B2 | ADD LINK: The Structure of this Course
The sG Learning Cycle
NOTE: The video gives only a rough overview over the learning cycle. I've since updated and enhanced the cycle to meet the needs for a B2 learner as you will see below. The video nevertheless provides a good overview.
What you need to know
In the following chapters, I will introduce you to the smarterGerman (sG) Cycle. To help my students learn faster and with more confidence, I developed this learning structure in 2013 and have been optimizing it ever since. Over 2000 of my students have used the sG Cycle to reach level B1 in half the time it takes students in other courses. You can adapt it to your own schedule and learning style over time. Initially try to stick to it meticulously. Here is a quick overview of the steps; I will explain how to use each one and the reasoning behind them in the upcoming lessons.
The sG Learning Cycle
Step 00 - Active listening Priming (=listen to the audio)
Step 01 - Vocabulary + Reading
Step 02 - Dictation (write down what you hear)
Step 03 - Grammar explanation
Step 04 - Preaching (=practice grammar and speaking properly)
Step 05 - Active listening Practice
Step 06 - Interactive exercises (=text comprehension, listening comprehension)
Step 07 - Writing (=create your own text)
Step 08 - Oral dictation (=repeat what you hear)
Step 09 - The Secretary Technique (=speak freely)
Step 10 - Translate (in written or spoken form)
Don't bother memorizing these steps. In this course I will lead you step by step through the cycle. Again and again until you reach the end. You can just lean back and relax. All you got to do is to follow the instructions that are right in front of you.
How much time do I need for each step?
Every step (!) in the sG Cycle will probably take you between 20 – 30 minutes. Don't worry if initially you need a bit longer but if something seems to take too long, let's say longer than 45mins, rather contact me via the comments under each lecture with which you struggle and I'll take a look at your learning process.
Remember to frequently take breaks. During the breaks, the brain processes and cements what it has learned. Theoretically, you can study up to 9 – 12 hours per day. But even 30 minutes daily will yield tangible results. I recommend studying 3-4 hours per day, 5-6 days per week for quick and solid results. But I'm also aware that not everybody has got the luxury of an extra 3 hours per day to be spent on learning German. I'll talk about taking breaks and about how to learn efficiently in more detail throughout this course.
Can I also work offline?
Partly. You can download individual videos and audio files in each lesson but I strongly recommend that you DO NOT DOWNLOAD anything unless you are offline for a longer period of time i.e. a month or more. Leaving this course's structure is not advisable as the structure makes the difference to every other German learning platform out there. If you are just gone for a couple of weeks, rather take a good book in German or a podcast that you are interested in with you and enjoy that.
Teachable offers an app for iOS (<-- click here) that allows you to download the full course onto your mobile device right away but unfortunately it doesn't work really well yet. It only works on the newest iOS devices (no Android any time soon but feel free to write to teachable with a request to get that finally going). If this course does not show up on your teachable app, try deleting the app, restarting the phone and installing it again. It sometimes magically appears. But if you have an iPhone 6 or older, I wouldn't bother if it doesn't show right away.
You can however use the course on any mobile device's browser and it even looks and flows lovely. Just open it on your mobile device.
Overview over grammar and all relevant exercises
At the very end of this course you'll find an overview over all grammar, all exercises and preachings of this course (TO BE DONE - If you read this note, remind me that I have to add this). This is not important for you if you are just beginning with this course. Stick to the course step by step. Only once you have progressed a bit with this course you might want to refresh some grammar and then this overview can help you. NEVER SKIP ANY LECTURES in this course (unless you came here via the A1-B1 Everyday German course). Always at least browse them to check whether you are indeed crystal clear (!) about the topic that is being discussed.
Share your Thoughts
Also try to explain in your own words what you remember from this lesson. This will help you to store information better in your memory.