Guten Tag meine Freunde!
It’s been almost 2 weeks since my last post, so I figured it would be a good time to update you on my progress:
1. I’ve been learning verbs. I haven’t been learning them at quite the clip I was aiming for, but I feel like I am retaining the ones I do learn. I have been creating sentences with new verbs that I learn. This helps with context and helps me to remember the conjugations as well.
2. I have been learning sentences. Yes, complete sentences. I have been pulling them from multiple sources like: The dictionary, emails to/from my German penpal, forum posts, fiction books, and textbooks. I have been writing them down and reviewing them everyday. These sentences are not necessarily related to anything in particular, but they are all sentences that I could see myself using somehow in conversation. I have filled almost 2 dozen pages with sentences this way (over 200 sentences so far). This sentence method is doing 3 things for me: First, they are giving me some stock or “canned” phrases that I have practiced and feel comfortable with. Secondly, they are providing a grammar framework that I can use to form other structurally related sentences by substituting other nouns and verbs but maintaining the grammar structure and organization. Thirdly, they are helping me learn vocabulary (especially verbs) as these are sentences that are not necessarily sentences I could construct with my current vocab knowledge.
3. I’ve been listening to The news, read slowly in German. This has been helpful in continuing to “tune my ear” to German and to improve my vocabulary. I listen to it a couple of times and follow along with the written text (in German). Then, I try to determine what the particular article is about. I then translate it to determine how close I was. Once I read through the translation, I listen to it again a few more times with the translation in mind. I can usually get 3-5 news vocab words out it without really even trying. Every little bit helps, right?
And that is pretty much what I’ve been up to on the German front. It’s a slow process but I am very proud of my progress and I feel confident that we will reach our goal of fluency in 7 more Months.