Although not everyone immediately thinks of German when they think about learning a second language, you would be surprised how useful it is, especially in Europe. It is spoken in Germany of course, which is one of the largest countries in Europe in terms of population. It is also spoken in Austria and a large part of Switzerland. You will also find that many people in the nations that surround Germany to the east, like the Czech Republic spreading to the Balkans, speak a bit of German.
It is a good language to have if you want to travel to any of these countries and not resort to speaking English when you get there. It is also a good language to have for business as Germany is an important trading partner with many countries throughout the world, especially in the automobile industry, IT and financial services. Speaking the language can open doors in terms of a career opportunity or potential business partner.
Can using a learn German software package really be the best way for learning a second language? When one considers that thousands of people all over the world today choose to take their language learning education with multimedia programs and online resources, the answer is an obvious yes. Just look at what such a learning experience has to offer; multimedia resources such as audio and video for learning cultural lessons and developing your pronunciation skills, tests and quizzes to check your progress, verb conjugation exercises, and more.
Computer software has revolutionised the way people learn languages. Most software can be instantly downloaded to the computer immediately after purchase. These software packages often include audio, video, flash cards, and other useful components. Many are designed so the buyer can learn in as little as 8 weeks!
Some software chooses to simply tell you what to do without explaining how it is done. The idea behind this is that we pick up languages intuitively and by hearing a language enough it will start to sink in.
In effect this is like the immersion process of learning a language. Immersion is basically about living in a country that only speaks the language. You are motivated to learn it to get by and you are constantly exposed to it so it will eventually sink in.
This is good in theory and most people agree that immersion is the best way to learn. So the software that tries to replicate this process is a good idea but it falls down because the person learning has to be self motivated. They have to use the software often to be suitably immersed in the language. And even if they are fairly self motivated, it is impossible to cut off your ‘real’ life that entails speaking in English.
Other courses are more traditional in the sense that they tell you what to say and then explain why or how this works. So they will tell you what to say in a situation and then explain the rules or grammar of what was said or the meaning of the vocabulary. Grammar may seem completely arbitrary as is the vocabulary. In some cases you just have to learn it or get the basics of it and then you can start being more practical by speaking to people.