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Daniela is another member of our teacher team. She did private teachingas well as a company course with us this year.
However, Daniela is not only a wonderful teacher but also an absolute podcast expert! In our Teachers Talk section, she has now taken the time to share some podcast tips with us, talk about her favourites and most importantly about her experiences with her own podcast series:
Luisa: Daniela, what fascinates you so much about podcasts?
Daniela: First of all, that you can listen to them always and everywhere. And there are so many! There's something for every mood, every interest, every phase of life. And because they are often made by professional journalists, they may not be perfect, but they are very relatable. In addition, there are new episodes every day, which also refer to current events. With some podcasts it is also the case that you can really see yourself as part of a small community.
L: You also made a podcast series yourself (check it out here). What was the idea behind your podcast series and what can listeners expect to hear? What was the experience like to be behind the microphone?
D: Totally good and exciting - after all, I never knew what my counterpart would answer. It was a lot of fun to see how different people react. And for me personally it was also great to ask my friends questions that I wouldn't have asked them otherwise.
For the podcast it was important to me that it is authentic. That means that the people speak spontaneously and naturally. The episodes are not only meant for learners, but also for Germans. It's different from the audios a learner hears in a course book. However, not necessarily more difficult. Because the topics it deals with are interesting for young people in general I think. You maybe ask yourself the same questions I discussed with an interview partner. It's about everyday life in Germany, work, but also about your own values.
Even if you as a learner don't understand every word, you can understand the meaning through the context. Try it out, listen regularly and you will learn new words and useful phrases for everyday life. You will also see that you get better and better over time. You can also listen to the podcast on the go, just to have the German language in your ear without the stress of having to understand everything like in a test.
If a topic from one epsidoe of podcast is of particular interest to you, you can read the blog post about it. All information is linked there.
L: Last year you did your master thesis about how people can learn German with your podcasts. What were the most important or surprising results of your study?
D: The small study I did showed that learners like to learn with podcasts. They are interesting, broad in their topics and authentic. It has to be said though that working with podcasts makes sense from B1.2 level upwards. What the learners experience is the real use of the language - with its dialects, particles (ja, also wohl ... - which you simply cannot explain), speech melody and of course useful phrases. It was exciting to see that learners have the most difficulties when they don't metaphors, but also that each speaker is understood differently. A person who speaks softly and quickly is difficult to understand. Regarding vocabulary: this can often be accessed through his or her general knowledge. It is not important that you understand every single word, but that you understand the context.
L: What makes a good podcast for you and what are your favorite podcasts?
D: For me personally, people in podcasts should have a sympathetic voice and answer interesting questions. I like it when I can learn something new from a podcast episode. And well, I don't like it at all when the speakers beat around the bush - you should be able to identify some kind of common thread in the answers.
Oh, the question about your favorite podcasts is very personal and intimate - almost as if you were asking about the color of my socks. That's what fascinates me about podcasts - you usually listen to them alone over headphones, almost in secret... but I can tell you: I like A Mindful Mess, Paardiologie, Madame Moneypenny and Frisch an die Arbeit
L: Which podcasts would you recommend to our students?
D: I would say, search for yourself! Preferably for a topic that moves you. I think it's important that you find a podcast you can identify with it and love to listen to. It also depends a lot on the level of a person learning German.
Beginners, for example, will find the langsam gesprochenen Nachrichten on Deutsche Welle. For advanced learners, I actually recommend all Zeit online podcasts. If you like to look into the human psyche and are a fan of crime novels, you sould listen to Zeit Verbrechen. It's about real criminal cases in Germany - scary! If you want to understand "the Germans" better and like to laugh about weird cultural habits, you might be in for Typisch deutsch? by Deutschlandfunk Kultur. This one is about peculiarities of the Germans: Coffee and cake, German families on playgrounds and German television (which is way too much too didactic).
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L: Dear Daniela, thank you for taking the time to share your podcast passion with us. :) I am sure that our students will benefit from it even more often.
Also check out our Podcast Learning Tips, which we published a while ago.