|Editor's Review Costs & Features User Reviews|
We have awarded Rocket German our prestigious Gold Award in this category, having reviewed 23 Teach Yourself German Guides. Read our review below to find out why...
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Rocket German boasts almost every feature a budding German learner could need - just check out the list above which speaks for itself. Despite an initial price that is higher than most of its competitors, great deals and discounts generally offered by Rocket Languages give you an unbeatable price to features ratio. However, upon trawling through all the features offered with Rocker German (they certainly tick every box!) we couldn’t help worrying that the sheer quantity offered would entail poor quality. Read on as we go over the key features of Rocket German, reviewing the quality of each in order to help you decide whether this is the right purchase for you.
Rocket German is split up into levels beginner (premium), intermediate (plus) or advanced (platinum) each of which is available to purchase separately. Users looking for a specific level, either because they have already studied German or only need beginner’s German, will appreciate this choice as they will not waste money on levels not relevant to their learning needs. This immediately sets Rocket languages apart from many competitors in this category which simply offer a ‘full language course’ without any thought to learners' individual needs. If, however, you are looking for a complete, beginner to advanced German course, users can purchase two or all three products and make some great savings.
With a one-off payment, users can choose to either download or receive in the mail the course materials for the level they have ordered along with lifetime updates and access to Rocket Languages Motivation Centre and Rocket German Learning Lounge. This means that there is no pressure to frantically work through the material in order to get your money's worth as with some products that are paid for on a subscription basis. We especially liked this, as we felt free to learn at our own pace, choosing when and for how long to study depending on what suited us best at the time.
Users can put their German learning on hold for months or even years at a time and pick up again from exactly where they left off. Even after completion of the course, you can always revise topics you may have forgotten or go back over materials to keep your German fresh. Furthermore, you can continue your studies in the Learning Lounge which is available free and indefinitely to all Rocket Languages students.
The course starts with a well structured series of interactive audio lessons. These lessons focus on getting you speaking, exposing you to practical situations and giving you the confidence to handle conversations regardless of your level. Most agree that conversation is not only the most important but also the most enjoyable part of language learning; by focusing on it Rocket German delivers a learning process that is more effective and more fun than those competitors that do not. We found these two aspects of Rocket German (effectiveness and fun) to be mutually reinforcing; we were learning a lot whilst being continually motivated to learn even more.
All the key vocabulary is covered without you feeling overwhelmed, while the grammatical explanations are easily understandable.
If this isn’t enough, Rocket German audio lessons can be taken with you in the car or loaded onto your MP3 player enabling you to keep learning whilst stuck in traffic, jogging or walking the dog. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in a way that is almost guaranteed to see you rapidly progressing towards a fluency in German. The actual content of Rocket German's lessons, although not groundbreaking, was simple and engaging and the pace at which we were exposed to new material was just right. All the key vocabulary is covered without you feeling overwhelmed, while the grammatical explanations are easily understandable. We were especially impressed with the interactivity of the lessons which involved learning words and constructing phrases that are both up to date and common to everyday German.
Going back to conversation (being the most important aspect of the language), after just a few lessons with Rocket German we couldn’t wait to try out our new language skills in a real conversational context. Going out for a drink with some German friends, after some initial surprise, they were really impressed which really motivated us to get back and study even more! If you are not fortunate enough to have German friends with whom to practice, Rocket German comes with the newly developed Rocket Record. This speech analysis software enables you to perfect your accent from the comfort of your own home.
Understandably, Rocket German’s core lessons can be quite draining due to the sheer amount of vocab and Grammar drilled into you in such a short space of time. We would recommend tackling them in short 20 minute blocks followed by as long as you like on Megavocab. Free with Rocket German, this is a memory game that consists of a fun way in which users recall the meanings of a range of German words.
As well as being able to relax and have fun while learning we especially liked the personalized word list feature which allows you to tailor this game to your specific language learning needs. Notes from conversations, classes, German magazines, films and TV can be inputted, helping memorization of everyday German specific to you and an immersion approach to language learning. In the same way the MegaGerman software games cover grammar and speaking skills in an unstructured and more relaxed manner than the classes which can be excellent for kids (or those of us with a short attention span!) as a 20 minute study session can be rewarded with games in which the learning continues.
Rocket German know that teaching yourself German is not always going to be easy and so include a number of components that not only support you throughout the course but also help you optimize the learning process itself. Instant feedback quizzes and self tests enable users to constantly put themselves to the test and push themselves further, ensuring that you are always challenged. This gives you a great sense of the progress you are making and helps identify weak areas of your German which may need revision. We really appreciated the progress tracker which allowed us to visualize our progress giving us a real sense of achievement and further motivation to build on it.
Conversely, some other products in this category leave users completely in the dark, unsure if they are even making any progress at all! Finally, if you should have any especially complex questions that the software simply cannot help you with, you always have the option to post your queries in the language learning lounge or Email Rocket German’s dedicated teachers who will personally respond within a short amount of time. For us, this was the cream on the cake as it was almost like having our own personal German teacher at our beck and call. We especially liked this personal touch as language learning is, far from a mathematical process of knowledge acquisition, a living, subjective experience. Unless you are content just speaking to your computer in German, this personal touch is indispensable to a complete German course.
Despite stiff competition in this category, we are happy to award Rocket German our number one spot, not only due to its excellent feature to price ratio, but also because of the excellent quality and personal touch that runs throughout this software. If you're still unsure, check out their website for a 6-day free trail which will give you a taste of Rocket German's teaching methods as well as an excellent introduction to teaching yourself German.
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