German Home Immersion School/Immersion Exercises
Most people accomplish German language immersion by moving to a German-speaking environment.
These exercises will help you turn your native environment into an immersion environment!
It's not something that happens overnight, but your learning will grow exponentially with this approach!
You will also save on the stress and the financial expense of moving to an immersion environment!
The exercises in this section are organized in levels.
You can do them out of order, but I recommend you do all the level 1 exercises before going on to level 2 and so on.
This will keep you balanced, making sure you integrate your knowledge into all language skills effectively!
Also, you can write to the instructor for this course if you want to take a test that will validate your immersion level!
You will get a distinction on the community page when you have accomplished each level of immersion exercises!
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Language Games[edit | edit source]
Games are an excellent way to learn a new language for reasons too numerous to count. Here's a few recomendations for well-known games and modifications for language immersion.
Apples to Apples (Äpfel zu Äpfel)[edit | edit source]
Step 1: Make notecards for nouns you want to learn. You can play a short game with 10, but try to get at least 50
Step 2: Have a game leader pick a list of adjectives you wish to learn and make cards or call them out
Step 3: Players all submit a noun card that they think either accurately (or humorously) is described by the adjective
Step 4: The Game leader or players in-turn judge the results and the player whose noun is chosen win a card
Step 5: The player with the most cards at the end wins!
For a two-player teacher-student mode, the teacher can score the student's responses and encourage the student to get higher scores each session
Apples to Oranges (Äpfel zu Orangen)[edit | edit source]
This is an extension Apples to Apples that can involve any kind of grammatical structure the teacher chooses. It challenges students to learn their grammar and it challenges teachers to know the scope and sequence their students are working in, but it can be devilishly fun while challenging students of any level from beginner to post-doc.
- Chose a subgame that will define a set of allowances and requirements for the sentences to be formed.
- Players work out of a deck of flashcards they have made that consist only of the card types they can use for the subgame
- The dealer (ideally the instructor or an advanced student) places a few appropriate community cards for everyone to play off of
- The dealer draws a seed card which poses as the creative center of the round. It will be some kind of sentence or short phrase
Example subgame; Questions
The community cards consist of some combination of the common German question words and a few verbs. [Wo, Wer, Warum, Wie, Was, Sein, Haben] would be a common basic set.
The seed cards are always questions and the answers must always be questions.
German Language Resources[edit | edit source]
This is the best section to start with since it will get your feet wet with actual German learning.
It will also set you up with techniques that can make your learning proceed quicker and more effectively than without these techniques!
For actual lessons on German, see the German Lessons section.
The Resource Exercises[edit | edit source]
Level 1: The micro-immersion classroom[edit | edit source]
The easiest immersion environment you can make is a little classroom on your own computer! You should be able to make it inside of a half hour.
The minimum requirements are a couple of complimentary web tools which will optimize your learning capabilities! For more options, see the list below.
- A full-sequence course website. Recommended - Duolingo
- A notecard system. Recommended - Quizlet
- A language exchange site. Recommended - Lang-8
Once you've registered for all of these sites, make a new folder in your bookmarks in your browser.
Name it "DIY German Immersion" or something else you choose.
Put links to each of these websites in the folder.
Now, when you want to study German, just open all three bookmarks in one window and Poof!....mini-immersion classroom!
Here's how your mini-immersion environment works...
- Start a practice session by doing a lesson in your course software
- When you come across words or phrases you want to remember, put them into your notecard set
- To practice usage, write some phrases and either post them to your language journal or set up a conversation to practice them!
Once you've done this, I recommend doing a study session in your classroom and then doing the level 2 exercise when you're ready!
Level 2: Customizing your classroom[edit | edit source]
Once you have your basic classroom established, you can start to search out more tools that suit your learning style better.
You can also add more tools as you get better at studying in our immersion environment and need more resources!
The most useful things we recommend, in order of importance are...
- A language/conversation partner
- A dictionary
- A full-sequence language course
- Supplementary media (Books, Music, Videos/Movies, Articles, etc.)
- Study aid software (Notecard system, special study techniques, etc.)
When you are ready, pick a resource to improve and try the project associated with it!
Level 3: Balancing Language Practice[edit | edit source]
If you've tried to teach yourself almost anything in a foreign language, you almost certainly find that no tool is perfect. Every resource you will find, from conversation partners to free courses to books, they all have pluses and minuses. To learn most effectively, you want to leverage the strengths of all of them to build the most balanced education plan! This will help you learn faster, more relevant German speaking techniques with fewer holes in your understanding.
At this point, you've worked with a number of resources, but you have probably found that one or two areas of your study habits are lacking. Everybody faces different challenges in learning, but one thing that is important for everyone is to identify their weak areas and apply overwhelming force to overcome them! Let's outline a few guidelines for balanced language practice and then talk about how to achieve it!
It's often easy to absorb a lot of new information but more difficult to put it all to use! Realizing this, you want to sometimes limit how many new words or phrases you try to integrate and focus on how you put them into use to acquire permanent mastery of them. To this effect, you want to design a balanced study session.
Many language courses including this one treat topics in different levels. Everything from grammar to any kind of subject vocabulary to practicing different types of conversations can be organized into varying levels of mastery. What you need to understand before you get too far into anything is...
- Why am I learning this skill? (Why?)
- To accomplish my goal, how much do I need to know? (What?)
- Once I know those things, what's the best way to learn? (How?)
To this end you want to design some mini-projects within your Immersion challenge and set them up with your teacher to ensure their efficacy from conception to integration.