Advanced German Learning: 20 Resources for Continuing Your Studies
You’ve mastered the standard German travel phrases. You’ve probably made a friend or five through your hours of German language exchange practice.
Now, as an advanced student, you’re looking for learning materials to match your level. Look no further!
These resources for advanced German learning will go beyond vocabulary and grammar in isolation and put you in the heart of German culture.
And since not everyone learns the same way, this guide is organized according to the following learning styles: audio, visual, textual, combination and immersion learning.
- Advanced German Lessons for Audio Learners
- Advanced German Lessons for Visual Learners
- Advanced German Lessons for Readers and Writers
- Comprehensive Advanced German Lessons Online
- Free Online German Courses from Universities
- German Immersion Online for Advanced Learners
- How to Find Quality Advanced German Lessons Online
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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 earbuds 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.
FluentU is an immersion-based language learning program that uses authentic videos to teach German. It has many videos of native German speakers using the language naturally, like movie trailers, TV show clips, news segments, interviews, commercials, vlogs and much more.
While FluentU has plenty of options for beginner and intermediate learners, it also has many videos for those who are more advanced. And since you can sort the videos by lower and upper advanced, you’ll have an easier time finding something that fits your exact level.
Every video has a contextual dictionary built in, allowing you to check the definition of a word as it’s being used. You can also see example sentences and clips from other videos where the word appears and you can add words you want to study further as flashcards in decks of your creation.
Videos are followed by quizzes that test your understanding of key words and give you a chance to translate from audio and text. When you’re ready to tackle those flashcards, the program also has personalized exercises that take your previous learning sessions into consideration and offer up questions to meet your individual learning needs.
Quizzes are multimedia, making them more engaging and memorable. You can use FluentU directly in a browser, but if you’re on the iOS or Android app, you’ll also get a chance to practice your pronunciation through speaking questions.
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 these as online German courses where you set the pace and the homework assignments.
This native German website places a hard focus on idioms and 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 especially for advanced speakers.
Drag and drop vocabulary tests, combined with extensive political and entertainment reading, come to a peak with some handy bonus quizzes to keep you engaged during lessons.
Better yet, many of the courses include hundreds of exercises.
From the Vienna-based school ActiLingua Academy, Deutsch-lernen is a 24-lesson advanced online German course that’ll teach you all those advanced grammar topics you don’t normally see in-depth in other German courses.
From syntax and pronouns to tenses and prepositions, this free online German course will give you a lift directly to fluency’s door.
It also includes exercises you can print and take with you everywhere. What else can you possibly want?
Comprehensive Advanced German Lessons Online
With these comprehensive advanced German lessons, you have a chance to play around with quizzes, watch videos, read subtitles and listen to audio clips—while you build all your language skills at once.
The idea is to surround yourself with German culture, not simply focus on one particular medium or learning tactic.
10. 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 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.
- For lovers of all things grammar, DW has created the advanced course “Sprachbar” (Speechable). The course is catered to C1 and C2 German learners who want to learn about the nuances and subtleties of the German language. As is usual for all DW resources, the course includes interactive exercises, audio files and downloadable scripts.
- 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!
11. Deutsch Akademie German Grammar Trainer
These Deutsch Akademie lessons are best for advanced learners who still need to keep their grammar sharp.
The 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).
12. 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.
Rosetta Stone is highly structured, for any learner who needs a helping hand to make progress.
13. The Open University
The Open University is yet another institution that doesn’t need a cover letter.
It allows you to study online anywhere in the world, and it offers hundreds of courses, certificates, diplomas, Master’s degrees and even Research degrees in all sorts of fields.
Who would’ve known that you could get a BA (Honours) in Language Studies with English and German or a Certificate of Higher Education in Law and German without leaving your house?
You can find advanced German courses to help you develop the four major language skills while providing invaluable knowledge about German culture and society. You’ll get authentic video and audio, and improve your academic writing, among other advanced skills.
Free Online German Courses from Universities
14. Collegium Palatinum Heidelberg
Heidelberg is known as a perfect German university town. Small wonder that some excellent online courses 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 185 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.
15. 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.
The simplest way to use these resources is to download the materials and follow along, week-by-week, with the real syllabus. You can choose which, if any, of the homework assignments 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 German seminar wherever you happen to be.
As of 2021, there are two semester-long courses specifically for advanced German students, available totally for free online:
- 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 in person.
Use Meetup, an online platform for local interest groups, to further practice the skills you learned in your advanced German lessons.
You can search the site for a German conversation group in your area. Many of them are free or ask for just 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.
17. Goethe Institut
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.
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.
But even simply reading through their blog is enough to find news, interviews and even movie reviews, all written in fluent German.
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.
19. 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 doing group projects and test preparations. You can apply and enroll in a school, and advanced classes are offered for both adults and children.
20. International House London
Located at Covent Garden in London, IHL is a renowned language school that offers courses for kids, teenagers, adults and even language teachers.
Even though they give you the opportunity to learn a language in London, they also offer a wide array of online language courses that fit the needs of practically every student.
Their two advanced German courses are called “Online German Level 17 Evenings” and “Online German Club – Wednesdays.”
The “German Level 17” course requires you to have already done at least 192 class hours of German. It costs around $200 and takes place via Zoom once a week in the evenings. The course consists of six classes (two hours each) and focuses on grammar, vocabulary, speaking and listening exercises.
The “Online German Club” course requires you to have already done at least 144 class hours of German. The price and duration are also around $200 and six weeks, respectively, and it takes place via Zoom as well. Once a week, you’ll have a two-hour class that’ll focus on your speaking, pronunciation and intonation skills. The aim of the course is to help you sound like a native and reach that fluency you’ve always dreamt of.
How to Find Quality Advanced German Lessons Online
Finding advanced German lessons online can be a quest in itself, and finding quality advanced German lessons online can be even more so.
Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to make this hunt easier:
- Search for keywords in both English and German. (And any other language you know, I may add.) Don’t limit yourself. You’re an advanced user of German, so use that powerful skill when you search for learning materials.
- Use a resource that helps you work on the four major language skills. Don’t just settle for any advanced German course. Pick one that’ll allow you to practice your speaking, listening, writing and reading skills and will help you improve your pronunciation and boost your grammar and vocabulary.
- Choose resources that allow you to get your hands dirty. Now that you’re an advanced user of German, you need more. Opt for resources that are interactive and contain exercises and different ways for you to practice and improve your German.
- Remember that e-books can also be transformed into advanced German lessons. Using e-books to boost your German is actually a fantastic idea. Reading allows you to see the language as it’s used and helps you build up your vocabulary and grammar skills. Pick an e-book that’s challenging for you and transform it into an awesome advanced German lesson!
How’s that for a productive search? Go out there and snag the advanced German lessons that are most exciting to you!
Stay curious, my friends, and as always, happy learning!
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)