• If you're learning German and do not live in Germany or Austria, chances are you don't have the opportunity to use the language on a daily basis. Be prepared to work on your fluency by trying different materials and reading aloud. Much like learning to read in your native language, reading aloud will keep your German phonetics on target. The good news is, with a little research, it is possible find German zeitungen (newspapers) and zeitschriften (magazines) on a variety of topics at bookstores to help you practice.

    Build Your Vocabulary

    If you are struggling to read German, you already must have a working knowledge of the language. First, build on that by using flashcards to expand your word recognition. Flashcards might not seem like an obvious tool for sharpening reading skills, but they will help you recognize patterns in words, as most spelling devices are consistent in German. As you begin to recognize these patterns (vowel patterns, consonant replacements), your reading will become much smoother, and if you attempt to read aloud, you'll be more accurate in pronunciation.

    Read Publications

    Consider downloading or streaming news podcasts while following a transcript or reading a news story in a German newspaper or Internet source. Sites such as Das Bild report mainstream pop culture stories, so they'll keep your interest, and if you don't recognize a word, it's easy to look it up via an online dictionary. Make a trip to a large bookseller, where you can find German-language publications, ranging from the Wall Street Journal to fashion magazines. These reading materials can help you understand the most common styles of writing in German, and they're at a level that's great for intermediate students.

    Class Time

    Finally, if you're still not satisfied with your reading ability, enroll in a course. You could try a community college or perhaps a class through the recreation department in your town. If this isn't offered, or you have a busy schedule, you might try finding a German tutor, but you'll pay far more for private lessons. A tutor will listen to you read aloud, correct you inflection and pronunciation and answer questions about words you come across in the texts. Keep in mind, the best way to heighten your German reading skills is to practice reading and listening at the same time. By hearing how words are spoken, you will recognize and read them more confidently.


    Goethe Institute

    More Information:

    Leo German Dictionary

    Das Bild

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