Stalking the world wide wilderness for advanced German lessons online?
Are you currently on an endless hunt around the internet?
Well, get ready to pounce on these excellent German learning programs.
We’ve compiled the best online German lessons—actually, we’ve only compiled the best of the best in terms of learning authentic German.
You might think that, once you’re an advanced learner, you’re beyond needing more formal, structured lessons.
Advanced German lessons are useful for one major reason: they put you in the heart of German culture, as opposed to having you rattle off a bunch of vocabulary words and grammar patterns in isolation.
Since not everyone learns the same way, this guide is broken up into lessons that are more strongly focused on one of the following learning styles: audio, visual, textual, combination and immersion learning.
The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need for Finding Advanced German Lessons Online
You’ve sat through hours of German classes in high school or college.
You’ve mastered the standard travel phrases like Schön, Sie kennen zu lernen (It’s nice to meet you) and Haben Sie ein vegetarisches Gericht? (Do you have a vegetarian dish?).
You may even spend time chatting and joking with native speakers on the phone, through Skype or during your time with your German host family.
The language seems to be coming naturally to you, so you fancy yourself an advanced German learner. You’re looking for advanced German lessons online, and that’s what you’re going to get.
Keep reading to check out this ultimate guide to finding advanced German lessons online. It doesn’t matter whether you enjoy learning with German audio, videos, text exercises or simply talking to other people, because it’s all covered here.
Advanced German Lessons for Audio Learners
From German learning podcasts to quick website audio clips, these German resources offer the opportunity to pop in your ear buds and sit on the train or in the car while absorbing advanced German lessons.
There’s no need to bother anyone else by blasting the radio or waiting for a quiet space to read a book. Audio lessons are convenient at any time.
GermanPod101 is an audio online German course that features guides for beginners to advanced folks—but we obviously want to focus on the hard stuff. The knowledgeable and energetic hosts share stories and engage in funny debates like “How Far Will Klingon Get You in Germany?”
Hearing audio around the clock is amazing for your conversational skills and overall fluency.
The GermanPod101 course is updated with new podcast lessons every week, with material geared towards absolute beginners all the way up to advanced learners nearing fluency. They teach grammar, vocabulary, everyday conversations, real-life situations and culture.
So, basically, you’ve got all your bases covered. Take it for a spin with some free podcast lessons here!
This German-only website shares incredible audio clips that talk about graduate school level topics like biochemistry and bionics.
This is for the advanced German learner who wants to wonder about the mysteries of the world in a different language!
LingQ is an advanced German app (it also caters to lower levels) with a whole smorgasbord of resources and tools for learning German. There are hundreds of hours of German materials for you to enjoy, from podcasts to news articles to recipes! LingQ has built-in tools like vocabulary lists and a dictionary to help you learn as you read or listen.
Advanced German learners will love that you can import any German content into LingQ to use as a custom-made lesson.
There’s also a lively community of language learners from around the world to make the whole learning experience more enjoyable.
Advanced German Lessons for Visual Learners
Visual learners enjoy booting up the computer or settling in under a cozy blanket to view their advanced lessons through their eyeballs. YouTube is filled with funny, informative and free advanced German video courses. All of them are just hanging around for your viewing pleasure.
This channel is the perfect spot for advanced German lessons on YouTube. The Elaine and Kieron videos work best for advanced learners, since they follow a fictional couple that interacts in fast and fluent German.
This YouTube channel takes an unusual visual approach by flashing advanced German words on the screen, followed by the English translation.
There isn’t even a consistent host, keeping the focus on you, as opposed to a person trying to entertain you. Keep in mind that you may have to browse through the channel a bit to get away from the beginner lessons.
Advanced German Lessons for Readers and Writers
A text lesson may sound similar to one of those textbooks you used to have to read in school, but the ones online generally provide fun and interactive quizzes and exercises to test your knowledge and immerse you in the language you’re beginning to really know and love. Think of it as an online German course where you set the pace and the homework assignments.
This native German website places a hard focus on advanced German vocabulary, with lessons that use sample sentences and unusual word combinations.
It’s basically a huge thesaurus and dictionary for words you’d never find in a classroom.
LANGMaster has loads of games, exercises and free German lessons made specially for advanced speakers. Drag and drop vocabulary tests, combined with extensive political and entertainment reading, comes to a peak with some handy bonus quizzes to keep you engaged during lessons.
Each course includes hundreds of exercises.
Comprehensive Advanced German Lessons Online
With these comprehensive advanced German lessons, you have a chance to play around with quizzes, watch videos, view subtitles and listen to audio clips—while you build all your language skills at once.
The idea is to surround yourself in the German culture, not simply focusing on one particular medium or learning tactic.
FluentU combines all different learning methods for an interactive multimedia experience. Real-world images, videos and audio clips are compiled to keep you engaged at even the most advanced level.
FluentU is one of the best websites and apps for learning German the way native speakers really use it. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Watch authentic media to simultaneously immerse yourself in the German language and build an understanding of the German culture.
By using real-life videos, the content is kept fresh and current. Topics cover a lot of ground as you can see here:
Vocabulary and phrases are learned with the help of interactive subtitles and full transcripts.
Hovering over or tapping on any word in the subtitles will automatically pause the video and instantly display its meaning. Interesting words you don’t know yet can be added to a to-learn list for later.
For every lesson, a list of vocabulary is provided for easy reference and bolstered with plenty of examples of how each word is used in a sentence.
Your existing knowledge is tested with the help of adaptive quizzes in which words are learned in context.
FluentU keeps track of the words you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.
This way, you have a truly personalized learning experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or practice anytime, anywhere on the mobile app for iOS and Android.
9. Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle is one of the most comprehensive German-language resources online. It’s the international arm of Germany’s public broadcasting network, and it’s certainly not limited to German material.
As part of their international outreach, they’ve created and curated a series of German lessons for all levels.
When it comes to the advanced levels, DW offers multimedia lessons with transcripts as well as news articles. This makes a lot of sense because at the upper-intermediate and advanced levels, you’re stretching the limits of what a structured, spoon-fed course can give you.
- Start with the “Level C” lesson package, designed for those who understand long, challenging texts and want to sharpen skills for quickly communicating and understanding detailed information.
Within this lesson package, the Video-Thema series presents interesting video reports on a variety of topics, and they even share regular radio newscasts for you to listen in on.
- Check out the free business German course Marktplatz (marketplace) or the TV show “Jojo sucht das Glück” (“Jojo’s Looking for Happiness”). Both come with downloadable transcripts and are perfect for advanced learners seeking to expand their horizons.
- As you approach fluency, tune in to the advanced DW audio programs that explain German dialects, literature, news and everyday language. Every lesson comes with a quick multiple-choice comprehension test afterward—and of course, the transcripts and MP3s are available as well.
- The “Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten” (“Slowly Spoken News”) program is wonderful for learners breaking through to a new stage of listening comprehension. You can find archived recordings going back years and years!
10. Deutsch Akademie German Grammar Trainer
These Deutsch Akademie lessons are best for advanced learners who still need to keep their grammar sharp.
Their grammar trainer is deceptively simple. Just choose which topics (or which overall level) you want to study and how many questions you’d like. Then keep going with different topics. It doesn’t repeat.
Because of a truly Herculean effort on the part of the producers, lessons from more than 20 well-known German textbooks have been condensed into this online format to provide a question bank.
You can also choose a lesson with random questions from across all topics if you want a comprehensive review.
If you happen to be enrolled in a German course, you can even customize the quiz to your textbook. When the midterm comes up, you’ll be unstoppable.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a mobile app and complete audio course, all entirely kostenlos (free).
11. Rosetta Stone
The popular Rosetta Stone online German course is also an option, but I recommend this for people who still need to do a little work before becoming truly advanced learners.
The final stages focus on conversation and clarity, discussing entertainment, culture, government and more through videos, text guides and mobile app cards. It’s highly structured, for any learner who needs a helping hand to make progress.
Free Online German Courses from Universities
12. Collegium Palatinum Heidelberg
Heidelberg is known as a perfect German university town.
Small wonder that some excellent online courses might come out of the same place.
Along with some general beginner and intermediate language lessons, the Collegium Palatinum offers an intermediate course for academic studies and an advanced course for research.
- The German for studies course is 155 Euros (about 180 USD) for 90 lessons. It’s intended for those planning to become students of technical subjects at a German university. As you’d expect, there’s a strong focus on the language of scientific German and the kind of academic writing that you’d have to produce at a university.
- The advanced research course has 100 lessons for the same price. When you sign up, you have your choice of eight modules including law, economics, biology, psycholinguistics and more.
Both of these courses give you the further option of studying by yourself or with a tutor for an extra fee. The research course also offers the possibility of earning credits that can then be accepted at some other German universities.
13. MIT OpenCourseWare
MIT, like Heidelberg, is a name that needs virtually no introduction in academics.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the group behind the MIT OpenCourseWare project has been ahead of the curve when it comes to distance learning. You can find authentic lecture notes, slides, syllabi and homework from some of the most popular MIT courses spanning nearly the last two decades.
And language is no exception.
That link above takes you directly to the list of German courses offered. You’ll get access to all the course materials and lessons that were taught in real-life MIT German language courses.
How can you use material like this?
The simplest way is to download the materials and follow along, week-by-week, with the real syllabus. You can choose which, if any, of the homework to complete—the readings and videos alone should keep you busy.
And if you happen to have access to interested native speakers, a tutor or study partners, you can take a look at the discussion questions and try recreating an MIT seminar wherever you happen to be.
As of 2018, there are two semester-long courses specifically for advanced German students, available totally for free online: one on formal business communication and one on culture and literature.
- The business communication course is far more than a phrasebook. Try watching the linked YouTube interviews on the use of English in German workplaces, or have a look at the supplemental PDFs that explain how to describe charts and graphs.
- The literature course, enticingly called “Madness, Murder, Mysteries,” will fine-tune your comprehension skills with high-level readings in fiction, poetry, drama, philosophy and more. If you follow the assignments you’ll develop sophisticated written German.
German Immersion Online for Advanced Learners
Learning German is all about communicating with other people, so there comes a point when you need to start interacting with that German waiter at the coffee shop down the street or booting up your computer to speak with a friend from your travels abroad through Skype. These online resources will set you up with some excellent opportunities to immerse yourself in real, conversational German—from your computer or even in-person.
Getting out and practicing is just as much of a lesson as any audio, video or text lesson.
Use Meetup, an online platform for local interest groups, to further practice the skills you learned in your advanced German lessons. You must search there for a German conversation group in your area. Many of them are free or ask for a small donation.
Some of them simply meet at coffee shops to work on speaking German, while others go out to watch movies or participate in small classes.
15. Goethe Institute
You might already know about this popular German language and culture organization. The Goethe Institut hosts advanced German language courses throughout Germany and the U.S., in cities like Chicago, Boston, Atlanta and New York.
Simply reading through their blog is enough to find news, interviews and even movie reviews, all written in fluent German. The program is designed for you to enroll and take intensive classes to assist with cultural dialogue and information about Germany. It consists of in-depth lessons and test preparations.
MyLanguageExchange is a versatile program for German immersion online that connects people from all over the world. Make a profile and trade Skype information to chat with a German speaker every day or week.
The site also encourages pen-pals, giving you a person to write with regularly. This has the double benefit of making a friend and practicing your German writing.
17. German Language School Conference (GLSC)
The GLSC is an umbrella organization that oversees private German learning schools in the U.S. Use their member schools directory to find in-person advanced German lessons in your area.
A regular, face-to-face advanced German language course works wonders for immersing yourself with other hungry learners, using group projects and test preparations. You must apply and enroll in a school, and advanced classes are offered for both adults and children.
How’s that for a productive hunt? Go out there and snag the advanced German lessons that are most exciting to you!
Joe Warnimont is a blogger and adventure-seeker. When not riding his bike around Chicago, you can find him sprucing up his German skills. He has watched “Run Lola Run” about ten too many times.
Yassir Sahnoun is a freelance writer, marketer and translator living in Morocco. To learn more about Yassir, visit his website.
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