Yoga is a traditional technique to improve health and wellbeing by way of exercises, breathing, and meditation for detailed information on the roots of yoga see, for example, Gard et al. In recent years, the interest in yoga as an alternative medicine intervention, but also as a means to prevent diseases and foster normal functioning and development has increased. In the present pilot study we asked whether yoga training in primary school-aged children has an effect on body, emotion, and cognition.
To our knowledge, there is no study analyzing the effects of yoga in its entity in this age group. Asanas, mostly static body positions, are an integral part of the yoga-practice. The effect of yoga on static motor function was investigated in two studies by Telles et al. They observed improvements in hand steadiness after yoga training in young adults Telles et al. Beneficial effects of yoga training on handgrip strength and handgrip endurance—as a measure of force fluctuation during isometric contraction—were shown for adults Thangavel et al. However, no changes in handgrip strength were found in a study by Tracy and Hart in young adults.
Differences in statistical approach may account for the diverging results. Whereas the workgroups of Telles, Mandanmohan, and Thangavel computed within group pre-post comparisons Wilcoxon signed rank test, paired t -test and asked whether the p -values were significant in the yoga group only, in the study of Tracy and Hart, a two-way ANOVA was calculated with both groups included in one and the same statistical analysis.
Next to static motor functions, yoga draws upon accurate motor performance. Accordingly, adult subjects of a yoga group outperformed subjects of a waiting control group i. The results of Telles et al. However, the effects may not be as strong as to withstand stricter statistical approaches Tracy and Hart, What we do not know is whether yoga training improves motor abilities in younger children.
Second, the so-called EXEM-model by Sonstroem and Morgan supposes that the physical self-concept is part of the general self-concept, a structured description of the self, which is accessible to consciousness. Self-esteem is the evaluative component of the self-concept. Changes in physical self-concept and, consequently, in general self-concept are hypothesized to be due to changes in perceived physical competence, i. In their review, Babic et al. Corresponding correlation studies are found both for adults e.
In children with a mean age of 11 years, Mayorga-Vega et al. Apart from the fact that the samples differed, Mayorga-Vega et al. Thus, resistance exercise, but also aerobic training led to an increase in physical self-concept, but in older children, no effects were found with a small physical fitness program. The results of Moore et al. The effects of yoga were studied mainly in relation to the broader dimension of general self-esteem. Similar results for healthy subjects were found in a study by Taspinar et al. However, benefits for self-esteem were not only found with yoga, but also with other kinds of training in the studies by Muller et al.
In children, the picture is also mixed. In a study by Telles et al. In contrast, in a study by White , self-esteem increased in a yoga and a control group with mindfulness training in fourth- and fifth-grade girls. Two more studies showed a positive effect of yoga in 15 year-old children, however, there were no control groups Conboy et al. Thus, there seem to be potentially positive effects of physical activity on the physical self-concept in adults and adolescents, and of yoga on general self-esteem in adults and older children.
However, other forms of activity also seem to have an effect. Data concerning the relation between yoga and physical self-concept are missing in all age groups. It is of importance to find out if increases in physical self-concept may be induced by way of yoga-training, as increases in physical self-concept could improve general self-concept and self-esteem as suggested by the EXEM-model. Third, in two studies with adult patients, positive effects of a yoga training on anxiety have been found Yadav et al. With respect to healthy subjects, a beneficial effect of yoga was also found in a study by Yoshihara et al.
In the study by West et al. Thus, stress reduction in adults may not only be achieved by means of yoga. Platania-Solazzo et al. In a study by Stueck and Gloeckner , yoga reduced fears and feelings of helplessness and increased emotional balance in fifth-graders. In sum, there is evidence showing a positive effect of yoga on healthy adults or adults and children with physical, emotional or psychiatric dysfunctions.
However, other forms of activity have also proven effective in adults. The situation with healthy children is less clear. Does yoga have a positive effect on anxiety in this subject group compared to other forms of physical activity? Fourth, yoga has been shown to have a positive effect on cognition. Advantages of a yoga training compared to breath awareness and exercise were found in the studies by Telles et al. Short-term positive effects on math functions were found in a study by Field et al.
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However, there was no control group in this study and it is not possible to disentangle the effects of yoga and that of Tai chi. No advantage of yoga was found in the study by Telles et al. In the study by Naveen et al. Moreover, several studies have shown positive effects of yoga in children with attentional deficits or ADHD e. However, there is also contradictory evidence.
Peck et al. Maybe the training was not intense enough to show effects in this study. Regarding healthy children, increases in visual attention and concentration were found in year-old girls from low income families after yoga training in a single-group study by Sethi et al. In the study by Chaya et al. Thus, both in adults and older children, some studies show a benefit of yoga compared to other forms of physical activity or treatment on cognition, but there are also contradictory results as well as studies, in which no conclusion can be drawn with regard to specific effects of yoga due to missing control groups.
Related to the research dealing with yoga and its effects on attention, math, or IQ are studies which focus on executive functions, specifically. Diamond and Lee identified these functions as one crucial factor for success in school. Core executive functions include cognitive flexibility, inhibition self-control, self-regulation , and working memory Miyake et al. Gothe et al. No effects were found after aerobic exercise and in a baseline condition without any training.
However, these differences between conditions were evident only for more difficult tasks. Positive effects of yoga training on executive functions were also found in a study by Manjunath and Telles in to year-old girls. Thus, with executive function, effects of yoga have been found in young women and older children; however, studies in younger children are still missing. In sum, large parts of research in the field of yoga focuses on specific adult samples like patients e.
With respect to children, mainly older age groups e. The picture is even more complex due to the fact that some studies did not use control groups e. Moreover, although differential effects may be expected with yoga due to its focus on relaxation and attention Berger and Owen, , ; Arnsten, ; Oken et al. In younger children, data are generally missing. Considering the fact that already young, normally developing children react with stress to increases in performance requirements in school Stueck and Gloeckner, it is important to find out if yoga can be introduced to aid normal functioning and development in a holistic manner.
Therefore, in the present pilot study we investigated yoga vs. Regarding the latter, especially executive functions were considered because they play an important role in academic success. Physical skill training was chosen as a control activity, because it is part of the normal physical activity lessons in the school context. Specifically, we assumed that yoga has an impact on emotional wellbeing by way of reducing stress or autonomic arousal in response to stressful events Sharma et al. In addition, biological stress markers have been shown to decrease after yoga training Platania-Solazzo et al.
Effects of yoga on executive function may also be mediated by an enhancement in mood and a reduction of stress Berger and Owen, , ; Arnsten, Additionally, general improvements in attention may also play a role Oken et al. With respect to motor function, previous results suggest that yoga has some beneficial effects on balance and hand skills.
However, it is difficult to decide how different kinds of training may influence these skills, since these studies resorted to waiting control groups only. We suppose that effects are basically dependent on the kinds of skills addressed in the training. Finally, we supposed that yoga would have a greater impact on the physical self-concept due to a supposedly stronger focus on the perception of the self than physical skill training.
The experiment was performed at a Catholic primary school in Muenster, Germany. Initially, 25 children were included in the study, however, one child was ill at the time of the posttest so that all in all, 24 children aged 6—11 years participated in the study mean age: 8. The study was not approved by an institutional review board or equivalent committee as there were no negative physical or psychological consequences of the tests or training programs to be expected in the participating subjects. With respect to the anxiety questionnaire we applied and which might be considered a potential risk, detailed information is given below.
In addition, there were two computer-based tests requiring button-presses which may probably remind the children of some computer games , the movement-ABC, which is similar to what children know from physical education, and a physical self-concept questionnaire, which asks the children to assess their physical competence please see below. All of these seem inoffensive to us. With respect to the training, we would like to say that both trainers are experienced in working with primary school-aged children and both trainings were adjusted to the age range please see below.
We declare that our approach is in line with national and international human research ethics policies and that we have made clear and communicated all considerations necessary to assess the question of ethical legitimacy of the study. In the school, written information material was distributed among pupils who could pass it to their parents. Parents and their children could decide at home if they would like to take part in the study and pupils could bring the signed consent back to school. In the written information material, parents were elaborately informed about all the tests applied to their children.
Moreover, they were told that they could have a look at the test material including the anxiety questionnaire , but none of the parents made use of this possibility. Thus, parents could register their child to the study by giving written informed consent in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.
Parents and children were informed that participation is voluntary and could be finished at any time during the experiment. Children were assigned to a yoga and physical skill training group according to their time schedule. We are aware of the fact that this is criticizable, but as the training was performed in the scope of the full-time education over several weeks, we had to consider other occupations of the children during the afternoon. Mean age in the yoga group was 7.
Please note that for the physical skill training, post-test data of all 12 subjects were available only for the motor test. For the physical self-concept, the anxiety questionnaire, and the cognitive tests, data sets were available only for 10 children, since post data of two children got accidently lost. Moreover, the number of children that were included in the statistical analysis of the employed tests and questionnaires varied due to outliers.
A detailed description of the numbers can be found at the end of the Methods section. The experiment was conducted between April 28, , and June 27, i. We used a pre-posttest-design with yoga training, respectively, physical skill training in between. This student had guided similar training groups in schools before, i. Training was performed twice a week for 45 min over a total of 6 weeks. Pretest, training sessions and posttest were conducted primarily during the afternoon and outside of regular sports lessons in the scope of full-time-education until p. The structure of testing sessions was identical for pre- and posttest.
Each session started with some minutes of conversation between the child and the experimenter about everyday issues not related to the experiment, so that the child could adapt to the situation. We implemented tests of executive and motor functions, a questionnaire on the physical self-concept and an anxiety questionnaire in the denoted order: Flanker test 10 min , Go-Nogo test 15 min , physical self-concept questionnaire 10 min , anxiety questionnaire 20—30 min , and motor test 20 min.
The physical self-concept questionnaire was administered ahead of the Movement-ABC 2 to get a measure that is not confounded by recent motor performance. Total duration of individual testing sessions was about one and a half hours.follow site
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The motor test was performed in the gym or the assembly hall and, due to organizational reasons, on the subsequent day to the rest of the tests and questionnaires. The Flanker test Eriksen and Eriksen, measures inhibition, i. The aim of the test is to analyze how well children are able to not react to irrelevant stimuli. The child is asked to help feed the fish in the middle by indicating with a button-press the direction in which it is swimming. The task is more difficult, if the swimming direction of the three fish is not in agreement.
Afterward, one of the four different stimuli was shown, until the child reacted with a button press. Finally, a sad or laughing smiley was presented for ms dependent on the correctness of the response. The next trial started with the presentation of the next stimulus, i. In total, there were 40 trials same direction right: 10 trials, same direction left: 10, different direction, middle fish right: 10 trials, different direction, middle fish left: 10 trials.
During trials, no feedback was given by the experimenter. We measured reaction times and errors in the different conditions.
Time line of trials in the Flanker test. At the beginning of the test, a fixation cross was presented for ms. Afterwards, one of the four different stimuli was shown, until the child reacted with a button press. The Go-Nogo test by Drewe measures attention. They are asked to react with a button press to the cross only. Then the next trial started with the presentation of the fixation cross.
Press the blue button to go on! Reaction times and errors false positive, omissions were registered. There were regular trials 70 crosses, 30 circles and 15 practice trials 8 crosses, 7 circles. During the practice trials, children were given feedback by the computer program. Furthermore, the experimenter complimented the children if they did well or encouraged them and gave further explanations if errors occurred. During regular trials, no feedback was given, neither by the program, nor the experimenter. Time line of trials in the Go-Nogo test.
First, a fixation cross was shown for ms, followed by the cross or circle, which was presented for a maximum of ms. In the development of the PSC-C, 24 items were chosen from the 46 items of the test by Stiller et al. The questions are answered on a 4-point-scale ranging from totally disagree one point to totally agree four points , and can be grouped into 7 motor categories strength, endurance, speed, flexibility, coordination, appearance, sports competence. Scores were calculated for each of the 7 subscales by summing up the points across answers.
Usually, both children and their parents provide information about anxiety, typical physical reactions to anxiety, and preferred coping strategies. In the BAV 3—11, children are presented with situations in the form of pictures that are verbally paraphrased by the experimenter. These situations might be frightening when encountered in reality. We decided to use the BAV 3—11 as it is a common German test of anxiety standardized in a sample of children. It is used in educational counseling, school-psychology, prevention, and educational and psychological practice and research.
These situations are presented in a factual manner, so that the child may think about similar situations and how he or she would react or feel or has reacted or felt in the past. So anxieties are not evoked in the test. One may argue that it cannot be anticipated if children have such a vivid imagination as to react with real fear to the pictures and their description.
However, we felt that this is quite unlikely due to the fact that the situations were not highly detailed, e. Moreover, the BAV 3—11 is a frequently used inventory, which was actually developed for pre-school and primary school-aged children. All in all, 26 pictures were presented in about half an hour.
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Reactions were determined on three levels, according to the instructions in the manual:. If the child pointed to a frightened face, the answer was counted as one point, if the child pointed to a laughing smiley, 0 points were noted. For each strategy it was noted, if it was used at least once with the 26 situations. If so, a value of 1 was given, otherwise 0. Physical level: children were asked: where do you feel the fear in your body? If physical anxiety reactions occurred, they were scored with 1 point otherwise 0 points.
Thus, the maximum score was 2. Thus, if a child never reported a medium or strong anxiety as subjective experience, he or she was not asked about the physical level of his or her anxiety at all. Finally, with the help of norm tables, all raw values can be converted in T -values. These T -values were entered into the statistical analysis of the present study.
The Movement-ABC 2 Petermann, is a common standardized test of fine and gross motor function in children aged 3—16 years. Depending on the age group 3—6 years, 7—10 years, 11—16 years , it comprises the following subtests the respective task for the youngest group is described first, followed by the task for the medium-age group and that for the oldest group :.
Grab coins from the table and put it through a slot in a box; put pens in a board with openings; turn two-colored coins that are stuck in a board so that the other color points upward. Bead plastic pearls on a lace; thread a lace through the holes of a plastic board; put plastic bars together to build a triangle with the help of screw and screw nut. Draw a line between two parallel meandering borderlines on a sheet of paper as good as possible and without touching the borders same task for all three groups.
Catch a small bag of beans thrown by the experimenter; catch a tennis ball with two hands that the child has thrown to the wall; catch a tennis ball with one hand that the child has thrown to the wall. Throw a small bag of beans in a target circle on a mat youngest and medium age group ; throw a tennis ball to the wall, targeting a red circle. Stand on one leg for a certain amount of time; balancing on a board; balancing on a board while the heel of one foot touches the toes of the other foot static balance.
Walk with lifted heels on a line; walk heel-to-toe on a line; walk heel-to-toe backwards on a line dynamic balance. Jump on both legs over a row of mats; jump on one leg over a row of mats; jump diagonally from one mat to the next dynamic balance. According to the test manual, we measured how long the child took to complete a task as in task 1 or how long the child was able to perform a task as in task 6. Moreover, errors were registered. Both, time and error measures were transformed to test scores according to the manual.
We payed special attention to a child-oriented character of the training, with little pressure exerted on the children and playful elements. Moreover, both trainings were individualized in nature, i. However, training was still performed in a group setting. Whereas yoga training was performed in a suitable room of the part of the school where pupils are taken care of in the afternoon, physical skill training took place in the school gym.
At the beginning, children and trainer sat together in a circle to say hello. Then the actual yoga-practice followed, which was embedded in a story, like walking through the forest. The children were, for instance, encouraged to imagine a deer behind a small bush, that had observed the participants for some time. Next, the children had to imagine that the moon was already shining and that they had to go home. In this example, the associated asanas were: tree, sun, deer, bug, bee, and moon. Then the participants said goodbye. Thus, the asanas performed in the yoga training were connected by way of a story.
At the end of the session, the participants sat together again to reflect the training. Taken together, one may note both similarities and differences between the two groups. First, both trainings demanded some effort from the children regarding motor skills like strength, coordination, endurance, and balance. In the physical skill training group, the requirements may have varied somewhat depending on the stations the children used more often.
Another important difference between the two groups is the fact that in the yoga group, the program was tied together by a story provided by the trainer, while in the physical skill training group, the different exercises were not related to each other. Finally, the physical skill training included more vigorous movements than the yoga training e. The aim of our pilot study was to investigate the influence of yoga practice as compared to physical skill training on motor function and physical self-concept as well as emotion and cognitive function.
To this end we compared performance in a battery of tests and questionnaires before and after training in the experimental and comparison group. We wondered whether there were differential changes in our dependent variables in the yoga and physical skill training group. To this end, we would have had to compute a two-way analysis of variance with group as between-subjects factor and session as within-subject factor.
Since there was some variability in the pretest data, changes from pre- to posttest could probably vanish when analyzed across subjects. So we calculated differences between pre- and posttest values for each test and questionnaire post-pre and entered these differences into an analysis of covariance with group as between-subjects factor only and age as covariate. In addition, we asked whether the post-pre differences were statistically different from zero one-sample t -tests.
This was done to get an idea of how meaningful the changes from pre- to posttest were. We conducted multivariate analyses instead of univariate analyses as it is plausible to assume that the scores belonging to one and the same test are mutually dependent. Ahead of the multivariate analyses of covariance, for each group and variable, we determined outliers with the help of boxplots. We considered those trials as outliers, that lay outside above and below the whiskers, i.
For the Movement-ABC 2, 24 children entered the analyses, for the remaining tests and questionnaires, as said at the beginning, only 22 children were available. Number of children included in the statistical analyses, their mean ages with standard errors and distribution of gender.
The remaining effects fell short of significance. Since we tested children of different grades, preceding the actual statistical analysis we asked whether mean age was comparable between groups. In other words, we asked, for each test, whether there was a statistically significant imbalance of gender in the yoga or the physical skill training group.
Thus, gender was not considered in the subsequent statistical analyses. The results are explained in detail in the following. For each category, larger positive differences reflect improvements in the respective belief. This is because larger scores reflect stronger beliefs and we calculated the differences by subtracting the pre-values from the post-values.
Results of the PSC-C. Age-corrected means and standard errors for the different categories of the PSC-C in the yoga group light gray and the physical skill training group dark gray. Somewhat larger differences were found for the categories speed and coordination physical skill training group and flexibility yoga group. Thus, whilst children in the physical skill training group believed to be faster after the training positive difference , this was not true for children in the yoga group, who reported to be less rapid than before negative difference.
In the following, we go into some detail regarding individual results and changes. This is because our approach produces somewhat abstract results, i. In the sports group, Moreover, it has to be noted that there was one child in the physical skill training group with a comparably high positive difference of 4, while the other child had a difference of 1.
It is evident that scores were generally high, respectively, close to maximum already in the pre-test. Means and standard errors in the pre- and posttest of the yoga group and the physical skill training group for the seven categories of the Physical Self-Concept for Children PSC-C. Results of the BAV 3— Age-corrected means and standard errors for the different sub scores of the BAV 3—11 in the yoga group light gray and the physical skill training group dark gray. Please note that the age categories 6—8 years and 9—11 years were arbitrary chosen to illustrate the age effect on the mean difference.
The larger the problem-avoiding behavior-score is, the stronger the tendency to exhibit this kind of disadvantageous behavior. If yoga-training had a positive effect, we should find smaller values in the posttest than in the pretest, which would be evident in negative differences. In contrast to our expectations, a negative difference was found for the physical skill training group only, while there was a positive difference—even though small—in the yoga group.
The variable different strategies stands for the number of different coping strategies available to the child. The larger the score, the more divergent strategies are available. As we subtracted the prevalues from the postvalues, we would expect more positive differences in the yoga than in the physical skill training group. Figure 5 reveals that in both groups, less divergent strategies were available in the posttest than in the pretest, however, the effect was less pronounced in the yoga group.
In the physical skill training group, 1 out of 8 children showed a positive difference [ This effect was larger in the physical skill training group than in the yoga group. We asked whether this effect brought along the decrease in the variable different strategies. It is evident that T -values lay in the normal range, i. Means and standard errors in the pre- and posttest of the yoga group and the physical skill training group for the sub-scores and the total score of the anxiety questionnaire BAV 3— Kaley-Isley et al.
Post-hoc, we therefore asked whether negative changes in self-concept may impair the handling of problems, especially due to avoidance-behavior. To test this additional hypothesis, we computed correlations between post-pre differences of a total PSC-C score total sum with post-pre differences of the BAV 3—11 problem-avoiding score. Thus in the physical skill training group, children with larger increases in total PSC-C score revealed larger decreases in the BAV 3—11 problem-avoiding score.
The same was true for the covariate age [ F 6. It is evident that error rates were generally small. Reaction times were slightly higher in the yoga group than in the physical skill training group and in the incompatible conditions compared to the compatible conditions. Furthermore, reaction times decreased slightly from pre- to posttest in both groups. Means and standard errors in the pre- and posttest of the yoga group and the physical skill training group for the different conditions of the Flanker test.
Moreover, reaction times were slightly higher in the yoga group than in the physical skill training group and decreased slightly from pre- to posttest in both groups. Means and standard errors in the pre- and posttest of the yoga group and the physical skill training group for the reaction times [ms] and number of errors in the Go-Nogo test. It is evident that the means lay in the medium range scores between 10 and 12 correspond with percent ranks 50 and Moreover, scores were slightly higher in the yoga group than in the physical skill training group and did not increase from pre to post test.
Means and standard errors in the pre- and posttest of the yoga group and the physical skill training group for the different scores of the Movement-ABC 2. In the present pilot study we investigated the effects of yoga vs. Significant differences between the yoga group and the physical skill training group in post-pre differences were found in the category speed of the physical self-concept for children PSC-C and the variables all strategies and problem-avoiding behavior of the anxiety questionnaire BAV 3— With respect to executive function and motor skills, no differences between groups were found.
Not a fake letter, but a letter containing things you would actually want to tell that person. This helped a lot for me. This is a great way to learn on a deeper level too.
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Take someone around you who is interested to learn language or find people on the internet who are at a slightly lower level in their studies and help them to improve their German. I find that when I try to really explain why something is the way it is in the language, it really helps build a structure for me to grow from. Maybe this should be up top, but having fun is really important too. If you make the learning dry and serious only from a textbook, you might lose interest in your studies really quickly.
Be creative. Learn a song in German or translate your favourite song maybe one that is rather light on the lyrics at first and sing it out loud. Germanize the things you are familiar with and already have fun doing. For instance, watch your favourite films in the dubbed German first with English subtitles, then with German subtitles, and finally without any subtitles at all. This is a good way to help develop an ear for the flow of the language. Hope that is of some help to you! Oh, and do NOT compare yourself to others.
This is also a way to lose motivation. Instead, work to improve your personal level and be inspired by others, but don't expect that your progress will go the same as others. Personally, I am a slow learner but when I learn something deep down I never forget it. I was really hard on myself after 6 months and thinking I should have already attained some kind of fluency. A year later, I am still not a fluent speaker.
But that is okay. It will come in time with more and more and more and then some more practice. Sweet man, very nice write up. I appreciate the time you took to write this. I especially like the point about teaching to others. Thinking back, I think deff remember things more after I try to explain it to someone else.
Great job! I don't know about the rest of you, but Duolingo is the best resource I have found so far! I am actually motivated, the lessons aren't dull, and unlike another website I was trying to use, you don't always know exactly what word you're going to have to translate. You would always translate the first one that you learned out of a group of three, so you didn't get any practice with the others That's why I'm sad they don't have a Japanese course for English speakers.
Yeah, for me too. I use other tools, but I always come back to duoLingo when I feel lost or need inspiration. Maybe the Japanese course is on its way?! I know this is late but if you would ever like to have a conversation with me in french I would be willing to practice with you. Sehr gut gemacht! Glaubst du, dass du eine Zeitung lesen kann - ohne Kopfschmerzen? Auf englisch lese ich immer, aber deutsche Romane usw sind noch ehe schwer.
Das stimmt. Way to go man!! As a fellow english native that moved to Germany and started learning by "jumping into cold water", I can totally understand how you feel. I celebrate my tenth year in Germany in exactly five days. Germany is a great place, with so many interesting things to see and discover. It has been sometimes totally excruciating and at other times completely amazing. I think I am over the worst bits where I would just feel completely lost without a strand to climb.
That was kind of fun too in its own weird way. Taking on learning a new language as an adult is not for wussies! I hope to be where you are one day.
One question, you mentioned somewhere 30 hours per week. Did you do this much for the whole year? I only started earlier this month, first on Memrise. But I switched to Duolingo because the Memrise course was too much repetition, so I tried the A1 course and it was too easy. I think when I finish the Duolingo tree I will try a more advanced course on Memrise, which would be too difficult for me now.
I am sure you can get there too with some work. I wasn't entirely consistent throughout my studies this year. Some weeks would be really intensive, and others I may have slacked a bit or gotten busy with other endeavours. You might be a much faster learner than I am.
Using duoLingo for 1 whole year! Mein 1 Jahr Jubiläum bei duoLingo!
For me, it takes ages some times to fully comprehend the knowledge I gain through its repeated application in real life scenarios. My boyfriend is German and speaks German in the house often on the phone and to his friends and I partake as much as I can when I feel confident enough.
But you're right, if something really feels too easy or boring you need to move on to more challenging material. Surrounding yourself with it as much as humanly possible is a good idea. If it feels like a brain overload, take a break though. But if it feels okay, keep saturating your mind with the sounds and words. Pretty soon, you will turn all that foreignness into something familiar.
Thank you. Today I did two and a half hours in two one hour fifteen minute sessions because I wasn't able to do anything yesterday. Attitude seems to be incredibly important! If I am too tired and not in the right mood, studying isn't very productive. Today was very productive!
Mindset is so important! I am in a similar position to you. My girlfriend is German, though she does not speak German often on the phone in the house. We live in England. I decided I need to learn German after travelling to Germany to meet her family over Christmas. We had a great non verbal communication, but for family meals etc you just feel so incredibly alone when you can't understand what anyone is saying and cannot join in. So I started learning immediately.
Good job. Immerse yourself and you will soon be fluent. The more time you spend speaking German, the easier it becomes.
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Aim for some "German only" days. Ich habe mit meinem Freund in der Vergangenheit ein paar "nur Deutsch" Tagen gemacht. Es ist immer eine gute Herausforderung! Wir sollen das mehr zusammen tun. Congratulations on your one-year mark with DL. You've made some very nice suggestions and tips for improving. Thank you for sharing! Ich lerne fast seit einem Jahr mit Duolingo Deutsch. Meiner Meinung nach kann ich auch viel besser lesen und sprechen. I think this is pretty amazing. I am guessing I am coming up on two years at least come summer using Duolingo and I would not be able to type that up.
But I did understand it so that is at least something. I am still on the stage where I am like "Hallo. Wie gehts? Lass uns von Liebe sprechen" which I of course never say but I can still only speak about love due to all the love songs I hear. Ah thanks! I think living in Germany has astronomically accelerated my learning.
I studied French for 5 years in the past, and when I visited France I could barely say anything at all, although I could read it fairly well. Understanding written German is definitely an amazing feeling and means that you are already on the path to being able to type spontaneously in the near future. Keep up the good work!
Ich liebe Liebe! Yeah I studied French for 6 years and I am better at speaking German than French so I guess languages become forgotten when not used. I did actually apologize my bad German with "Leider kann ich nur von Liebe sprechen" at one time when I visited Germany and that actually went down pretty well. I am going back to Germany soon. Next time I will force myself to reply in German even if it will sound nuts. Du schriebt sehr gut mein freund. Ich habe duolingo fur drei monate benutzen und Ich denke, es ist toll..!
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