What does Transparent Language Online German have to offer?
- Provides easy-to- use learning interface
- Covers all language learning areas from alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, writing, reading, pronunciation to even German customs & culture
- Real-life situations with words and phrases spoken in great audio quality.
- Helps develop correct pronunciation by the use of speech recognition
- Includes Refresh System, that helps you maintain already learned items
- Customizable, thoughtfully laid out lesson plan helps you learn at your own pace, but keeps track of your progress
- Integrates lots of engaging, fun activities to stay motivated
Valuable Details on this German online language course:
Your first impression of the application is very positive. The user interface is intuitive, eye-pleasing and application load time is fast on DSL. You get greeted by a welcome message and a brief, helpful intro video. The online application offers 3 main study areas (top left):
Learn: Includes the main learning applications for your units and lessons such as Essentials, Byki and References.
Explore: Includes the link to: German Language and Culture Blog, Word of the Day, German Communities and Proficiency Tests
Connect: Leads into another application, called Transparent Connect that offer tutoring and guided online lessons and offers a wealth of resources in the form of PDFs. Video lessons include recorded online tutoring lessons. Your can try out online tutoring via an “Open House” and learn more about available tutoring class options. Most of your self-studying takes place within the ‘Learn’ application. Here you can opt between the Alphabet Course, Essentials, Byki vocabulary builder and References.
A) The German Essentials™ Version 3: formerly Transparent Complete Edition
The course is structured into individual units, e.g. Eating Out, Relationships, Organize Your Trip, etc. Each unit has an initial screen that introduces the learning goals, so you know what to focus on. It also contains multiple lessons. All units are presented as an initial conversation that includes new words and phrases. Then you have several tabs that guide you through each learning step:
- You can listen to the entire conversation, by pressing each segment of the conversation and also slow down the audio for better understanding of the pronunciation. The audio quality is excellent by the way!
- The Language Comparison give you a side-by-side of the English and German words and phrases. The audio helps you to hear the correct pronunciation for each term.
- The Preview It helps you work through your new vocabulary of that specific lesson, including reading, pronunciation & translation
- Recognize & Say It is your first self-test to determine how well you’ve already memorized the newly learned words.
- Produce It is the final step to check your knowledge. In this step, the system only gives you the English word or phrase and you have to get the correct German expression for it. In addition you have multiple additional tools to test your knowledge further, such as Multiple Choice, Dialog Reconstruction and Dictation.
B) Byki™ Vocabulary Builder: Comprehensive 3-step, vocabulary building system. For details click here.
C) Language Reference: Includes alphabet, grammar and language learning tips and About Germany with unique cultural and language idiosyncrasies, e.g. interactive components for learning the sound difference between an ‘a’ with and without an Umlaut. Other references include grammar tips and things of that nature.
D) Learned Items Refresh System: Helps to retain learned language by refreshing them more often (especially those you have trouble with), and allows you to focus on what’s really important. It includes a graphical view of your progress. The View tab shows you exactly what you’ve learned and when you learned it. It lets you pick stale items to refresh by date or date range.
The course lets you dive into learning really fast and offers plenty of learning materials, activities and self-testing tools to check progress. Their support is fast and knowledgeable. The learning community helps you find like-minded people to stay motivated. The only thing I could not figure out is how the Byki vocabulary builder or the grammar tips fit together with each lesson of the Essentials. It appears to me that they are totally disconnected. In other words, when you learn words and phrases with the Essentials lessons, its content there doesn’t correspond to anything in Byki and grammar tips. For example, you learn in Unit 2 the formal version of ‘You’ (‘Sie’). So, would it make sense to combine this with a corresponding grammar lesson on when to use ‘Sie’ in German? No, the Grammar Tips handle this topic finally in the 6th video. To bridge this gap, I recommend taking advantage of their online group tutoring option. More info here.
Transparent Online definitely gives you a comprehensive, quality language learning course with a vast amount of vocabulary, lots of exercises, and resources. Its mobile app, audio quality, speech recognition, progress tracking and refresh system definitely help you learn fast and effectively. There is enough support within and surrounding the course to keep you motivated.
You need a fast, reliable internet connection since there is no offline option. As mentioned above, there seems to be some disconnect between the grammar facts, Byki and the Essentials course. They do not match up in their content structure.