what to do after finishing the skill tree ?
I've finished the german skill tree a week ago . since then i've only spent my time on reading Duolingo stories and reading German texts from different sources that fit into my skill level . but I feel what I'm doing is kinda random and has no real tracking/measurement tools. to be honest , my writing and reading is kinda fine. but my listening and speaking aren't , they need practice and I've no clue how to practice them. so I'm lost on what to do ? , and what are good sources/ways to improve speaking/listening ? , and any suggestion to do after finishing the skill tree
P.s : this doesn't say duolingo isn't helpful , NEIN . It's very helpful and probably the fastest tool to get to A2 level , but learning language is a cumulative process .
I highly recommend the YouTube series Easy German. They carry out interviews to random people on the streets on various topics. Subtitles in both German and English are provided for every video and there are almost 250 videos! I enjoy watching episodes more than once since of course I don't catch/remember everything people talk about. When I first started watching I would rely on the English subtitles, but now I'm mostly comfortable reading along with the German subtitles while occasionally peeking at the English if I really have no idea what's being said. I still cannot follow too much without subtitles since common folk naturally tend to speak fast and swallow/slur words together.
For speaking I like to read aloud articles such as the news or even random comments on the internet. I do not focus so much on the meaning as much as pronunciation. There are various YouTube videos on pronunciation in German. Deutsch für Euch has great pronunciation videos in my opinion and are very simple to understand and practice with.
There's an app called Speechling that allows you to repeat sentences and listen back on your own recording and even sending it off to a language coach for judgement and feedback. This is a technique called shadowing and is regarded as a great method to improve pronunciation in any language. You can do shadowing by yourself with a recording application and access to natively spoken sentences.
I have yet to get around to speaking to actual people, so my conversation skills are basically nonexistent but I plan on checking out apps such as HelloTalk or finding a language exchange partner soon. I believe it is time to come out of my silent period and actually use what I've learned so far, but that is apparently a hurdle in language learning for most.
There's also Slow German where various topics are briefly discussed in (you guessed it!) Slow German, which also has a podcast. Einfach Deutsch lernen plays various short conversations that are simple to follow. Tägliche Nachrichten mit Untertiteln has daily news in German with subtitles, and their channel has other German learning videos too that I haven't really checked out.
I love the podcast Coffee Break German, and I've found that it helps with both my listening and my speaking skills. The format is set up as a native German speaker teaching the language to a student; when they give translation 'exercises' during the lesson, they pause so that the podcast listener also has a chance to figure out the sentence himself, before the student answers. I started saying the sentences aloud as I was constructing them and that has really helped both my fluidity in thinking of how to say things more quickly, and my pronunciation since I can then immediately compare it to the native German speaker's answer. :) Just make sure to actually speak the words instead of only thinking of them, and you'll get a lot of practice straight away. Also, the lessons progress in complexity pretty quickly, so don't assume you should jump straight into later lessons because you already know a fair amount of German. I'd still recommend starting at the beginning, and at worst, you'll get some good review while you're getting a feel for how to use the program best. Viel Glueck!
Reading random books/articles is what I have planned for my Swedish learning, because that's also how I got to a decend vocabulary and confidence with English. :)
The main problem is finding the right ones. I started with one of Terry Pratchetts books, only to end up not enjoying it because I had to look up words every second sentence. So I dropped that and began with the English versions of books that I enjoyed reading in German: Ronja Räubertochter, Shades Of Grey (from Jasper Fforde, not from EL James...) and the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It was way easier, because I could often get the meaning of words/idioms/grammar things without looking it up, because I already knew the story. Those three books also have kind of an increasing difficulty. It's not as good as duolingo which tells you where you are with your learning (in the tree), but you can certainly pick books in an order that makes sense for learning - if you want so.
After that I felt that I got some intuitivity with the grammar. I often notice my own mistakes because the sentence 'doesn't feel right'.
After that I felt confident enough to read books that are unknown to me in English.
And someday I discovered some interesting English youtube channels that hooked me. In the begining I needed to concentrate a lot to understand what was talked about. But soon I got better at it. There is also a difference in difficulty in how clear the language is, if the youtuber has a dialect and if he reads from a script, speaks without a script or talks with another person. I took that as a feedback on how good I have become. :)
So, you could start by watching channels that make content for learners of German. And level it up with 'normal' channels (I don't know how to word it better) or tv shows. Feel free to ask for recommendations.
i currently read using an app called Beelinguapp, Duo stories and BILD zeitung ( the sport section ) . I'll check the recommendations . I just hope i can get B1 level by October but i just feel withouting speaking with someone i won't be able to do so , since i don't practice speaking in any method