Motivation Monday: Improve listening comprehension in everyday life
Have you ever dreamed of learning in your sleep? Wouldn't it be great to fall asleep to a German TV or radio programme and wake up the next morning with perfect German?
Unfortunately, this only happens in fairy tales or science fiction movies. However, it's not at all wrong to fall asleep to German audio, even if it sounds a bit strange.
Why is it useful? We'll explain!
There are many different ways in which you can significantly improve your understanding of the German language in your everyday life, which will help you to speak and write better.
There are some easy ways to find audio files in German to practice listening comprehension:
Podcasts are a wonderful source of listening material. Google helps you find many individual podcasts on very different topics that you can listen to online or download to your computer or smartphone (the Deutsche Welle podcasts "Sprachbar", "Deutsche im Alltag", "Deutsch Perfekt Podcast", "logo! Deine Nachrichten von ZDF", "Radio D" and "Grüße aus Deutschland" from the Goethe-Institut).
You can mark your favourite podcasts or save them on your device in order to listen to them later. You can also subscribe to podcasts and listen to them via an app on your smartphone. Many apps allow you to change the speed of the audio track.
Audiobooks offer another good way to learn German by ear. The Audible website, for example, offers a variety of audiobooks that can be rewound, fast-forwarded, paused and played at different speeds, all for free.
Videos are very handy for listening comprehension as they allow you to hear German and see the context at the same time.
You can find many great videos to listen to on YouTube (note, however, that not all videos are reliable and teach correct German). The videos "Deutsch lernen mit der deutschen Welle ", as well as YouTube videos recommended to you on the Cornelsen Verlag page "Videos zum Deutschlernen auf YouTube", are accompanied by subtitles, flashcards and vocabulary lists and glossaries to make learning more effective, exciting and interactive.
In addition to listening to words, the videos with subtitles and other aids will help you improve your spelling and writing skills and recognise difficult pronunciation or dialects.
Whatever means and methods you choose - attentive listening with a pencil in hand or background music to which you do other things - listening exercises are very important for your learning process.
Get creative with your listening, use different exercises: Take notes, listen only for articles, verbs, nouns or new words, listen with transcription and without, have the audios stop you and repeat after you, as accurately as possible like an "echo", alternate speeds while listening or fall asleep to it! :)
If you listen often and regularly, you will definitely notice after 2-3 months that it becomes much easier to understand the native speakers. Intensive listening training will not only improve your listening skills, but also your general German language skills!