Better German Podcast with Susi

Susanne Schilk-Blümel

Better German Podcast Episode 4 Introduction to Learning German

Summary of different aspects of learning German

2023-09-14 12 min

Description & Show Notes

Find the full show notes on:
In this episode of Better German, Susi Blümel introduces the approach she is using to teach German. She emphasizes the importance of speaking and practicing the language, rather than solely focusing on grammar rules. Susi encourages learners to adopt a natural approach, similar to how they learned their native language. She explains the effectiveness of repetition and the use of sentence patterns to create meaningful and practical sentences. She also highlights the need for consistent practice in order to become comfortable and fluent in speaking German. Overall, this episode provides valuable insights into a different approach to learning German that focuses on practicality and real-life communication.

Welcome to Episode 4 of the Better German podcast! In today's episode, titled "Intro Lesson," our host Susi Blümel will dive into her unique approach to teaching German and why it's different from traditional methods. Originally a video, this episode is a summary of Susi's teaching style, providing you with valuable insights on how to effectively learn German or any language. Susi emphasizes the importance of speaking practice, the flaws in traditional language classes, and the power of learning through repetition and sentence patterns. Get ready to discover a new perspective on learning German and gain practical tips to enhance your language journey. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this eye-opening episode of Better German.

Key Topics and Bullet Points
Primary Topic: Introduction to Better German podcast and teaching approach
- Welcome to the Better German podcast
- Introducing Susi Blümel as the host and German teacher
- Teaching German online in private lessons or live groups
- Emphasis on speaking, writing, reading, and understanding German
- Importance of practicing speaking to feel comfortable when speaking
- Different approach to learning German and avoiding common pitfalls
Primary Topic: Learning a language through natural patterns
- Comparison to learning native language successfully
- Starting with words and using repetition to learn and remember them
- Importance of practicing new words
- Native language learned without grammar initially
- Emphasizing natural learning methods for learning German
Primary Topic: Learning German through sentence patterns
- Sentence patterns as a way to build language fluency
- Using sentence patterns to create similar sentences
- Learning around 100 sentence patterns for everyday German
- Practice and repetition of sentence patterns for easy usage
Primary Topic: Importance of practice in language learning
- Need to practice every word and sentence pattern
- Comparison to practicing skills in other areas of life
- Theory alone is not enough, need to practice the language
- Pitfalls of focusing too much on theory and not enough on practice
Primary Topic: Challenges in traditional language learning methods
- Focus on theory and lack of practice in traditional language classes
- Difficulties in using the language after learning theory alone
- Frustration and belief that German is difficult when theory doesn't translate to practical usage
- Importance of balancing theory and practice in language learning journey


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Welcome to the Better German podcast. My name is Susi Blümel, and I will teach you German and everything around the language , the countries and the culture. So this week's episode is actually originally a video that I recorded a while ago. And it's an introduction or a summary into how I teach and why I teach like that. And I thought it could be helpful for you, because it explains a different approach how to learn German or any language actually. And how you could learn German. And it also tells you a few things that you should avoid in learning German. So please enjoy, and I hope you find it helpful. Hello, my name is Susi and I'm a German teacher. I'm a native German speaker. I was born in Vienna and I live here. I want to help other people, like you, to learn German and to discover all the things that you can only discover when you speak it. I teach German online in private lessons or in live groups for up to four people maximum. I will teach you to speak German as well as write and read and understand it. Enough speaking is very often left out in German classes, even though this is what most people want to learn. So when you learn German with me, we will practice speaking a lot and I will help you to feel comfortable when you speak. Then there is another strange thing about German. People have lessons, they learn intensively, sometimes for years in courses or even in school, and so many people start lessons, and so many people are actually successful and really learn the language. So there is something that's not working in many, many German classes. Something that happens, maybe, it even happened to you, you're learning German, and you hear a word, let's say maybe tisch, and then you're like, I've heard that, yeah, but Okay, I don't remember what that is. Tish. Tish. Let me think. Ah! It's table! And maybe even you have some words like that. So there is something wrong. People don't manage to learn a language and that's not good. On the other hand, you have very successfully learned at least one language. Yes, of course, I'm talking about your native language. So, why don't we use this successful pattern? Because we learned our own language very successfully, and then we tried to learn another language in a different way, and that did not work. So, let's use what worked in learning our own language. That would be good, wouldn't it? Okay, so let's look how we learned our own language. We started with words. Maybe it was a word like dog and how did we learn that? We used it over and over again until we knew it and we knew how to use it perfectly. We said dog, dog, dog. Nobody told us to do that. We just did it because we wanted to and we wanted to be able to speak and we did it because it worked. And as a result, you remember. These words very well and you won't forget them for the rest of your life. And now I have a question. When you learn a foreign language, German or any other one, do you do the same with new words? No. Because if you did that, you probably wouldn't be here. Because you would already know that language. Or you would be speaking German. So in your classes with me, when you learn a new word, you will do this similarly. One more thing. Did you speak your own language fluently when you were 6 years old? So, by the time you were starting school? Right. So, how much grammar had you learned before that? None? So, what? Your native language is special and has no grammar? No. So, how could you learn it without grammar? Was it like this? Your mom sat you down when you were really small and said, Okay, yesterday we learned about nouns. Today we are going to look at adjectives. By the way, what is the definition of the word noun? No, you never learned it like that. You would have never done it because it's way too complicated. So how did you learn the language? You learned to speak it in a natural way, and then the grammar rules, the theory, you learned later in school. So maybe grammar is not that important in the beginning. It depends on the point of view, but most importantly, it depends on what works. But what happens when you learn a new language, usually? Very, very often, the emphasis is on grammar right at the beginning. And how does that work? What's the result? Exactly. You have books full of notes and you're confused about grammar. You can't speak the language, right? So, I teach German in a more natural way, similar to how you learn your own native language. When we learn new words, for example, we will start out by clearing out what each means and then we'll work with repetition until you repeat it a couple of times and you will know how to say it correctly. And this is not enough to actually be able to use the word, so we practice the word after that. There are several ways how to do that. Um, by the way, we also practice der, die, das, like that. Sometimes that gives German students a lot of troubles and they become worried about it. No way you will learn it easily. So, when we learn new words, I explain the meaning, I explain the pronunciation. We go over those things a couple of times and then we practice the word. In a real communication, in a game, in sentences, for example. There is a few ways how to do that. And that's similar to how we learn our own language, right? And what happens in your own language when you know enough words? Then you could say sentences, right? So how did we do that? We understood the meaning of a sentence, and then we remembered it, and then we used it again, and then we learned a new sentence, and then another, and then we build up the whole language like that, right? Okay, now, we don't have enough time to learn millions of sentences here, do we? So, we use sentence patterns. And what is a sentence pattern? It's a sentence that has one or more empty spaces, and in those empty spaces you can put a word. Das ist ein is a sentence pattern. That means, this is a So, it works like this. Part of the sentence stays the same, and you change a word or a few words in the rest of the sentence. And by using sentence patterns, you can make many similar sentences. This way, you don't have to learn millions of sentences. You only learn about 100 sentence patterns that make up everyday German. And, of course, you practice each one of them until you can use them easily. Now, let's talk about practice. Why do I speak so much about practicing? Well, just learning the words and sentence patterns is not enough. What you need to do in order to be able to really use them comfortably in real conversation is practicing. You have to practice every word, every sentence pattern. What do you have to do? If you want to be good at anything, you have to practice. This applies to everything in life. If you want to be good at sports, you have to practice. If you want to be good at skiing, you have to practice. When you were a kid, you had to practice a lot to walk. And so you did when you wanted to write. It's the same with learning German. Knowing the theory is not enough. You have to practice the language. Um, although this is like it is, many people don't learn the language this way. So what do they do? They learn a lot of theory and then they don't have enough practice. Maybe they don't even have time to practice because they have so much theory they have to learn. So, and so little practice. So, what happens when you do it this way? You study, and then you meet a German speaker, he or she asks you something, you want to answer, and... Exactly, you can answer. Maybe you were even surprised when this happened to you the first time because you spent some time learning the language, but then you couldn't use it. Maybe you started thinking that German is so difficult and that it couldn't be learned. That's because your knowledge is only or was only in your notebooks and in your books. When you learn a language, Theory is only a really small part, and practice is the main part. So, this much theory, that much practice. So what happens when you do it this way? Well, then you go out into real life, you meet a German speaking person, he or she asks you something, you want to answer, and you can! Why? Because your knowledge is not only in your notebooks, but it's also here. It's yours, and you can use it. Okay, so here is a short summary. When you learn your native language, you start it with words. That is the basis of our lessons. And then, when you had enough words, you started using sentences, or sentence patterns. You will learn new sentence patterns in every lesson. And then, when you had enough sentence patterns, you could speak, or better yet, Communicate. And that's the real purpose of language. It is, it was, and it always will be. Communication. When you say something, the other person understands you and responds. And you understand them. And that's what you really want. That's the reason you're looking at this, right? And I'm going to teach you how to communicate in German. So start learning German effectively, Thank you for listening to this episode. You can find a transcript of this episode at www. bettergerman. info and slash and then the number of the episode. You can also sign up for a newsletter there and then you will be informed when there is a new episode coming or any other important events going on, new articles, new freebies or... things like that. If you liked it and it was helpful for you, please share it with other people and let them know that this exists. And if you are looking for a course and you want to learn German online, then you can, of course, find all the infos as well on www. bettergerman. info. See you there and see you in the next episode. Bye bye!

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