The best websites to take an online German class

The best websites to take an online German class

by Jakob Straub

Updated March 22, 2023

Find the best way to learn German online and benefit from a lot of resources. The language is widely spoken in the European Union and is the official language not only in Germany, but also in Austria and Switzerland. Whether you want to learn German for business and improve your job situation, for travel or to diversify your language skills in general, Lingoda online classes are of course an excellent choice. In this post, we’ll introduce you to more options with our selection of the best websites to take online German classes.

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Top ten websites to learn German online

1. Lingoda

All you need to learn German via video classes with Lingoda are a computer and a sufficient internet connection. You get to choose a time slot that fits within your busy schedule and you can elect to take private classes or join small group online lessons for learning German. Both offer distinct advantages, depending on what kind of learner you are. Lingoda follows the methodology of immersion, so your online German classes feature both speaking practice and situations which you can immediately apply outside of the classroom to start speaking. You’ll learn from highly qualified and certified native speakers in a rotating schedule with tailored and unique learning materials. Learning German with Lingoda is as easy as choosing a time and joining a class, either month-to-month or with our language sprint, the most effective path to guaranteed fluency in German and definitely one of the best ways to learn German online.

2. Deutsch Akademie

Deutsch Akademie features a very comprehensive grammar trainer for free, designed by experienced German teachers. You’ll get a complete overview of your progress, can ask questions in the forum, follow online exercises organised according to course material and read up on German grammar rules. You can study by yourself with this free course or use it to supplement the online live course which the Deutsch Akademie also offers, featuring small groups and live teachers.

3. ActiLingua Academy

The ActiLingua Academy runs several language schools and courses in Vienna in Austria. On their website, you can take free online German classes. There are ten lessons for beginners, complemented by 24 grammar lessons for advanced learners. In addition, you get many interactive language exercises, information about orthography and language tests to evaluate your current level. A pen pal section, study tips, podcasts, German quotes and jokes as well as a section on applying for jobs in German round out what the website has to offer.

4. Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle or DW for short is Germany’s international broadcaster and media outlet with multimedia content in 30 languages and surely one of the best online resources to learn German. This includes highly comprehensive material for learning German up to Level C. The course finder and placement test help you start at the right level and use the e-learning materials with worksheets, videos, audio clips and podcasts at your own pace and with your preferred device. Interactive lessons complement your independent learning and there is also a vocabulary trainer. The DW German courses are available in a wide range of languages, which apart from English include Turkish, Russian, Spanish, Chinese or Arabic.

5. Goethe Institut

The Goethe-Institut is Germany’s cultural institute and active around the world, promoting the language and a cultural exchange. They offer a couple of resources for practising German for free, such as “Deutsch für dich” with tutorials, learning tips and a forum as well as business German and German exercises for immigrants. However, there online German classes starting at A1 level for beginners up to C level follow a placement test and are not free of charge. You can choose your own starting date and personal schedule and learn with your own tutor online.

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6. FluentU

FluentU wants to teach you languages not through traditional means but rich and multimedia language immersion. To learn German, you have a range of real-world content available, including music videos, movie trailers, news and interactive stories to personalise your learning experience. The idea is that you get to learn German as it’s spoken in real life, outside of textbook situations, through immersion and with structure and support to build your grammar and vocabulary. You can filter the content by your level, by topic, or by format. FluentU offers a free trial, but the service itself is not free.

7. Duolingo

Duolingo remains one of the most popular ways of learning new languages online because thanks to advertising, the platform is still free. You’ll have to watch a brief ad or video after each lesson, if you don’t opt for the premium mode Duolingo Plus with additional features. Duolingo will keep you going with its gamification approach: rewards, unlocking levels and the option of comparing yourself to others ensure you stay motivated, chasing those streaks and virtual coins. Lessons adapt to your learning style and you can choose to do speaking exercises also or learn German with Duolingo stories. Immediate grading helps you visualise and correct your mistakes and there is also a vocabulary mode. The bite-sized lessons are perfect if you only have a little time each day.

8. Babbel

Babbel is similar to Duolingo though slightly more sophisticated. This comes at a cost, as it’s only available as a subscription model. You’ll get one German lesson for free as a teaser. The courses are designed for beginners and intermediate learners and want to get you speaking as quickly as possible. Babbel guides you through grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and advanced courses. Other exercises include refreshers, listening and speaking, business German, reading and writing or German customs and traditions.

9. Duo:  Deutsch-Uni online

DUO is short for Deutsch-Uni Online, a website with courses aimed at basic, intermediate and advanced level German learners. You can also choose business German courses for a career in Germany. Learning with DUO can be on your own, with the support of other learners, or with an online teacher. If you choose an online tutor, your course work will be corrected regularly. Courses start at 150 € with DUO.

10. Germanpod 101

GermanPod101 teaches you German online through real German conversations. As a beginner, you can slow things down to the level you need. Their big advantage is the extensive library of many lessons targeting beginners to advanced learners. Study tools for learning include word lists, slideshows, flashcards and quizzes. For GermanPod101 classes, you can choose between a basic, premium and premium plus subscription, which will give you one-on-one sessions with a personal tutor and a personalised programme.

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Jakob is a freelance writer in Barcelona, Spain, and his favorite books have pages all empty. As an expert storyteller, he publishes creative fiction in English and German and helps other authors shape their manuscripts into compelling stories. Thanks to an expertise in a wide range of topics such as writing, literature and productivity to marketing, travel, and technology, he produces engaging content for his clients. Apart from the escape that books offer, Jakob enjoys traveling digital nomad style and stays active with climbing and hiking. Find out more about him on his website, Twitter or on Goodreads.

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