My German Language Journey – BIG FAT E Part 2

Wooden cubes with language levels, concept of learning and impro

The first thing I wanted to do was work out how I wanted to learn German. These days, there are so many ways to deliver language training: 

  • In large groups – Best for large companies wanting most of their employees to communicate with colleagues on an international basis (think telephone & email communications) 
  • On a 1:1 basis – Best for individuals who have been identified as requiring (or improving on) a second language for their job role, e.g., employee relocation / pronunciation practice for presentations / understanding written documents (signing off contracts, import / export documents)  
  • Face to Face – The classic! Many people will say that the information goes in and sticks better if someone is physically there, regular weekly lessons, here is a workbook, let’s do this exercise, let’s partner up, let’s listen to this audio clip. Perfect for beginners. 
  • Remotely – Has been around for a while but has become much more important in the last few years (thanks, Covid). Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams. Great, you don’t have to leave your room and neither does your trainer. Offers up a lot more flex but it can have its downsides – can you hold your attention for a full 1.5hrs on video? 
  • Digitally – How many language apps are around these days! Easy to dip in and out of, basic phrases, pick your subject. Ideal for your holiday.  

I decided I wanted to learn on a 1:1 basis and start with a language app. Once I’d scraped off the rust, I’d then change to remote lessons with a tutor. I wasn’t too enamoured with a textbook, so I’d happily take any tests the language apps threw at me. 

The next challenge was to select the right app for me. Two came up on an internet search – Duolingo and Drops. Duolingo I had heard of before and Drops was new – but both were apps in which I would start off with basic words and phrases and gradually build up into full sentences and conversations. Both were also offering a free trial, so I downloaded both and gave them a week of my time to see which one I enjoyed the most

Duolingo app. Source: Adobe Stock

The winner? Duolingo. The reason? Well, as I remembered some basic German from before, I was itching to go from the repetition of learning just a single word to using that word to create a sentence. Duolingo did that for me. I’m sure an absolute beginner would be happy with either, but I’d made my choice after 3 days, cancelled the trial for Drops and my bosses kindly paid for me to have an annual Duolingo pass.   

I’d made my choice. So now it was down to me to put the hours and effort into seeing how I got on!

Thinking about trying out learning a new language just like Ann-Marie? Why not start with Dialogue’s foreign language training packages?


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