You can’t really make that much improvement by doing just a few listening comprehension exercises, though it does help a bit. What you need to have is lots of exposure to German language, as the more you listen, the easier it gets. It has never been easier to get exposure to language than today. A few ideas here, and more to come.
- YouTube is a fairly obvious resource, but there is so much of it, that you really need to have some keywords ready to help you search effectively. Prepare in advance what you want to watch.
- Watching films with or without subtitles. We’ll be providing a list of interesting and accessible films, both here and elsewhere on the website. There is quite a strong case for watching with English subtitles the first time, with the German under titles the second time and then a further time with nothing at all, though watching three times can get a little bit laborious.
- Deutsche Welle has a huge range of video and audio resources designed with the learner in mind, and at various different levels. One very useful feature is its Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten where you not only have today’s news read slowly, but you also have the text to support you. You can use that to develop your vocabulary hugely as well.
- Getting hold of German TV series. Here’s a short list to help you get going, but if you put deutsche Fernsehserien into Google.de , t will give you a whole load more. Once you have found titles appeal to you, try searching for it on YouTube.
I use a couple of services which enable me to watch terrestrial television in the countries that interest me – you get a proxy IP address, which makes it appear as if your computer is in Germany or Austria or wheresoever, and therefore you can get around regional restrictions. One service is Google Hola which is free, but there are others for which you pay. Using this means that you can get into regularly watching a soap for instance, without having to think what to watch or to hunt around.