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I'm getting close to completing the 5 level online Rosetta Stone course, so I start wondering what should I do next in terms of learning grammar and vocabulary?

The long-term goal being visiting or living in Europe, is it more useful to

  • get a good book/study guide?
  • enroll in a language school in Germany? (e.g. here, but are short courses good?)
  • stop worrying about grammar, since I'll just pick it up after some practice?
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3 Answers

Just some suggestions from my side:

  1. Listen to German radio, there are tons of radiostations that broadcast online. My personal favorite here is MDR, but feel free to find your own channel/station.

  2. Go to YouTube and watch some short clips from German popular TV-shows like "Wer wird Millionär?", "TV Total", "Genial daneben" etc. If you are lucky you can find them even with subtitles.

  3. While on YouTube try to enter the name of famous German singers or bands, like Falco, Dschinghis Khan, Rammstein etc. You will easily find lyrics in Internet or even directly on YouTube in the commentaries/description. Generally YouTube is a perfect place to improve your language skills.

  4. Try to read the articles in German Wikipedia for the subjects you are interested in. Sometimes they are much better organized than their English counterparts.

  5. Join some German online forums and participate in them actively. Don't hesitate to use your language in forums: this is just normal that you have some mistakes and maybe somebody will even correct them for you!

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Can you receive German internet stations outside of Germany? Don't they block users with a foreign IP-address? In Germany we don't have access to hulu.com from US and iplayer from BBC. –  Malcolm Frexner Dec 21 '11 at 12:35
    
I know that SWR3 do an international accessible web stream - this may also be the case for MDR then (both are "öffentlich-rechtlich") –  Takkat Dec 21 '11 at 13:24
    
@MalcolmFrexner: I used to listen MDR while working in the US, so it works. –  Alexander Galkin Dec 21 '11 at 14:36
    
I found out it's easier to understand video clips rather then pure audio, so I try to watch online news content like Spiegel TV (free and informative). –  ilya n Dec 22 '11 at 7:37
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Not really a way of studying German in the classical way would be to read books in German instead of English but more a way to practice your already learnt skills.

If you're not that comfortable at understanding or reading German you could start out with books for children or youths.

This can be a good way to extend your vocabulary and not to forget the language.

Surely it depends whether you're learning easy by just readin or whether you'll have to hear and speak the language. And you should like to read.

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Travel for some time and stay at locals as offered by the organisation Servas .

You could stay for some days at local people's house. I did this some years ago in France and it worked out very well.

The hosts don't receive any payment. They do it for fun.

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Its an organisation where people offer acommodation to travellers for up to 2 days. The hosts are typically adults who once travelled with the organisation when they were young. The travellers are typically younger people, but thats no rule. The network is pretty well established in europe. I dont know other travel organisations, so i cant compare them with others. –  Malcolm Frexner Dec 21 '11 at 12:28
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Welcome to GL&U. It is normal here to edit other people's posts if we think it helps. I edited your post to make it easier to read, but reserved the original meaning. You can revert it to your old version if you disagree. –  user508 Dec 21 '11 at 14:07
    
Travelling is always a good idea to learn a language. Depending on your budget and how much comfort you want there is this website which can be a good experience as well. –  Lukas Dec 21 '11 at 19:06
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