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Dr P's Weekly German Workouts (Team July 2020)

ENROLMENT FOR THIS COURSE CLOSED ON FRIDAY 3 JULY. SIGN UP TO DR P's MAILING LIST AT HOWTOGETFLUENT.COM TO HEAR ABOUT THE NEXT ROUND.

Done with dabbling? Ready to transform your German by September?

What do you do when you're done with dabbling with your German?

Where do you turn when you realise that the fake fluency fixes don't work?

You're got the basics in German but you still feel like a beginner...

....you're still struggling to understand everyday conversations.

....you can't express yourself well enough yet to feel confident dealing with daily situations at work, with friends or family, out and about in places where German is spoken.

You want to feel on top when you're making plans, getting things done or dealing with an unexpected turn of events...

You'd love to be able to share your opinions, experiences, hopes, ambitions to connect with others....in German.

In short, you want to be a confident, independent German user.

The thrill of progress...and the risk of overwhelm

When you're an "advanced beginner", it's exciting to move into intermediate German, for sure.

There are still big, quick wins to be scored...

...but there are also challenges ahead!

You know you need a whole lot more words....

Yet you keep forgetting the words you thought you "knew" (let alone all the new ones you still need).

You know you need a whole lot more grammar....

But how will those complicated German cases ever come naturally.

And what about that word order that often seems so different from English?

As the "known unknowns" crowd in, you risk feeling lost in the forest, paralysed on the spot as a sense of overwhelm closes in.

"If only I could find another tutor or course - reach language learning Nirvana!"

Maybe you catch yourself thinking something like that...and you start to search the net for advice and materials.

Then, before you know where you are, there are contradictory voices from all directions and you accumulate more and more materials.

But all that just makes it harder to focus.

It seems harder than ever to carve out time.

It feels like you're dabbling, taking a scattergun approach.

There's a real risk of overwhelm, of giving up on your dreams...or simply messing around at the edges for years on end.

Stop! What you need is not another fake quick fix.

First, a dose of reality.

You see, in language learning there's no magic solution.

Think for a moment!

Why would there be?

In other areas of your life you achieve so much...

....but when did any skill really worth having not take a bit of effort?

Quite a bit of effort?

If you want to get into physical shape, you know that it takes solid, regular commitment.

In the same way, you can achieve more than you ever imagine with your German but...

....it takes time...

....it takes effort.

So, what you need to know is that you're putting in the work in a really simple, effective and sustainable way.

Not wasting your valuable energy - and time - in a burst of activity that fizzles out and leaves you searching for the another miracle solution.

That's where Dr P's Weekly Language Workout: Focus for Fluency (Into Intermediate German) comes in

This is for you if you've seen through the fake fluency fixes, the oh-so-"easy" language learning miracle cures.

This is for you when you're done with dabbling.

When you're ready to get serious about climbing a few more rungs up the long ladder to German fluency....

....from "upper beginner" (A2) up and on "into intermediate" (B1) and on your way to confident, independent user status.

You're ready to get serious and you want clear interactive steps to pace your progress and keep you focussed.

The key is to break down the task.

Then put in relevant, effective effort...

...sustained over time...

...and combined with lots of practice, listening, reading and speaking German.

In my thirty years of learning languages, this has been what's worked for me.

Here's my story

I’m Dr Gareth Popkins,

In 2014 I founded the popular website Hotogetfluent.com to share my deep enthusiasm for language learning with others. I do this, too, as a teacher, methods and motivation coach and "language vlogger" on YouTube. I'm a regular speaker at events such as the Polyglot Gathering and the Language Event.

As a long-term, no-magic language learner, I've experienced the thrill of fluency in German, Russian, French and Welsh.

In German I passed the Goethe Institut's C1 exam, with a mark of 100% in the speaking section.

Yet I’m far from having that enviable "gift" for languages that some people seem to have (and that German speaking result was a surprise to me!).

I grew up monoglot in Yorkshire, English and left high school unable to say a word in French despite five years of classes.

I've learned mainly as an adult independent learner, after experimenting along the way with various different approaches... At first I was confused, disappointed and sometimes made angry at all the often contradictory and deceptive "quick and effortless" language learning advice out there.

I've found I get the best result when I combine periods of deliberate, focussed interaction with a language - particularly vocab building - with lots of practice using the language over the long term.

It turns out that it's simple...but not easy.

One vital key is persistent use of good methods.

I've developed the Weekly German Workouts: Focus for Fluency (Into Intermediate) to apply methods that work for me into a package to help stack the odds in your favour and make sure that you achieve your goals in the next stage of your German fluency journey.

"Super knowledgable about languages" "Quite simply a huge language learning inspiration" Richard Simcott, world-famous polyglot and founder of the Polyglot Conference

"Reading the articles on Howtogetfluent.com, I was amazed at Dr P's expertise and systematic approach to language learning". Beth W (Into Intermediate German Team April 2020 participant)

"[Dr P's] output has been one of my most inspiring and encouraging discoveries" Laurie G (Howtogetfluent reader, advanced German learner)

Here's how I can help you

I've partnered with native-speaker German teachers to produce my step-by-step Weekly German Workouts: Focus for Fluency (Into Intermediate).

Dr P's Weekly German Workouts involve a clear study routine, with user-friendly, conversational materials released in stages during each week of the course.

Each day, you'll be interacting with the material in specific, effective ways.

That keeps you focussed.

It moves you forward with a clear pace and means an end to overwhelm.

It's the chance to see real progress by September on the road to becoming that confident, independent user of German.

This course is closed for enrollment.

ENROLMENT FOR THIS COURSE CLOSED ON FRIDAY 3 JULY. SIGN UP TO DR P's MAILING LIST AT HOWTOGETFLUENT.COM TO HEAR ABOUT THE NEXT ROUND.

What's the weekly language workout routine?

Step One: Listen intently

On Monday, an MP3 recording of a conversation in real, colloquial German goes live on the course website.

This is your exposure to language you need, from native speakers.

Your task for the day?

To listen like you've never listened before.

I'll teach you some great techniques to do just that such as high-power dictation.

Step Two: Understand from the inside

On Tuesday, already primed for more, you get a German transcript and a parallel translation in English.

Your job?

To work out what you've understood....what you haven't...and why.

By Wednesday you're already into the material and will still have your own burning questions about new words and structures.

It's time to unlock the week's "Wortlabor" or "word laboratory".

That's new vocabulary explained (in German) in a ways that will transform your ability to remember.

On Thursday you enter the "Musterwerkstatt" (or pattern workshop) where you'll get light-touch explanations of the week's new grammar.

Step Three: Make it stick

Next the memory work.

Believe it or not, your brain is designed to learn languages.

With enough practice, you'll start to find words and phrases sticking naturally, providing you're exposed to them in contexts where they make sense.

That said, focussed, interactive effort can really help the process along.

So, as part of the Musterwerkstatt you'll get lots of self-correct exercises that you can do if you want...

You'll also get training in two other amazing techniques that will help you turbo-charge your learning (if you want): high power flashcarding and two-way translation.

Experiment with both....and go with what you like best for the rest of the course.

On Friday you'll get the key to the exercises...

The weekend is for a breather (or catch up) before the next week begins....

....and that's it.

Each week.

For nine weeks.

Course Curriculum


  Herzlich Willkommen bei Focus for Fluency!
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  VID ONE: Discover the Fluency Focus Routine
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  VID TWO: Two great recall techniques
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  VID THREE: What you still need....
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  VID FOUR: Your German future
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  Lektion 1: Audio
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  Lektion 1: Transcripts
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  Lektion 1: Wortlabor
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  Lektion 1: Musterwerkstatt
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  Lektion 1: Lösungen zu den Übungen
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  Lektion 2: Audio
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  Lektion 2: Transcripts
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  Lektion 2: Wortlabor
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  Lektion 2: Musterwerkstatt
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  Lektion 2: Lösungen zu den Übungen
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  Lektion 3: Audio
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  Lektion 3: Transcripts
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  Lektion 3: Wortlabor
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  Lektion 3: Musterwerkstatt
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  Lektion 3: Lösungen zu den Übungen
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  Lektion 4: Audio
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  Lektion 4: Transcripts
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  Lektion 4: Wortlabor
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  Lektion 4: Musterwerkstatt
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  Lektion 4: Lösungen zu den Übungen
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  Lektion 5: Audio
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  Lektion 5: Transcripts
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  Lektion 5: Wortlabor
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  Lektion 5: Musterwerkstatt
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  Lektion 5: Lösungen zu den Übungen
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  Lektion 6: Audio
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  Lektion 6: Transcripts
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  Lektion 6: Wortlabor
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  Lektion 6: Musterwerkstatt
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  Lektion 6: Lösungen zu den Übungen
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  Lektion 7: Audio
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  Lektion 7: Transcripts
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  Lektion 7: Wortlabor
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  Lektion 7: Musterwerkstatt
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  Lektion 7: Lösungen zu den Übungen
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  Lektion 8: Audio
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  Lektion 8: Transcripts
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  Lektion 8: Wortlabor
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  Lektion 8: Musterwerkstatt
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  Lektion 8: Lösungen zu den Übungen
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  Lektion 9: Audio
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  Lektion 9: Transcripts
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  Lektion 9: Wortlabor
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  Lektion 9: Musterwerkstatt
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  Lektion 9: Lösungen zu den Übungen
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Why does it work?

So far, so simple....and that's the point.

Dr P's Weekly German Workouts are designed to be simple....but effective.....

The Weekly Workouts will help you take your German to the next level not because this is some fancy new innovative magic method.....

The Weekly Workouts are effective because they are built on powerful brain-savvy language learning principles.

Sound is central: listening skills

It's no accident that great audio and listening skills are central to the Weekly Language Workouts: Focus for Fluency (Into Intermediate German)

Speaking is sexy but there's a tendency for language learners to ignore the importance of getting really good at listening.

If you don't understanding what people are saying to you, you'll never become a confident, independent German speaker.

You'll never have a proper conversation.

Lots of passive listening is good...

....but even better if, now and again, you can really focus and interact actively with what you're hearing.

There's no more powerful way to make you listen than trying to try to capture on paper (or as an audio recording) what you think you can hear.

Dictation may sound "old-fashioned".

I prefer "tried and tested".

When you correct what you've written (or recorded) against the transcript, it'll be brutally clear where you're falling down.

It creates a sense of what's wrong and primes your brain for further discovery.

The contrastive power of parallel texts helps you work out new words and patterns for yourself and really throw the German way of thinking into clear relief.

A clever approach to vocab

In the Wednesday "Wortlabor", we'll pull out some individual words, but we'll also put a lot of emphasis on common combinations of words or short phrases, so-called "chunks" of language.

It turns out that learning chunks a really powerful way boost your speaking skills.

Why?

First, context aids memory.

Second, think of chunks as prepacked language, ready to use, straight out of the box.

If you build phrases from the ground up and you're likely to sound stilted and unnatural, even if your grammar's technically right.

As a language learner, think imitation, not innovation.

Third, one reason natives can speak so fast is that deploy whole phrases or chunks as they go. They're not trying to build sentences word-by-word and neither should you.

Patterns you can apply (not abstract "grammar")

In the Thursday "Musterwerkstatt" you'll get short, no-jargon explanations of the new grammar.

We don't focus on abstract theory.

You don't have time to apply that when you're trying to speak.

Instead, the stress is on new, repeatable patterns that you can use to generate correct phrases as you go.

By the way, Wortlabor and Musterwerkstatt are in German only so that you'll be getting right into that German mindset as you go.

The best interactive techniques

You won't remember what you don't understand....but just understanding something often isn't enough to make it stick.

As we've just seen context really helps and lots of lots of practice is essential.

But remember I said that deliberate, focussed interaction with the language really brings results?

One key to interactive learning is elaboration - working with the material and making it your own.

That began even on Monday with your intensive listening and the dictation exercise.

Testing yourself is also a great way to consolidate your learning, which is why the Musterwerkstatt comes with extensive self-correct exercises.

One great way to embed what you've learned is spaced recall. That's to say, actively trying to remember, at intervals.

Dr P's Weekly German Workouts includes three method training vids where I'll train you in all these techniques. I'm on hand via Skype/Zoom and with unlimited email support to help if anything's still not clear.

It's all about giving you high-intensity interaction with German.

This is simple, but powerful stuff.

It could be your pathway to progress....week after week.

Now, hold on a minute!

I said it's simple....

...but that doesn't mean it's easy!

You've got to put in that effort.

I'm here to help you do that too.

Guided self-study: designed for success, with Dr P as your coach

I've designed the Weekly German Workouts to help you keep on track from beginning to end.

Dr P's Weekly Language Workouts: Focus for Fluency (Into Intermediate German) is nine weeks long.

That's enough time to make a real difference to your German.....

....but short enough to keep you motivated all along the way.

The materials are released day-by-day, to avoid overwhelm.

Each day it's very clear how you need to interact with the materials, what you have to do.

You need to be ready to commit 30 mins to an hour a day, five days a week

You won't always do your daily, focussed workout, of course.

Life sometimes gets in the way and that's fine.

The materials aren't going to go away (you'll have lifetime access).

But, if you want to see results...and I want to justify spending time helping you....your workout has to happen much more often than not.

Again, the design of the course, with its clear "Weekly Workout" rhythm helps you harness the power of habit in your language learning.

I'll give you some video training on habit forming and effective time management too, to help you along.

Plus, I'll be holding you accountable, in person.

First, you'll get a simple accountability tracking sheet that I can see to (and I'll be swinging by regularly to see what you've done :) )

Second, you'll get two 30 minute one-to-one Skype or Zoom coaching calls with me.

The first, early on, is to get clear on your aims and make sure you're getting into the swing with your Weekly German Workouts.

The second, as we approach the finishing line, to help you take stock and get clear on your personal way forward.

Throughout the nine weeks of Dr P's Weekly German Workouts (Into Intermediate), I'll also be on hand by email to answer your own, personal questions.

Workouts with a purpose!

Yes, the way forward after the nine Weekly German Workouts will be very important.

This isn't study for its own sake!

No!

At the end of the course, I want you to get right back into the ring, fitter, better than before.

Using as much German as you can...and learning by doing again.

Get things done in German...

Connecting with other German speakers....

Enjoying German film, music or books....from the inside...


Are you ready for action?

Remember, if you haven't done dabbling, this isn't for you....

If you're still looking for a quick and easy fix....please click away.

If, though, you're done with all that...and ready for action to transform your German by September, now's the time.

Join the course now and we'll kick off on Monday 6 July.

Brace yourself for a change of gear....

Get ready to take your German up a level.

Previous participants say:

Grahame B (Into Intermediate German, Team April 2020)

"As a stand alone course I found it very good. What I really found useful was the process. Not the quick fix. If you are in it for the long haul, it gives you a transferable method".

"I thought the dictation would be a doddle. It was much more difficult."

"It was amazing the number of times I found new phrases that would then turn up in a podcast. Without the push and prompt it would have sailed over my head. It's the reinforcement".

Beth W (Into Intermediate German, Team April 2020)

"The first time it took me ages to do the dictation and correct all the sentences, I was such an accomplishment to see what I got."

  • Real everyday conversational German in engaging, quality MP3 native audio recordings. One for each of the nine units, delivered on Mondays, to get you straight into action.
  • German only transcripts of each conversation (pdf) to help nail your listening skills. These and rest of the units delivered in stages each week to prevent overwhelm and keep you FOCUSSED.
  • German/English parallel translation to check your comprehension.
  • Clear guide in simple German to new phrases and vocab in each unit (pdf).
  • No-nonsense explanations of the essential new B1 grammar patterns in each unit (pdf).
  • Extensive exercise worksheets with self-correct answers (pdfs) covering the new patterns.
  • On-boarding and wrap up vids from Dr P.
  • Two further language learner pro skills training vids where Dr P shares his key language learning advice.
  • Two one-to-one, personal 30 minute live video coaching sessions with Dr P (methods training in English, not German classes).
  • Unlimited email mentoring (learner skills) from Dr P.
  • Goal-setting and logging sheet (Google docs) for clarity and accountability. No place to hide!
  • Enrolment only open until Friday 3 June 2020 (24:00 London time).

This course is closed for enrollment.

Your Instructor


Dr Gareth Popkins
Dr Gareth Popkins

Dr Gareth Popkins, an enthusiastic language learner and teacher and the man behind the popular "How to get fluent" blog and YouTube channel is your mentor during the Weekly German Workouts. He designed them in close co-operation with Sabrina a native German language teacher. No stranger to the ups and downs of learning German himself, Dr P most recently passed the Goethe Institut C1 (advanced) exam. He aced the speaking but finds writing accurately much more of a challenge. In addition to his training as a language teacher, Dr P has a doctorate in Russian history from the University of Oxford and has practised as an international finance lawyer.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
You'll get the course in stages starting on Monday 6th July 2020 (onboarding vid and first mp3 dialogue). The final delivery will be the wrap up vid on Friday 4th September 2020. Between these dates, you'll have my email support and the chance to book two one-to-one coaching calls with me via video link (Skype or Zoom).
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own. If you miss anything week-to-week, you can catch up at your leisure and you can (and should) review the material anytime you wish.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
Join up, sample the materials and meet the group. I'm confident that you'll get huge value from the programme but if you are not happy, you can cancel with a full refund within the first twenty-five days.
How much time will I need to put in to the course?
I recommend one, thirty minute "focus" slot at least five days a week. Twenty minutes would also bring great benefits...forty five well, even more. Of course, if you occasionally miss, it's not the end of the world but, if this level of commitment sounds like too tall an order, Focus for Fluency may not be right for you at this stage. Of course, life does sometimes get in the way in unexpected ways. No worries, though, you'll have lifetime access to the materials so you can (and should) return to them whenever you can.
What if I don't understand the self-study materials or feel lost?
You'll have parallel translations of the dialogues, clear explanations and a key to the exercises. If you still have questions, check with your fellow-students in the Facebook Group. You'll have the training videos from me and unlimited email access to me on the methods and mentoring side and the chance to quiz me on those in your two one-to-one personal video calls.
What about speaking practice?
The core of each module of Focus for Fluency is a realistic dialogue at natural speed. Your all-important listening comprehension skills will really improve and the approach we take to learning vocab and patterns are all designed to help you really live the language. You'll know how to use lots of newly-internalised patterns and chunks that will make a real difference to your spoken German. So, while there isn't a speaking element in the course itself, you'll have set yourself up for huge progress in your spoken German. You'll still need a lot of speaking practice, though. I'll show you how you can build this into your life.
Will the course prepare me for a B1 German exam such as Goethe or TELC?
We've built with careful reference to the CEFR B1 skills grid. We focus on some of the most important new B1 grammar. The course is a great way ahead for the first stage of your B1 journey. There there will be more to do, though, on the road to that B1 certificate. First, we need to get you convincingly "into intermediate".
Am I at the right level for this course?
You need to have a good grounding in the basics of German. For example, you'll have completed, or nearly completed, a full beginner's course to A1.2 on the Common European Framework of Reference. If you're not sure, email me and we can explore your level together (address below).

If you have further questions, drop me an email gareth [at] howtogetfluent.com and I'll get back to you soonest.

Don't write off all the hard work you've done in German so far.

Don't tell yourself that you just don't have what it takes - whether the memory for words, grasp of grammar or, motivation or time to get fluent.

ENROLMENT FOR THIS COURSE CLOSED ON FRIDAY 3 JULY. SIGN UP TO DR P's MAILING LIST AT HOWTOGETFLUENT.COM TO HEAR ABOUT THE NEXT ROUND.