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Elementary German


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My son (11) is using Duolingo mainly, plus we are listening to some CD's we got from the library, Living Language German. I don't know how these would be for a 7yo.


For the Duolingo part, some basic ability to write English words is needed, though they are not super complicated and the program is more forgiving of things like failure to capitalize at the beginning of a sentence or to put a period at the end than I thought it would be. For the first few lessons in German it also just reminded that nouns need to be capitalized in German, but did not take off points. Then it started taking off points a ways in to the program.


There were some things on Amazon meant for young children, but they did not seem as good to me. And Duolingo seemed better to me than Rosetta, but having him at least do the Rosetta Stone demo might be helpful.


In addition to the things above which my son is using himself, I got a German-English, English-German dictionary, a Barrons grammar guide, and Practice Makes Perfect Basic German -- and looked at http://german.about.com/ and http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/German --all very helpful, but I am mainly using these to help him, he's not using them himself yet, and I think they'd be even less accessible for a 7 year old.



Other sources:


http://www.audioforum.com The Speak and Learn CD-Roms are quite affordable, and look good to me (I got the Spanish before my son decided he wanted German)--but he did not want one for German. They also have a more involved program 'Quick Start' that I would have tried if we had Windows or if the library had not had audio tapes available.







BBC has some things on languages for free and a pay program called Muzzy

Muzzy www.early-advantage.com www.bbc.co.uk/languages/



Meant for youngers, but did not seem so helpful to me: Little Pim www.littlepim.com.





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My two biggest kids are using Mango languages free through our library system's website. Check with your library to see if they have it. They're working on different languages, but DS7 is doing German. I thought it would be a good place for them to start hearing the language and picking up a few words, if nothing else. I don't think that my DS7 would do well with the typing (and spelling) required for Duolingo, but I've been using that one myself.

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My son is using Duolingo for Spanish. He isn't able to keep up with the spelling, so I just spell things for him. You could even type the answers for your child if you wanted.


My son hated Spanish until we started Duolingo. Now he asks to do it.



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Yes. Mine at 11 is still asking sometimes for spelling help on Duolingo too, but that seems fine. The program seems excellent and appealing though and quite amazing that they got the computer to recognize so many possible translations. Many programs only manage single word recognition. I am not sure about Rosetta in that regard. And the combination of pictures (sometimes) plus hearing the words (and being able to slow it down) with dictation, translation in both directions, seeing the written forms and so on seems to help the learning process a great deal. The discussion and tips are also invaluable though it is hard for me to get my son to look at them or let me go throught them with him. If anyone has hints on that I'd take them and they might help OP too.

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I used several German programs from the library, including Mango Languages and Muzzy. They were okay, but lately I checked out an Audio CD program called "German for Children." I have my kids listen to one section per day while following along in the book. This takes about 10 minutes. The songs and dialogue are catchy and entertaining. Since we have had no other German programs to do, my kids are on their fifth time through it. They can actually speak a good amount of basic German now. I have been quite impressed! My six year old told me in German the other day (after listening to the section on birthdays) that she would like very much to have lots of presents. That was funny. Her pronunciation was excellent, too.

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