companions in your new language, correct?
Not particularly when you are surrounded by locals. Even if you go to Germany, it is conceivable to stay at your desk all day and check Facebook, but eventually you will have to leave the house. And once you do, voila, Germans are everywhere. The absence of opportunity is no longer a credible argument.
It helps overcome speaking phobias
When learning German as a second language, no matter how eloquent you are in your native tongue, you will experience the “caveman period” (“Me hungry. Pizza?”). Not wanting to appear foolish has prevented many individuals from communicating with strangers in a foreign language.
However, the only way to overcome fear is to face it head-on. Regularly conversing with native German speakers will eliminate your inhibitions faster than memorising extensive lists of terminology. It will also accelerate your progress.
Your ability has immediate practical significance
One of the primary reasons why people fail to learn German or any other language is because they do not practise their newly acquired ability. The process of acquiring a new language should not be solely intellectual. It’s impressive to be able to recite an encyclopaedia from cover to cover, but if you never put that information to use, you will rapidly lose drive.
The purpose of learning German is to communicate with others. Moreover, guess what? In a German-speaking country, it is possible to talk with everyone. You may strike up a conversation with your neighbour, become friends with the bartender at your favourite dive bar, or converse with random strangers. Possibilities are infinite.
Are we in agreement that it is a good idea to immerse oneself in an atmosphere where German is spoken daily? Nice. I anticipated that you would return.
However, let’s return to the (quite fair) issue that you may not be able to just travel to Germany, Switzerland, or Austria. Then, what should you do? You can still participate in the immersion experience.
How to Create a German Immersive Environment (no matter where you are)
If you refuse to travel to Germany, Germany will travel to you. If you are unable to travel to a German-speaking country, you may simulate the immersion experience with the correct tools, a focused approach, and determination.
Make a promise
The difference between creating an immersive German environment and living in a German-speaking nation is that the former requires more discipline. You are responsible for creating your own learning environment, when in Germany this would occur automatically.
Therefore, in order to do this, you must be fully committed. If feasible, provide some form of responsibility. Make a wager with someone, turn it into a game, or find another means to avoid falling off the German waggon.
The objective is to create a setting that simulates being in the other nation, preferably through attending a language school. Always ask yourself, “What would I do if I were truly in Germany to improve my German? How can I replicate this situation?
Set apart study time
The first thing you should do is schedule a regular time for studying. It is strongly advised that you practise regularly and for an extended period of time. Commit to as much as you can. Mark it on your calendar or devise a plan.
Gather your study materials
Create a programme tailored to your needs. Use a solid German textbook as a starting point. Complement it with German-learning applications and research shortcuts. I also suggest employing mnemonics to improve retention. There are numerous helpful information on how to pronounce troublesome German sounds, especially for beginners.
Find a language buddy or teacher
One of the most important aspects of creating an immersive atmosphere is to begin speaking German as early as possible. Remember the significance of practical relevance to motivation? Do not undervalue this!
If you cannot locate a local German family ready to host you, your best option is to find a German instructor or language exchange partner. If possible, hold daily sessions. Even if you are a beginner, speak as much as possible! Direct input from native speakers is the most efficient method for advancing.
View German video
Does your own country’s television programming stink? You are no longer required to suffer it. As an alternative, you may watch fun and educational YouTube channels for German learners. And if that isn’t enough, you may also watch German films and television programmes to boost your knowledge.
Develop your listening comprehension
There is no need to stroll the streets of a German metropolis in order to hear local speakers. There are several online tools for German listening practise. Not to mention German podcasts and music tracks.
Moreover, several German novels may be obtained online in audio format.
Learn German reading
It is feasible to transform your whole reading material to German regardless of where you reside. You can begin with something simple, such as German children’s books, and then expand as necessary.
Follow German news, use Twitter, read German blogs, and study German literary classics. If you meet words you do not understand, there are a variety of useful German dictionary applications available.
Commence writing in German
Writing is an excellent method to improve your German skills. Either practise with a language partner or find a German pen buddy to develop the habit. Believe it or not, there are a large number of individuals willing to fix your first German phrases in return for whatever language you can supply.
A Google search will reveal several options. Who knows, perhaps you’ll even make some German pals.
Explore the local customs
The absence of true culture is the greatest drawback of recreating a German atmosphere instead of travelling to Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. It would be absurd to think that you could replicate it within your own home. However, this does not preclude the possibility of catching a few peeks with a little ingenuity.
Experiencing a country’s cuisine, for instance, is an excellent method to gain a deeper understanding of its culture. Learn about German cuisine, locate recipes, and attempt to prepare them at home. Create a German-themed evening. Locate a location that offers imported beer. Yes, Germans’ love of beer is a bit of a cliche, but with over 5,000 distinct brands in Germany alone, there is some truth to it. That is a substantial amount of culture to explore!
Immersion in a language is the most effective method for learning it rapidly. It is a natural and thorough method of learning that permits instant application of the new ability.
If you lack the time or resources to travel to a German-speaking nation, there are alternatives to replicate the experience in your home country. Free resources for immersing oneself in German are accessible; it is your responsibility to bring them together.