German as a foreign language

Welcome to all German self-learners!

Why is it worth learning German?

Many international students come to Germany to benefit from the quality of university teaching. Germany has overtaken France as the most attractive non-English-speaking host country for foreign students. This was shown by the report "Wissenschaft weltoffen 2019" by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Centre for Higher Education and Science Studies (DZHW).

However, speaking and writing German at the university level requires a lot of motivation, time and money. In order to be admitted to a college or university, to find a job or to immigrate to Germany, good knowledge of German language and culture is required. And this usually has to be proven with a language test.

The best solution is to take a DaF language course (Deutsch als Fremdsprache) and regularly practice German pronunciation and grammar. To build on your previous knowledge, you will find many self-learning aids that you can use in addition to language courses.

Learning platforms and apps
  • Deutsche Welle: an extensive website with online German courses and a placement test. Offers include news articles, as well as videos, audio files, texts and interactive exercises on grammar and vocabulary. In addition, podcasts, a telenovela and an adventure game show for learning German are available. Suitable app: German Mobile.
  • Goethe-Institut: after registering in the category “German for you”, you will receive free German exercises and educational games for beginners and advanced students (A1-C2). In addition, you can train your text and listening comprehension. There is also a free app for refugees to learn German.
  • Deutsch Training:registration gives you access to free online German courses with interactive exercises and videos. In the Online Intensive German course for example, you can learn German in small groups or alone with a German teacher or in an online tutorial. In addition, it is possible to prepare independently for the DSH exam, the TestDaF, the telc and some Goethe-Institut certificates.
  • ThoughtCo: this English-language website is based on learning German in an entertaining fashion. The articles convey German sentences and words that are useful for a stay in a German-speaking country. In addition, you will learn about German history and culture. Grammar topics are included in the Grammar section.
  • Wirtschaftsdeutsch: learning German for professional purposes. Here specialized vocabulary is expanded in the areas of energy and the environment, marketing, business law, transport, health care and many other topics. A grammar trainer is also included.
  • DeutschAkademie: the free app trains listening comprehension with German audio files and also teaches grammar, vocabulary and German proverbs. With the app you have access to about 20,000 German tasks that deal with the most important grammatical points of the German language.
  • many videos with tips on pronunciation and grammar.
Reading comprehension: online magazines, news and magazines
  • Deutsch Perfekt: the magazine from ZEIT Sprachen is available both online and in print format. It consists of not too complex articles in German on topics of everyday life, politics/society and others. Some articles are also available as audio files. Other language learning areas include grammar, listening comprehension, communication and vocabulary.
  • Deutsche Welle: a leading news portal for reading the latest news in German.

Book Tips

  • PONS 600 exercises (in) German as a foreign language: with the textbook you learn German grammar and vocabulary on the basis of 600 exercises and puzzles.  Vocabulary can also be downloaded as lists.
  • Langenscheidt Sprechtraining Deutsch für den Beruf (German for the Job): for all those who want to learn oral communication for the professional life. It consists of meaningful vocabulary and helpful formulations. The listening and speaking exercises are available as MP3 downloads.
  • ASSiMiL Deutsch ohne Mühe heute für Ausländer / Assimil German with ease: aimed at those who do not like cramming grammar. The Assimil method is based on intuitive learning. After completing the learning workshop, 2,000 German words will have been learned and you’ll be able to form sentences for everyday life. Assimil-Verlag (Publisher)
  • Phonetiktrainer: Kurs- und Selbstlernmaterial für A1-B1 von Kerstin Reinke mit 2 Audio-CD, vielen Videos und Tricks zur Aussprache. Klett Verlag
Listening comprehension: videos and podcasts, web TV/radio


  • Lernen überall Deutsch: learn German from A1 to B1 with videos for beginners.
  • Get Germanized: here you will find videos about the German language, be it grammar lessons, German slang words or German beginner lessons.
  • LanguageSheep: learn German with the language sheep. An English channel for levels A1-B1 with many short videos and tips for the B1 exam (DTZ) and one or the other grammar topic.



Podcasts and radio stations

  • Deutsche Welle: podcasts on various topics.
  • short audio and video lessons for quick and easy learning. Texts are spoken slowly and every word is explained.
  • Slow German: private podcast by Annik Rubens alias Larissa Vassilian, journalist from Munich. For those who want to learn German, especially for advanced learners.
  • Deutsch – warum nicht?: podcast series of deutsche Welle "to take away" as audio offers for lessons A1 to B1, or on the road for self-learning. Each series consists of 26 lessons with dialogues, exercises and audio to download. The language course was created in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut.
  • Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten: current daily news from all over the world from Deutsche Welle. The slowly and comprehensibly spoken audio trains listening comprehension. In addition, there is the complete text to read along with the audio. The audio file can also be downloaded. Level: B2
  • Lichte Momente: podcast episode of Deutsche Welle as MP3 on everyday German on words and phrases in which light occurs. With text and exercises to print.
  • Marktplatz: podcast episode of Deutsche Welle as a language course for business German on trade, finance, marketing and contracts. The course gives an insight into German corporate culture and trains intercultural competence. Aimed at German learners with a good knowledge of German at level B2.
  • Wieso nicht?:

    in 20 lessons, Deutsche Welle's language course provides an insight into everyday life in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Each episode forms an independent teaching unit and is aimed at German learners of intermediate level B1.