I’ve been learning German with Chatterbug for a few years now, almost since the start of the platform. I’m more than 90% of the way to C1 (though I get the feeling my German isn’t actually quite that good). I’m wondering, after I finish with all the topics available in the advanced lessons, what should I do next? I still want to continue to improve, so I will probably keep doing live lessons and reviewing vocabulary. I have toyed with the idea of going to live in a German speaking country for a few months, although it would present a few problems for work, since I would probably need to work remotely from noon until 8 pm German Time to keep my current job. Anyhow, what ideas do you have on where to go with my learning after I finish the material here?
@stefilios In order to keep in touch with the language, you can still take live lessons and maybe talk about interesting topics. Feel always free to ask the tutors to correct and improve you.
At first, congrats on your progress towards German C1 @stefilios, that’s amazing!
Stephan is right - as I experienced with my Spanish: if you don’t use it, you lose it…
So when you reached C1 and you’d like to further improve your Deutsch-skills, live lessons are a great tool to do so!
The chatterbug linguists are constantly putting out new issues for C1 students and if you’d like to explore new topics with your tutors, that’s absolutely fine too. You can always put more emphasis on the conversation part of the LLs. I had very interesting conversations with C1 students about politics, philosophy, machine learning, finance, travel, language, culture,… The interests of the tutors are as diverse as the interest of the students, so it’s quite hard to run out of something to talk about.
If you think you are fluent enough, you could also dig into phonetics, German Umgangssprache, dialects, typical expressions, timbre, etc. This is C2 stuff and it’s immensely fascinating!
To move to a German-speaking country for a while would be full immersion and I always recommend spending some time abroad.
You could also check out chatterbugs other language tools: “chatterbug streams” (available for android and iPhone) and “chatterbug go” (whatsapp extension) is pretty cool too!
This might be an interesting blog post too! -> How fluent would you think you are atm?
However you continue your language journey, you came a long way and you can be proud of your achievements! Just keep in mind, that there’s an entirely new landscape waiting behind every mountain you climb.
Thanks for the detailed response, Toby! I do really enjoy just chatting with my tutors. Actually, it has really been a blessing during COVID to see people regularly and be able to chat. I’ll have to check out the streams again. I think when it first launched, there wasn’t anything live close to a time when I would be available and it felt like a lot of the cool features centered on being there live. I understand that most people are learning German because they are living in a German speaking country, so it makes sense that it would be timed for that audience.
I think I’ve reached some level of conversational fluency- I know that I still make a lot of mistakes that make me sound like a total foreigner, but I can generally understand/be understand, and am comfortable with the fact that I will just make lots of mistakes I can make some jokes, but puns are tough. I’m at least noticing a few things that can serve as punchlines (lösen being both solve and loosen definitely should have a joke attached to it). Anyhow, thanks for the encouragement, and I look forward to continuing to learn.
That’s true! I probably should seek a little more feedback and try to track which mistakes I make most frequently.
I absolutely get it @stefilios! The lockdowns were tough and to be able to communicate with fellow human beings while learning a new language has been a great distraction for many students.
You make a good point with streams. The streamers are all located in Berlin as far as I know. I guess that’s to ensure high quality in production and content, especially in the beginning. I’ll try to find out, if they plan to get streamers in other time zones on board and get back to you asap.
edit: Chatterbug is definitely planning on having lots of streamers in different time zones to cater to students around the world! There will be an announcement here in the community forum in the streams section when a new streamer is joining the crew.
I have a lot of the same issues. I started here in level 2, I believe, and now I’m like 40% done with C1. I would be more done, but I spend most of my live lessons chatting and maybe do one or two exercises. Sometimes I wish my tutors would correct me more, because I’m sure I’m making a lot of mistakes, but when I get on a roll it’s hard, because they don’t want to correct what I’m able to say fluently, even if it’s not grammatically correct (likely because I’ve used the wrong article AGAIN).
I also TOTALLY feel you on the human contact during COVID thing! Was such a lifesaver!
I’ve been watching some interesting series on Netflix, but I don’t know if they’re all available outside of the DACH region… Charite (based here in Berlin), Freud (Oesterreichisch), Biohackers (Freiberg am Breisgau). The nice thing about Netflix is the high-quality German subtitles, which help when I’m watching Freud for example, because Austrian is a bit tricky for me to understand. Do you watch any shows?
I haven’t watched a ton of German language TV shows, but I did watch Biohackers. I also found a pretty interesting concert today that stretched me a bit. The Symphony in Bonn played Beethoven’s unfinished symphony, but they had an artificial intelligence finish it and they played the end written by the AI. There’s about 15 minutes of discussion in German about mensch and maschine, so if you’re interested that might be something to check out. https://www.magenta-musik-360.de/beethoven-10-sinfonie
A very interesting discussion. I have also had students asking me what will come after C1?
Is it possible to start the C-Levels over again? The lessons are so interesting and I am sure a second run would improve grammer, vocabulary and fluency even more.
@stefilios I am pretty much in the same boat. I started at a very low level with Chatterbug after moving to Germany and I completed C1 last January. Although I am living here in Germany, I work for an American company and I’ve studied here in English as well. I’ve continued using Chatterbug to stay in touch with all of the cool tutors I’ve met and keep my conversational skills up. I’ve started learning French now with Chatterbug to justify keeping the App, however, I still routinely have German live lessons to practice. Here are a couple thoughts, ideas and struggles in my mind while I am trying to continue my German progress.
Have you tried watching or reading the news? I’ve learned as the world changes there are always opportunities for new areas of vocabulary (e.g. words related to the Corona-Pandemic or the current geopolitical situation in Ukraine)
Do you listen to music in German? I started researching bands in Germany that play music in the genres that I enjoy. It can be either a great passive learning experience with your headphones on while working or you can look up the lyrics to make sure you completely understand everything. I’ve learned a lot of good colloquial expressions this way. If you have no idea where to start – try looking on Spotify and going from there. They also have German podcasts there.
I would definitely take a look at Netflix and see what is available in German where you are located because I’ve found that to be an abundant resource for different types of German media I’ve consumed (movies, documentaries, series). I’ve read that you’re unfortunately not here in Germany, but there are a ton of public tv programs that I find great for practice. If you like travel documentaries youtube the channel WDR Reisen and you can find free travel documentaries.
Pronunciation / Phonetics - this is great recommendation above from Toby. I’ve started in the last months trying to limit my accent and gain some coordination with my tongue to make new sounds given that I am or was an inept American with foreign languages. I think there is always room for improvement in this area for every learner. While I still hate my accent – I know it is better than at the beginning, and I’m hoping to still make progress… However, I have recently enjoyed telling Germans that I can’t understand their English when they hear my accent and switch.
perfect recommendations Kurt and you are the walking example that it worked
Great thoughts! Thanks
This is such a valuable thread with lots of great tips!
I’d like to encourage you to move to Germany for a few months, @stefilios. I feel like this could be the cherry on top of your German learning journey and might help you to find out where or how to improve your German next In case you have doubts where to go exactly, I’m sure the community is happy to help, too.
Have you considered joining a Study Group on our mobile app? As a Live Lesson subscriber, you have free access to these 15 minute video chats with a native speaker and up to four other students.
The advanced groups might help you to train or retain your vocabulary on various topics. Every day, there are new live streams - and study groups to be found in the app. We hope to increase the number of study groups per day very soon, so you will have even more groups to choose from.
People who already reached Level C1 can also study in Germany at university. In most states it is free and there is also the Fernuniversität Hagen, which costs a bit of money (1500 Euro for a degree), but offers a variety of degrees that you can study ‘just for fun’ entirely online and in German. The difficulty level will be very high, but I am pretty sure you will learn a lot when you use German in an academic environment.