Sometimes a few steps backwards really helps

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Posts: 0
Boonville, NY
Apr 17, 2018
Jan 24, 2019 at 7:55pm

For those of you who find you're getting overwhelmed with certain parts of the German lessons, I just wanted to give you my recent experience and hope it offers you some hope.

A couple months ago I "finished" level 2. But at the end, I was still out in the weeds on a few things, mostly the articles. I was getting a lot of the workouts wrong and couldn't figure out why something that was Der and then was Den is now all of a sudden Dem. It just didn't click and I felt that each session was making more clear my ignorance. When I finished level 1, I had a great sense of accomplishment and felt I really understood the material, but not at the end of 2.

The holidays were starting to pick up at this time and my free time was becoming less and less. So for about a month, I put it all down. Then I went through all the review sessions in level 1 until I found anything that threw me off. If it did, I rolled back into those sessions until I figured it out and then continued through the reviews. By the time I got to the first review in level 2, I could see that I had to start that level all over. So starting from session 1, I have progressed up to my current session (14).

I changed things up. I complete no more than 4 sessions a week and many times only do 3. When I do a new session, I don't progress until I do it twice and am confident that I get all the material. I may repeat one session 3-4 times over a couple days, but I refuse to rush it. I generally take weekends off and absorb what I have learned throughout the week. You know what? It is like a whole different world.

I really have grasped a lot of the grammar that bewildered me before. I feel like this is actually starting to really sink in. When I watch German TV, I feel like I am understanding about 25-30% of what they are saying, where I absolutely did not before. BTW, I recommend the Heute app. You can get it on the Amazon fire stick for free. It shows you daily news reports from Germany.

So if you feel like you are just not getting it, stop. Back up until you find where it all went wrong and start from there. You won't regret it!

Emilie Poyet
Posts: 0
Barcelona, Catalunya
United States
Dec 1, 2010
Feb 6, 2019 at 7:58am

Thank you so much for the great advice Jafo, knowing the complexity of German grammar it makes perfect sense!
And it also follows Sonia's mantras to the dot: repeat, repeat, repeat + practice, practice, practice: the keys to really improving in any language.
Keep it up!

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