Fluent vs Functional

RobertD50

RobertD50

I'm currently in Level 2 of the German course, & I have a comment that could probably apply to all of the language courses. One has to ask oneself if your goal is to become FLUENT in a new language, or just to become FUNCTIONAL. Nothing revolutionary there; it's a concept frequently discussed in language teaching. Could I understand & be understood, if I were among friendly, helpful native speakers?

It appears to me that Rocket German's goal is FLUENCY, but it also seems like fluency is an unrealistic goal outside of a submersion experience in the language--something that won't happen for the majority of the course takers. FUNCTIONALITY, however, seems a more realistic goal for those taking an online language course, who may travel intermittently to a German-speaking country, or episodically need to understand written or audio content.

I realize it is a slippery slope when it comes to language teaching, & easier said than done. You don't want to teach people bad habits or incorrect language that they would have to "unlearn" if they wanted to move on to fluency. But I wonder if, in addition to the three levels in the language course, you might consider an alternative "functional" branch? The Survival Kit lessons are the closest you get to that, but…not really.

Cheers.

sebongela

sebongela

 Hi RobertD 50

I think it depends on what you personally want to achieve. Personally I am happy with functional. I speak Portuguese from Portugal, my husband is Portuguese from Mozambique. I spent some time there as a child. I don't read or write it, not do I speak grammatically correctly, but can take part in family discussions , understand jokes and hold my own. I could not have a complex political discussion or conduct financial or a business conversation. I could go to Portugal and feel completely comfortable. So if I can achieve that with my Italian and German I would be totally delighted. That said would love to go to either of those countries and live there for awhile. Not again necessarily for fluency, but to feel more comfortable with the language, as I am with the other languages I speak.

Happy learning

Sebongela

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Hallo RobertD50!

Thank you very much for getting in touch with us with your feedback, RobertD50 - and for chiming in, Sebongela!

Indeed, everyone has a different goal in mind when they approach learning a language. That's why we've designed our courses to contain different tools and components, so that they can be flexible and support you on your language journey - whatever your end goal may be. The grammar-oriented Language & Culture lessons are good for those who ultimately desire fluency and the ability to create sentences on their own, while the Interactive Audio lessons are good for those who want to prepare for real-world situations and get functional quickly. 

If you'd like to focus more on getting functional in German rather than on achieving fluency, you may find it useful to stick to the Interactive Audio lessons and to really mastering both roles in the Play It! activities in those lessons. Also, if you've found drilling vocabulary helpful, like in the Survival Kit lessons, you might want to try creating custom flashcards for yourself (in the Tools section), as well as spending some time focusing on the Extra Vocabulary sections of each Interative Audio lesson.

I hope that this is helpful! 

Viele Grüße,

Liss

RobertD50

RobertD50

Thanks for the comments.  I pretty much do the entire lesson to 100% “easy,” which is probably a bit overkill for my purposes.  (It also occurred to me if I just slur the last syllable of most words, I'm probably already pretty “functional.”)

sebongela

sebongela

Hi Liss 

I do all the lessons. I enjoy the interactive ones, but use the survival kit and cultural and grammar lessons too. Gives you a whole picture. I do use book learning for the grammar, but what I really like about the Rocket languages is the speaking practice. Have been learning Italian too and have been told my pronunciation is good by people. My German is still at the beginners level. So a long way to go. 

My language studies have been slow, as my husband, our dog and I have done a road trip across Canada and back. We live on Vancouver Island, so have driven right across Canada. Have travelled almost 14 000 kms and we are not home yet. Missed studying, but will catch up next week. 

Sebongela

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Hallo RobertD50 und Sebongela!

That's a good point, RobertD50 - it's often the end of the word or the article that gives learners the most trouble! And in fact, native German speakers are sometimes so pleased that someone has troubled to learn their language that they will happily overlook little mistakes in that area among foreign visitors.

I'm glad to hear that you've been finding each aspect of the courses useful, Sebongela, and wish you safe travels for the last of your trip back to the Island!

Bis zum nächsten Mal,

Liss

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