Here are our family’s top five favorite, easy ways to learn a foreign language. As we prepare to move our family of six to Germany, we’ve been learning as much German as we can. I thought I’d take a moment to share with you our top five ways we’ve learned!
Learning German together as a family has been really fun, too. I think it’s great for the kids to see us adults learning right alongside them and making mistakes, too. We practice saying different words and phrases around the house, and oftentimes, the kids correct our grammar and pronunciation!
Our Top 5 Easy Ways to Learn a Foreign Language
1 – For Kids – Duolingo
Our first favorite and easy way to learn a foreign language is with the app, Duolingo. Our boys, ages, 7-11, really like it because it has cute animations and graphics. It also has challenges and makes learning similar to a video game where you earn awards, gold coins, and can advance in level.
At first, we used the free version but the kids quickly got discouraged because they’d “lose” and not be able to advance levels and earn coins. With the paid version, you get unlimited tries to get the answers correct. The kids have done SO much better with the paid version!
We’ve required them to do 30 minutes a day for several months now and have already seen a HUGE improvement in their German vocabulary and understanding.
Kevin, my husband, also enjoyed Duolingo (he’s a gamer, so there ya go!) and got all the way through the entire course! He is able to read most German emails we’ve been getting from our realtor, German bank, and more. I’m the only one in the family that didn’t like Duolingo. I wasn’t getting enough speaking and listening practice. As a social person, Duolingo didn’t excite me or motivate me enough to learn.
2 – For Adults – Lingoda
For me, I have found Lingoda to be an easy way to learn a foreign language. It consists of all live classes taught by a German native. All of the teachers have been EXCELLENT! I’ve been very impressed with the quality of instruction. The classes are small with only 3-5 people and last for one hour. You go through the course in order by chapters, and by the end can get certificates in A1-C1! This will help me in getting a work visa there, and also, just to be able to speak in everyday life and make friends. Click here to check it out and get $50 off your first package!
I Love their Convenient Class Times as a Mom
Also, as a mom, being able to pick classes to work with my crazy schedule is so convenient! I will be able to continue to do these classes after we arrive in Germany, which was a big concern of mine before I found Lingoda. With the pandemic, in-person classes have been canceled and I was worried about how I was going to learn German!
After two weeks of doing classes (I’ve done 17 of them so far), my German has improved tremendously. I feel so much more confident about going now than I did a few weeks ago.
The classes are about $12 a class, which I feel is a very fair price because the teachers have all been so experienced and knowledgeable.
Click here to check out Lingoda and get $50 off your first package!
3 – Language Workbook
Our middle son, Grayson, has really enjoyed using the workbook, Language Hacking – A Conversation Course for Beginners in German. They also have workbooks for Spanish and Italian. It was recommended to us by a college student who was studying to be a German teacher. I would suggest it as a good homeschool workbook for a motivated learner. Grayson is nine years old and has been able to do it on his own, but he is VERY self-motivated to learn German. It’s clear he has a love for adventure, travel and languages like his dad and I do!
4 – For Preschoolers – Peppa Pig in German
Peppa Pig has episodes in many different languages for FREE on YouTube! Ella, our youngest who’s four years old, has been watching episodes in German. I like to watch them, too, as the conversations are clear and simple and easy to understand.
5 – Podcasts
When the boys were doing baseball last spring, summer and fall and we were driving around town A LOT, we’d turn on different German podcasts that teach vocabulary. They’re a bit boring for young kids, but I really enjoyed them and learned a good bit of vocabulary at the beginning this way. Podcasts are so helpful to listen to while you’re doing mindless tasks like folding laundry, cleaning, cooking, and driving. Even if I just have it on in the background, I find it helps as I’m hearing correct pronunciation.
Another way is listening to popular German pop music! We’ve been playing it while we cook dinner and can pick up quite a few words and phrases. We have a Spotify account and just did a simple search for German pop music. SO easy!
Here are some of our favorite podcasts:
- German Pod 101 (they have conversations in real life scenarios that I really enjoyed listening to)
- Learn German Vocab by Language Addicts
- Gesichten für Kinder (this one is great for kid! Professional actors who tell stories for kids in German. Very well and professionally done).
More Videos on Our Adventure to Live in Germany
Click here to see all of our videos as we move from the Unites States to Germany and learn the language and culture with our four kids!