German can be a scary language for beginners because of its seemingly complicated grammar that has no rhyme or reason. With 3 genders, a billion ways to make a singular noun plural, and even more declensions, it’s not hard to see why beginner German learners give up so quickly. That’s where this German with Laura review comes in.
Laura takes her decades of experience working with German language learners to simplify German grammar in a way that’s intuitive, using grammar rules that just require practice, not endless memorization.
Let’s take a deep dive into German with Laura’s German Foundations course and see why every independent German learner truly needs this course.
Learn to use German grammar like native speakers
If you’re learning a new language, chances are grammar rules seem complicated, overwhelming, and downright impossible – this is especially true for German language learners who are pretty much told upfront that German is hard and confusing.
3 different ways to say ‘the’, the appropriate one is actually important, and there are no rules about which one is which? Yikes. That’s enough to keep most language learners from even giving German a shot.
This is why Laura puts your mind at ease about her course right from the course introduction.
Laura understands the importance of shifting our mindsets about language learning so that we have the right expectations about what it’s like to truly learn German. This means busting myths about language learning in general, like:
- Why children don’t learn faster than adults
- Adults can truly get fluent in another language
- Your German does not have to be better than your English
This is the exact approach that my clients take with The Method, so I can already say that this is a high-quality approach!
The other important part of Laura’s introduction is the Resource Guide, Workbook, and Answer Key. These 3 files are the base of the entire course! Next to the actual video lessons, of course.
The Resource Guide includes all the strategies and tips Laura has created exclusively for her students to learn German grammar in a logical, intuitive way; the Workbook is dozens and dozens of practice words and sentences to practice applying those strategies; and the Answer Key is, well, an answer key for you to check your work independently.
Everything is laid out cleanly and clearly; Laura doesn’t ramble on and on in the worksheets, that’s what the videos are for! The Resource Guide has the tables and strategies you need to review as you practice, and that is it.
German with Laura review – course contents
Once we have our mindset right, download all our course materials, and (optionally) join the private Facebook group, it’s time to learn German!
Note: you’ll notice in these sneak peeks that there’s a “Discussions” button in the upper right-hand corner. If you have questions about any particular lesson, this is the place to ask them, and/or get the answer from a thread someone else started first. It is not necessary to join the Facebook group, it’s just a perk.
German Foundations is broken up into 7 modules:
- Noun gender
- Noun plurals
- The case system
- Intro to declension patterns
5. Declension patterns part 2
6. Verbs & pronouns
7. Prepositions & pronouns
If you’d like more details on each individual lesson within all of these modules, you can click here for more details.
Browsing through the lessons, you’ll notice a few symbols:
🎥 a video emoji signals a video lesson – some combination of Laura teaching you her strategies, and walking through practice words/sentences with you for understanding.
✏️ a pencil emoji denotes a simple Google form for you to test your understanding. These are graded, but just for you to see if you’re doing well, or could benefit from reviewing the lesson again.
These Google forms are either checking that you understood general concepts, or testing you: select if these words are masculine, feminine, or neuter, for example. They’re 100% multiple-choice questions to assess your comprehension of the lesson.
🗒 a paper emoji generally means it’s time to visit the practice workbook to really get these new concepts into your brain. Just like the ✏️ Google forms, these are totally optional and incredibly helpful study aids.
And I can tell you from personal experience that this practice works. Going into this practice may feel overwhelming and defeating, but just hang in there for a little bit, and it all starts to make sense; Laura consistently reminds you that it’s okay to review the tables at first, that’s what they’re there for!
How German Foundations teaches language skills
Now that we’ve addressed an overview of the structure of German Foundations, let’s look closer at Laura’s approach. To get a great example of this, we’ll look at Module 4: Declensions (it’s not as scary as it sounds, don’t worry).
To start, Laura explains why the traditional methods of learning German grammar, specifically declensions, don’t work, and why you’re learning with her unique approach. I’ll let Laura speak for herself below.
After understanding the reasoning behind this methodology, it’s time to learn it!
With her video lessons, Laura talks you through all the visual aids slowly and clearly (or quickly – if you’re the type to speed up videos, you can do that too) with plenty of repetition.
- First, watch Laura do the exercises herself. Not just once, but several times. You can always skip the video forward if you’re ready to practice yourself.
- Then you get time to go through all the steps yourself, pausing and unpausing the video to check your answers with Laura before you move on to the next step. Or do all the steps at once if that’s more your speed.
- And then the training wheels come off for independent practice, courtesy of the practice workbook.
Because German Foundations is pre-recorded (and recently updated!), you’re able to take the lessons as slowly or as quickly as you like, as many times as you like. You get lifetime access as well, so you’re free to go back and brush up on these lessons whenever you need.
I, for one, definitely took Module 4 twice to really cement these rules into my brain until Laura’s formula just *clicked*. This included rewatching the videos, going through the ✏️ Google forms, and reprinting the appropriate worksheet pages. I did much better the second time around!
This is notable because some resources will definitely “punish” you for going back to review – or won’t even let you review. No issues here! Review as much as you need to, or don’t. You have the freedom to rewind, skip forward, and do whatever you gotta do.
German words are not part of this language process
Because German with Laura is laser-focused on teaching German grammar quickly, clearly, and efficiently, it’s important that language learners understand what you will not learn using this method.
For the sake of not getting distracted from the grammar, Laura is very intentional about the vocabulary she chooses for her exercises. This means lots of repeated words, plenty of cognates (i.e. words that are similar or the same in both German and English), and consistent reminders to not worry about the vocab or meaning.
You may pick up a few words naturally because you’re working with them, but do not expect to grow your vocabulary using German Foundations. You’re here to get an intuitive understanding of German grammar and get comfortable with the patterns used.
While you cannot expect to learn vocab, practice your speaking skills, or pick up idioms, Laura is very clear from the start about what you CAN expect from German Foundations:
Instead of making German grammar painful and painstaking, Laura has picked up on patterns that make German grammar make sense…without a textbook worth of redundant tables! She’s taken her years of experience to create a shortcut that, quite frankly, all German language learners should use.
German with Laura review: what to do next
For years, I have been told how difficult it is to learn German – there are extra letters, declensions, and a whole other gender, and none of it is logical whatsoever – you just have to memorize it all.
If you’ve also heard this rumor and have avoided learning German for fear of this overwhelm (or even gotten so far as attempting German, just to feel defeated and give up), I highly recommend German with Laura’s courses; you can start with her free course here to try out her approach for yourself.
As you get to know Laura’s approach to teaching German grammar and learn to trust the process, you’ll be just as blown away as I was to see how easy it can be to reach an intuitive understanding of grammar rules, even those as weird and confusing as German!
I am no longer worried about complicated German grammar, because I know that I can trust German with Laura to teach it to me in a simple, logical way so that I can just use it without spending hours memorizing.
German with Laura’s courses are the best way to get a confident understanding of German patterns, without memorizing countless rules or getting frustrated with even more difficult tables and strategies. As long as you’re clear about what you’re there to learn (i.e. nothin’ but grammar), you can’t go wrong!