The Best German Learning Software: What to Look For
Learning German requires hard work, motivation, and daily practice. As you may already know, the best way to get daily practice is language immersion and being forced to speak German in everyday situations.
But is that really the only way to learn German?
The answer is simple: definitely not!
Luckily, technological advances now make it possible to learn German with great software tools. These tools provide learners with availability, flexibility and an endless amount of information.
Language learning software is a great innovation, but as with any other product, it's important to know what to look for before jumping into German learning software. By considering everything that is needed to learn a language quickly and effectively, it's possible to develop a list of the top characteristics needed for the ideal language learning software program. This list can help to be your "checklist" when it comes to finding the perfect language learning software.
Let's take a look at them.
- It's a structured German course
- It keeps you motivated to learn German
- It's goal-oriented
- It's an interactive German course
- It's personalized and adaptable to your needs
- It's a well-balanced course
- It's very comprehensive
- It teaches you practical German
- It goes from beginner to advanced German
- It's easy for you to access and use
- The cost structure suits you
1. It's a structured German course
No great achievement ever happens overnight, and learning German is no different.
In order to learn German fast, you first need to make smart, realistic goals to help yourself organize your time and plan your studies. Your German language learning software should help you do this by allowing you to set measureable daily goals and track your progress. It should provide an easy-to-use structure that helps you to achieve your realistic goals.
2. It keeps you motivated to learn German
Your language learning software should help you to stay motivated. The program should be interactive, fun, engaging, and even a little competitive to help keep you motivated. Ideally, it should include a way to connect with other learners (like a forum) to share in your language learning adventure.
Connecting and communicating with others is a great way to keep you motivated and accountable for your progress. It's also very important that your software tracks your progress so you can see your progress and feel good about yourself. This will help to keep you motivated, dedicated and on the right track.
3. It's goal-oriented
Learning German is a never-ending task, so it’s essential to set goals from the very beginning so you don’t get frustrated and you can better measure your achievements. The ideal software should break down the process of studying German into different levels so you always know where you're at.
4. It's an interactive German course
The ideal German learning software should provide you with a variety of engaging, interactive activities that help you improve your listening and speaking skills. A language-oriented forum or chat is also a great idea to help encourage learners to interact and put what they’ve learned into practice.
5. It's personalized and adaptable to your needs
Every student is different. Learning German is not the same for a native French speaker with language experience as it is for a native English speaker who's new to the language learning scene. Also, a student whose goal is to travel to Munich with her family won’t need to study in the same way as a student who needs to focus on business-oriented German.
6. It's a well-balanced course
Unfortunately, it's amazing how many language learning programs avoid explaining grammar topics and neglect teaching culture. We can't emphasize the importance of these two topics enough. The majority of language learners don't just want to memorize words and sentences, but want (and need) to know the grammatical rules to be able to form their own sentences.
Similarly, culture and language go hand-in-hand, and understanding the German culture can help you to better understand and appreciate the language. Make sure that your language learning software explains grammar and teaches culture.
7. It's very comprehensive
Quality is not an option when it comes to learning German. Studying a language is a time-consuming and demanding process, and you should be able to take advantage of the best possible tools. That's why language learning software isn’t something you want to buy at the dollar store during your lunch break.
8. It teaches you practical German
Who wants to learn how to say “my tailor is rich” in German? If you hardly ever say that in your native language, why should they be your first words in German?
Unfortunately, a lot of language learning software doesn't take into account the practicality of the vocabulary you're learning.
9. It goes from beginner to advanced German
It should also keep in mind that we all learn differently. Thus, it should cater to as many different learning styles as possible in order to accommodate every learning style. That means that lessons in all topics should include a variety of visual, audio, verbal, logical and even physical activities to help everyone learn.
10. It's easy for you to access and use
Since the biggest advantage of German learning software is the flexibility it offers students regarding time and place, why not making the most of this fantastic benefit? The perfect German learning program is one that you can access online from any computer, without the inconvenience of having to carry books or CDs.
Also, the possibility of accessing some features from anywhere through a cell phone app is a really interesting and useful characteristic to look for in a software. That way, you can study anywhere and anytime you have a free moment.
11. The cost structure suits you
It's also important that the cost structure adapts to your needs. In general, there are two common software pricing structures:
1. A recurring monthly subscription that gives you access until you stop paying, much like Netflix. This is known as Saas (Software as a Service).
2. The less common one-off lump sum. If you do purchase something at a one-off price, then make sure that future upgrades are included. If you get a new device, then you want to make sure that your software will work on it!
Now that you have a checklist for what look for in German learning software, it's time to find what best fits you and your needs.
But before spending time browsing through Google, don’t forget to take a look at the Rocket Languages Courses!