The Best Online German Course [My Top 5 in 2023]
Learning German can be tough, and sometimes we all need a little help. Thanks to the internet, we have a huge selection of online German courses to choose from covering all elements of learning German.
After reading this post you will know which is the best online German course for you, depending on whether you want an all round course or to specialise in speaking or listening practice.
Most of these courses offer a free trial so you can dive right and in see which one suits you.
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The 5 Best Online German Courses in 2023
- Best All Round Course: German Uncovered
- Best for Natural Language Acquisition: Glossika
- Best for Speaking Skills: Lingoda
- Best for Listening Skills: Rocket German
- Best Free Course: Deutsche Welle
German Uncovered (StoryLearning)
Best for: All round beginner & intermediate courses
StoryLearning German Uncovered is a comprehensive German course by well-known polyglot and author, Olly Richards. There are two levels to choose from: Beginner & Intermediate.
German Uncovered Beginner will take you from a complete beginner to intermediate level in German (B1) & German Uncovered Intermediate will help you smash through that intermediate plateau.
To say these courses are thorough is an understatement. As the name suggests, StoryLearning German Uncovered uses the power of stories to immerse you in German. Each level had a different story written especially for German learners at that level.
I’m currently doing German Uncovered Intermediate and the story ‘The Sword of Vercingetorixis’ really good.
You’ll listen to each chapter first and then read the German text whilst listening, then you can read the English version of the chapter if you like. Each chapter then has 4 video lessons covering:
- Cognates & Translation (Beginner) or Communication (Intermediate)
I love this course because it manages to cover so many of the skills you need to learn German: listening, reading, grammar, vocabulary & pronunciation.
I’ve rated this as the best online German course because it really is such a good all-rounder. Of course, no course can do everything. The only thing you won’t get to practice is speaking, though you will improve you pronunciation.
How much does German Uncovered cost? You can enroll in German Uncovered Beginner or Intermediate for $297 each & try them yourself for free for 7 days (cancel anytime).
Best for: Natural language acquisition
Glossika is a web based app which uses spaced-repetition software similar to flashcards which helps you to absorb the language into your long term memory.
The thing I love about Glossika is that it teaches German in a natural way. Rather than studying grammar and vocabulary, Glossika shows you complete sentences in German which are also spoken by native speakers. You can choose to see topics which interest you, so it’s completely customisable.
It uses spaced-repetition software to help you absorb the language in a similar way that native speakers pick up the language as children by being exposed to it on a daily basis.
Native speakers don’t sit down with grammar books as children to learn German, they are gradually exposed to vocabulary and full sentences repeated everyday by their parents, until they learn the word or phrase.
The truth is, the quickest way to acquire usable German quickly is to learn full sentences, ‘chunks’ or phrases. This is my favourite method for learning German, not worrying about the grammar, just learning a phrase.
At the end of the day, if you learn wie geht es dir? (how are you?) you just know that phrase. You don’t need to analyse why that phrase is constructed the way it is, you can just get on and use it. This is exactly how Glossika works and for that reason I happily recommend it to all beginner and intermediate German learners.
How much does Glossika cost? You can try Glossika for free for 7 days (cancel anytime). After that it costs just $16.99 per month.
Best for: Speaking skills
Lingoda is an online language school which provides lessons with German native speakers. This online German course is very well structured, and teaches levels A1 up to C1. Every 1 hour lesson follows a Powerpoint presentation on a huge variety of subjects.
Since each lesson takes place on Zoom, with up to 5 other students, there are a lot of opportunities to speak. In fact, the Lingoda teachers will encourage you to speak as much as possible, and most of the lesson will take place in German.
While this is a structured course, you are free to choose whichever lessons interest you most. So if you want to brush up of your German grammar, you might pick grammar lessons. If you’re particularly interested in the environment, you can attend lessons which focus on this.
One of the best things about this online German course, is the flexibility. Lessons are available 24 hours a day, so you just book whichever lesson interests you and whatever time.
I took part in the Language Sprint, a time-limited programme where you can take either 15 (Sprint) or 30 (Super Sprint) lessons per month, for 2 months (so 30 or 60 lessons in total respectively).
If you manage to attend all your lessons, you will get a 50% refund for the Sprint and an incredible 100% refund on your class fees if you attend all 60 lessons in the Super Sprint.
How much does Lingoda cost? Lingoda offer a number of flexible plans. Depending on how many lessons per months you opt for, their standard group lessons are $12 – $20 per 1 hour class (you pay monthly for either 5, 12, 20 or 40 classes).
Lingoda offers a 7 day free trial, where you’ll get 3 free group lessons or 1 free private lesson (cancel anytime) so it’s definitely worth signing up just to get the free lessons.
The Language Sprint costs $480 for the ‘Sprint’ (30 lessons over 2 months) and $960 for the ‘Super Sprint’ (60 classes over 2 months).
Best for: Listening skills
Rocket German is a podcast-style online course which favours immersion based learning. Rocket German offers 3 levels to choose from: level 1 (beginners & intermediates), level 2 (intermediate to advanced) and level 3 (advanced).
Each lesson is around 30 minutes long, where you’ll be introduced to the subject matter by an English speaker. You’ll then listen to an authentic conversation in German on a particular topic.
The host then goes back through the conversation line by line and explains each sentence in English. There are pauses during each line so you get the chance to repeat what you’ve heard. And at the end of each lesson the host will ask you a number of questions in English, which you need to answer in German.
There are ample opportunities to learn about German culture as there are separate lessons covering all sorts of cultural topics.
The best thing about Rocket German, is that you can download each lesson and listen to it offline. This is great if you do a lot of driving, as it’s so easy to listen to and practice your pronunciation in the car.
How much does Rocket German cost? Rocket German Level 1 is priced at
$149.95 $99.95 (33% off) or you can buy a bundle of all 3 levels for $449.85 $259.90 (42% off) with the discount code ROCKETDEAL.
You can grab a free trial of Rocket German and try it out for yourself.
Best: Free German course
Deutsche Welle provide a number of free online German courses teaching levels A1 up to C1. For levels A1, A2 and B1 each course follows the adventures of a Spanish guy, Nico, who is visiting Germany.
The story ‘Nico’s Weg’ is actually 3 complete movies which can be watched in full on YouTube. But for these courses, they are broken down into manageable chunks, usually a couple of minutes long each. You watch the section of the film, and can follow the dialogue as you listen.
At the beginning, Nico speaks no German, so it can work really well for complete beginners as you follow his journey. As you work through each module, you’ll be asked comprehension questions as well as having to listen to the dialogue again and selecting what you hear.
This is a great course to get you started in German particularly for your reading and listening skills. And best of all, it’s free.
How to choose the best online German course
Firstly, decide what you want to concentrate on. Perhaps you want to improve your speaking, listening or grammar. No single course can teach you everything, but there are some good all-rounders out there like German Uncovered.
Most of these courses offer a free trial, which is the best way to take a look around and see if it’s the best online German course for you.
What’s the best way to learn German at home?
Set aside time each say to work through your course. If you opt for a course like Lingoda, this is easy because you need to book your Zoom lessons in advance, so you know exactly when you need to be at your computer.
If you’re working through a self paced course, it can be easy to get distracted or lose focus. It’s important to allocate time every day to work on it. If you choose to work on your course at the same time every day, perhaps before or after work, it will help form a habit.
Importantly, if the course is the right fit for you, you’ll find it easier to stick with it.
Who are German online courses for?
German online courses are suitable for anyone. Whether you’re learning German as a hobby, for travel, work or maybe you’re planning to move to a German speaking country. Having a structured course to work through can help you to keep making progress with your German.