I'm a person who doesn't really believe in the way languages are taught at schools mainly because they failed me twice.
In Germany (where I was born and raised and still live today) you normally start learning english in primary school and you need to continue it for a good amount of time (at least until class 11 in my school) and around 7th grade you pick out a second language or sometimes there are different classes but i won't get into that now.

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So I started english in third grade and then picked spanish in 7th grade. I was never the best at these languages because I and I guess probably 90 % of the students in general don't learn efficiently if they just remember vocabulary and grammar. I feel like the natural approach of just talking in that language and teaching lots of connecting words you need to form sentences are mostly forgotten.

But how did I get better? How can you get better if you face the same problems?

Around middle of 8th grade or beginning of 9th grade, I can't exactly remember I found a story on wattpad (a website/app where you can upload your own stories) which had a german girl as the protagonist but was set in the U.S. so her thoughts were in german but the conversations in english. I read it and figured "wow I could understand a lot of that english (because it weren't the most difficult sentences) why don't I try to read other stories but fully in english?" The good thing is that these stories online aren't written in an complicated way with lots of strange words but rather in a way where you can even with simple knowledge try to understand it.

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I quickly learned that learning vocabulary by sitting down and trying to remember a bunch of words isn't helpful to me but by reading stories or books I learned a lot of words I just know the meaning of, can't necessarily translate them properly but I still understand the meaning of the sentence and what it wants me to know.

Besides that youtube was the other main thing that helped with my english.

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Finding english speaking youtubers which I like and watching them was a major change.

Why would that be better than watching a tv show in the language you want to learn?

It is better than watching a tv series or something on netflix because youtubers especially in sit-down-videos talk slower and more understandable because they are directly in front of the camera and want to present you something. It is not like a tv series where the people talk normally to each other, often times they mumble or have strong accents because of the character they play and it makes everything harder to understand.
Once you can understand youtubers pretty good I would also recommend starting to watch shows on netflix or other similar platforms. If you can't get the hang of it just turn on the subtitles in your native language or if that is too easy for you turn them on in the language you want to learn so you can also see the words if you haven't understood them correctly.

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Obviously I have titled this article "how to learn german (or any other language) outside of school"
I did that because it was really easy for me to find english speaking youtubers I like because they are so heavily represented on youtube and you just come across them. This is not necessarily the way it is with german youtubers or ones from other countries like russia or idk france.

So for those of you who want to learn german through discovering some youtubers from germany you might like I thought I would give you some suggestions:

youtubers

  • Fabi Wndrlnd

He makes videos about his favourite music, story times, vlogs, Q&A's and so on.

  • Felix von der Laden

previously his channel was called "Dner" and he was a let's player and still has a bunch of let's plays on the channel but since around a year he predominantly vlogs on this channel comparable maybe to PointlessBlogVlogs or Casey Neistat cause he is one of his biggest inspirations I think. I love his travel vlogs.

If you are rather into Let's Plays he has opened another channel called "Dner" where he now uploads new Let's Plays.

  • Melina Sophie

She's a very fun person, lives in Iceland since around a year and a half or something. She makes vlogs, videos about her dog, about iceland or sit-down-videos for like challenges and stuff.

  • Nilam

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHGo_rni5zY&t=323s

As daaruum she uploaded lots of make-up and beauty guru-ish videos but for a good amount of time she has changed that up quite a bit. Now she does often times DIY's, the occasional vlog, cooking videos or motivational videos.

  • DominoKati

Kati uploads a lot of "trying stuff out" or "hacks" videos. Kind of Beauty Guru-ish but rather comparable to Alisha Marie I would say.

  • Apecrime

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGsY0wp0GoY&t=523s

For those of you who like funny videos. They are a group of three who upload "Songs in Reallife", "Internet vs Reality" and other similar formats.

  • Beauty Gurus

I know that lots of people love watching MUA's and their videos so I figured I would put around three people under that category so you can check out who you like the best:

- Maryvn Macnificent / a very funny and out of the box personality!

- Lamiya Slimani / comparable to I would say Tati

- Dounia Slimani / similar to Lamiya but she has a baby son so she makes baby videos as well

- Mrs Bella

Oh gosh that was a very long article but I think this is an important factor when it comes to learning languages so if you have come this far and liked it give it a heart or/and a reaction if you are on your mobile! :)

Have a lovely weekend!

_PS: I could not yet find a good german speaking studytube so if you have any recommendations just message me! thank you xo