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Lektionen
die Quadriga auf dem Brandenburger Tor

Willkommen!
How to Use this Course How to Study How to Use the Lessons


Goals

Deutsch Mittelstufe guides you a collection of twelve lessons to build and review basic skills, to prepare for travel, study-abroad, more advanced courses or for a language-competency test in German.

We begin with basic expressions, vocabulary and grammar. You go at your own pace. Take a lot of time with each lesson or move quickly through several, cycing back through them repeatedly in order to achieve a good level of mastery. There are plenty of interesting and challenging activities to extend your current level of comprehension and fluency.

To develop conversational skills, there's nothing like interaction with other people, for example in a German classroom or club or by travelling to a German-speaking country. This course can help you with everything else: with Deutsch Mittelstufe you can acquire, review and increase your mastery of German.

Outcomes

  1. Working through all the lessons, you will achieve intermediate proficiency.
    You will be able:
    • to read with the aid of a dictionary,
    • to write grammatically correct sentences.
  2. You will have ample passive vocabulary and
    depending on your mode of practice, greater active vocabulary.
  3. Depending on the resources you use and how you practice, you will also be able:
    • to understand spoken (and sung) German and
    • to express yourself verbally.

Concentrate on the skills you wish to improve.

From a wide variety of activities, choose the ones that best address your goals. Each lesson includes materials for reading, listening, writing or speaking.

Song texts and links to audio resources tune your ear to the sound of German.
Reading selections
include lyrics, poetry, dialogues, fairy tales, articles from periodicals, and literature. Most include extensive German-English vocabularies.
Supplemental activities
assist in comprehension, enhance vocabulary retention and increase your facility with grammar.

  • If you are preparing for travel or study abroad, choose resources that include sound files, practice aloud, practice the dialogues, practice the sentences in the exercises aloud and sing along with the music.
  • If you are preparing for a reading exam, spend less time on the exercises requiring you to write in German and more on multiple choice exercises and the song texts and articles supplied with vocabularies and guiding questions.
  • If you are working on general competence, choose a good variety of exercises for each goal.

Concentrate on quality, not quantity.

Patience, Practice, Persistence
We learned language as children by repeating everything we heard, whether we knew what we were saying or not. Eventually we understood more of what we encountered in speech and in writing and learned how to recombine what we'd practiced into our own expressions. You must employ the technique of repetition again in order to learn German.

Now, unlike when you were a child, the advantage is you already have learned a lot of linguistic tricks: because you know English, you know how language "works" and can apply that knowledge and experience to learning German.

Repeat everything.
Repeat aloud. Repeat exercises. Repeat readings. Repeat it whether you know what you're saying or not. Eventually you will again comprehend more and be able to recombine words and patterns you've practiced to express yourself.

It is better to do half the exercises of each lesson and do them easily than to do all the exercises without learning the vocabulary and patterns they represent.

Exercises are practice material for learning to read and say each sentence. They're not about filling in the blanks. Mastering an exercise is about learning to use that bit of language. Be patient and persistent. Take your time. Practice frequently.

  • Use the answer keys. If an exercise is hard or you can't figure out what you're supposed to do, read the answer key first. It's not cheating because exercises are not tests, they are drills to help you learn and remember words and patterns. There's nothing wrong with reading the answer key first, but you do want to repeat the exercise until you can do it easily without referring to the Schlüssel.
  • Guess at the meaning of words, but use the vocabularies when words you can't figure out are confusing.
  • Read German aloud.
  • Repeat short sentences like "Ich gehe ins Kino" until you can say them aloud smoothly without looking at them.
  • Repeat exercises again and again.
  • The grades on the drills provide feedback for your benefit. No record is kept of any grades.
  • For reading selections: Remember as a child when you read your favorite book over and over again? Or best of all, when someone else read it aloud with you? You learned to read by doing it then, and the same technique will work for you now. Read the texts over and over. Read aloud as much as you can.
  • If you feel like singing along with the Lektion songs, you should. Lip synch. Karaoke. It's a great way to practice everything: the vocabulary, grammatical structures, word order, listening skills and pronunciation, as well as just to enjoy German.
  • Space your study sessions. Mix up different kinds of activities during study time to keep your attention focused and your effort fruitful.
  • Stop working or change tasks when your attention is exhausted. You will understand a reading much better after having slept on it.

How to Use the Lessons

  • Read the lesson goals.
  • Look over the entire page to get an idea of the resources available.
  • Explore the links.
  • Use the resources as often as necessary in whatever order works best for you.
  • Repeat the exercises until you have mastered them.
  • Print out pages to use when you're away from your computer.
  • When you are ready, take the test for the lesson.

Glossary of Grammatical Terms

This reference tool will assist you in comprehending explanations of grammar. It defines terms and gives examples in English and German. Use as needed.

 

A. Campitelli, 2008
Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.