Wednesday, June 20, 2012

FREE German language resources

I have several penpals in Germany, and my son and I both are slowly but surely learning to speak, read, and write German.  While we've got dictionaries, verb conjugation books, and use Google Translate frequently, there is no substitute like actual interaction in the language you are trying to learn. Without a German speaker in our home or local enough to meet with regularly, we've taken to the internet.  Here are some of the resources we are enjoying:

Kika - Kika is basically the German version of PBS.  It is commercial free content for children.  Their website has several television shows, games, and more...all in German.  They even have content for older kids and teens, such as the show "Krimi" which is a teen drama.

ZDFtivi is similar to Kika. 

Or, try Sesamstra├če videos on YouTube! That's Sesame Street in German!

Deutsch Welle is a German news service that offers significant German language learning resources.  These are for older students, probably best for teens and adults.  The main modules are very much like a traditional language course, focusing on grammar, conjugation, and so on.  However, they have many different types of offerings, including Mission Europe, which is a series of podcasts and exercises following a crime-thriller storyline.  Mission Europe is available in German, Polish, and French, and has both English and foreign language components. 

BBC has a fairly extensive selection of German options. including material for children, teens, and adults.  There are videos, games, and audio.  If you are not familiar with BBC, it is the British Broadcasting Corporation, and thus much of the English content is with a British accent.  This shouldn't be too much of an issue for German language learners, however.

Deutsch-Lernen has several free, online grammar exercises. No audio that I could find.

TONS more resources HERE.  However, I have not evaluated the links on this particular site...

Oodles more resources HERE.  This is from the University of Michigan, but again, I have not evaluated these links.

For print resources, also consider the magazines Das Rad and Schuss. Das Rad is considered a beginners level magazine, while Schuss is more advanced.  Both appear to come with two audio cd's as well, and access to related websites.

I also just discovered Duolingo.  I've only played with it a little bit, but it seems fairly easy to use, and is interactive with immediate feedback.  It is available in Spanish and German, with French in Beta. UPDATE: Duolingo has added several more languages with additional languages planned!

Check out these additional foreign language posts:


  1. Great resource!! We aren't doing German, but I'll share this for any of my readers who might be looking for ideas! :)

  2. Thanks for the introduction to Duolinog! I'd never heard of it before. We will definitely be incorporating it into our schooling. :)


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