Learn to use German in context with quizzes
The key to learning a language is context. Learning in context gives meaning to the vocabulary and grammar one learns. If you just learn vocabulary by using lists, you are likely to use the words wrongly. Grammar often only starts making sense, when seeing it used in example sentences. Learning vocabulary as part of a sentence helps with connecting new words with words you already know. But German grammar exercises need to be carefully thought through and well designed.
One way to learn with context are cloze tasks. They can be effective in increasing recall. When filling out gaps one has to consider the meanings of words. Once the meaning of the word is involved a different level of learning is engaged. Cloze tasks add a deeper level of processing because they embed the words in a particular context. Completing them will expose you to actual language usage.
When does one say zahlen rather than bezahlen? What’s the difference of können and dürfen? How about bringen and holen? If you check the dictionary, both of them essentially mean „to bring” or „to get”, the differences are subtle. All these differences are mostly based on context.
Using the wrong words can be quite embarrassing or the very least confusing. Read for instance this article on Seven English words Germans get hilariously wrong.
At smarterGerman we use our own multiple choice quiz tool but also make use of Learnclick for creating cloze quizzes. Learnclick is a great tool for asking questions in context. Check out our interactive exercises for Lesson 01 of any course of ours Just register for a free trial and enjoy the beauty of learning German in a highly efficient yet still enjoyable way.
In those exercises you’ll see a little i-icon. When you hover over it, you will get a tip of what you have to enter into the gap. For instance, you will need to ponder which verb to use and how to conjugate it. Other exercises give you options as a list and you have to choose the correct German translation for a sentence. If you’re stuck, click on the button „I give up! Show me the answer(s)“.
Do you find yourself always making the same mistakes? Why don’t you try our German Online courses for free and see how you can improve your learning completely independent from any tutor or classroom? And if you want to get a profound and deeply satisfying understanding of the German Grammar we have a wonderful new (as of Jan 2022) course for you called the German Grammar Genius programme which you can read more about here.
In summary, when learning a new word or grammar point try to understand the context and practice using it yourself more often.
Updated by Michael, 25.01.2022