Allen Crisp

Allen Crisp

Rocket German

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Rocket Languages is an awesome way to learn German or any language. It is light years ahead of the way I learned French at High School long ago.

In place of learning lists of words, you are given phrases to use so that you learn idioms rather than setting yourself up to use stilted expressions that don't accord with actual usage. You can still build your own vocabulary lists and export them to a file in your computer; and you can create your own notes to accompany these lists to gain understanding of how the words are used and case modified. I was offered .csv but would prefer .doc, but this is a minor matter.

The ability to download the initial conversational lessons is a great plus along with also being able to download .pdf files so that you can refresh yourself in these lessons again in a different context such as in your car.

Learning to say words, phrases and sentences from native speaking German tutors ensures that you learn to speak with a minimum of foreign accent, and the repetition with variations speeds the assimilation of the language. This experience is enhanced by your being able to record and re-record your rendition of a recording made for you by a tutor. You can also compare your rendition with your tutor's in a sound frequency graph which makes you more aware of force and emphasis.

Having been a teacher of English, I understand the value of motivation and there are various devices to keep motivation high such as badges of achievement. There is also a Vark test which identfies your most effective learning strategies so that you can accelerate your progress by staying close to what you are best at. This will especially benefit those who learn best through kinaesthetic approaches that they are unlikely to get in schools where the learning is usually based of visual and written strategies.

The basic level of the course is able to take you to good levels of conversation skills in about 150 hours which at two hours a day is about three months, something that those who spent years of learning languages in schools to achieve much less might envy. My own reason for learning German is to get to grips with the vocal texts in the music of Bach who has been the great inspiration of my life. I cannot speak too highly of the programme.