Practice Speaking German On Your Own

Practice Speaking German On Your Own

There are quite a few methods out there that promise to help you practice speaking German online. Not all of them are suitable for beginners of German and not many are any good for advanced German learners either. How can one know which language learning method is the best to work with?

I’ve been asking this question myself since I’m 18 years old and started to learn English outside of school. I can safely say that I have tried or researched every language learning method out there in depth over the last 30 years to say that the answer is simpler than one might think or than certain companies might suggest in order to push their product.

SmarterGerman Courses

I’m aware that I’m also running a company and am also selling a product to you. That’s why I always recommend that you try my courses for free to see whether my claims hold up.

And after your purchase you always get a 30 days money back guarantee which you can claim writing a short email to me. There’s never any risk when working with SmarterGerman as that’s how I’d like things to be.

The Secretary Technique

So here’s my pitch: I have recently developed a technique that is challenging but at the same time a very gentle approach to improving one’s free-speaking skills. I called this technique the Secretary Technique.

As it can be quite demanding to practice speaking German freely, I introduce this technique only after my learners have reached the 50% waymark in my online German course. The Secretary Technique helps to leave the tight structure of the Preaching or a simple read-out-loud exercise.

It motivates the learner to create their own sentences and to be creative, spontaneous, and intuitive. Don’t worry if you think that you might not be too creative when it comes to the language, all it takes is proper (!) training and some persistence.

SmarterGerman’s courses will always take you by the hand and guide you through every step of the way at your own speed. There’s never a need to rush.

Just practice speaking German out loud does not do much to your skills as you’d have to get some solid feedback on whether you said things properly. To make sure you learn proper German all you need is a smartphone or a web browser and open the page, a free transcription tool that can handle the German language. The Secretary Technique combines essential elements of dictations, writing exercises, and the Preaching technique.

So how exactly do I practice speaking German on my own?

First, pick a topic you are interested in and could speak about freely in German for a maximum of two minutes. Even one minute can be enough as you might realize soon enough. Write down up to 10 keywords in German or English to help jog your memory while using this technique.

Don’t be too anxious about picking the “right” topic. It could be anything such as describing a birthday party, a summary of your favorite TV program or even the weather if that rocks your boat. You could also relate to something in your personal life or just be general, as long as you let your fantasy roam freely. 

Do not write out any sentences for this exercise. This is neither a writing nor a reading out loud exercise. You need to think on the spot and create every sentence from scratch.

Two secretary birds wish they could practice speaking German on their own like we do at SmarterGerman

The Secretary Bird

Next, you will speak out loud on the topic of your choice. If you’re familiar with our equally wonderful Preaching Technique, then this step should be something you are already used to. Just that now you don’t have to follow a given pattern.

Practice speaking German with the help of those 10 keywords you noted down earlier and have transcribe your words for you. This is where the name “Secretary Technique” came from: you will be dictating your ideas to a virtual secretary, i.e. the transcription app. 

Once you have spoken, take a look at the transcription and correct your text. Correcting one’s own work is always a bit tricky as we tend to have many blind spots. But with the help of DeepL, you’ll be able to hunt down 3-5 mistakes at a time. Over time this adds up and you’ll find your speech improves without putting in any extra effort. 

Where can I learn more about this technique?

If you work with any of my German courses or my B2 Upper-Intermediate German course you’ll be introduced to very efficient and effective ways to improve your writing skills. I mention that as with that writing exercise you’ll also learn how to correct your own mistakes reliably with a simple two-step approach.

As with anything else in language, learning repetition is the mother of all learning. Therefore the Secretary Technique should not take you longer than 30-45 minutes initially. If it takes you longer than that you are not following my instructions correctly. In that case, contact me immediately via the sG Community and I’ll get you back on track with a few simple steps.

The Secretary Technique is your chance to prepare simple talks, presentations or conversations about topics that are simple but interesting enough to feel free about your German-speaking. Of course, this requires training. Don’t expect to become fluent after just a couple of hours of Secretary work. Patience, my dear Padawan, Patience. Stay with me and you’ll get to fluency eventually. 

The Secretary Technique is a wonderfully flexible tool that encourages learners to practice speaking German without inhibition. Although it might be difficult at first, you will surely come to realize how valuable it is in the end.

And always remember: Never try to achieve perfection as it will kill your motivation in a very short time. Stick with the Pareto Principle which says that 20% of your work is responsible for 80% of the outcome. Trying to master the remaining 20% until perfection will cost you an immense amount of energy and time. You can invest that once you have mastered your B2 level. 

Written by Michael Schmitz 14.05.2021 and updated on 13.07.2023

Practice Speaking German Online

For German learners seeking a dynamic and interactive approach to language acquisition, online courses like ours can be an invaluable resource. Some courses and apps can be easily accessed and downloaded for free from platforms like iTunes or the Google Play store, making learning convenient and flexible.

How to practice your German speaking skills - German Academy Zurich

Find Like-Minded Individuals

To enhance the learning experience and have more fun, connecting with other German learners or native speakers who share the same interests as you is also key. Finding an exchange partner on one of the various language exchange sites is easy and allows for better German practice through activities such as role-playing games and exchanging text messages or voice chats. This not only makes the learning process enjoyable but also fosters a supportive community for language enthusiasts to collaborate and grow together.

Learn German with Native German Speakers

To truly grasp the nuances of the language, finding a German conversation partner who speaks German as their native language is invaluable. Conversing with a native speaker not only provides an authentic language experience but also allows learners to immerse themselves in the cultural context, pronunciation, and colloquial expressions. Whether through language exchange programs or online platforms, actively participating in conversations with a German native speaker enhances language skills and builds confidence in communicating effectively in real-life situations.

FAQs about improving your German speaking Skills

Here are some of the questions people ask about learning German and practicing your German language skills.

How can I practice speaking German by myself?

You can practice speaking German by engaging in self-talk, describing your surroundings, or narrating daily activities aloud. Utilize language learning apps with speech recognition features to receive feedback on pronunciation and fluency.

How can I practice German on my own?

To practice German independently, immerse yourself in the language by listening to German podcasts, watching YouTube videos, movies or TV shows, and reading books or articles. Use language learning apps and online resources that offer interactive exercises and quizzes to reinforce vocabulary and grammar.

How can I teach myself to speak German?

Teaching yourself to speak German involves a combination of self-study methods. Use language learning apps, online courses, and textbooks to build a foundation. Practice speaking by engaging in language exchange with native German speakers through online platforms or language exchange programs.

Can the German language be self-taught?

Yes, the German language can be self-taught with the aid of resources focusing on German grammar and spoken German. Using language learning apps, online courses, and immersive practices, individuals can grasp basic German grammar and develop conversational skills independently. Regular practice and exposure to spoken German, as well as talking to a native German speaker contribute significantly to self-taught language proficiency.

Summing Up: Practice Speaking German On Your Own

The SmarterGerman Secretary Technique is an inventive and gentle approach to learning German and practicing free-speaking. Designed for language learners who have reached the 50% mark in the online German course, this technique encourages creativity, spontaneity, and intuition.

By combining dictation, writing exercises, and the Preaching technique, it provides a unique and effective method for German language learners. Explore this flexible tool to prepare simple talks, presentations, or conversations, gradually achieving fluency while connecting with native German speakers in Germany or another German-speaking country, making friends along the way and enhancing your listening comprehension skills at the same time.