This list includes ideas for supplements for reading in German so you can provide your student with many of the same language exposure and practice that bilingual speakers are exposed to in both languages – reading is an important part of learning a language. Including these supplements can give your child a much more authentic and meaningful language experience. Add supplements from other areas to give your child a well-rounded foreign language education. Finally, once your child is ready, try out the German Cross-Curricular Subjects and Other Fun Stuff.
GERMAN SUPPLEMENTS FOR READING
Search YouTube for “German Read Along” and you will have many options to choose from.
The Vatican Website is available in multiple languages, and is interesting even if you are not Catholic because you can see the Vatican Museum, Villas and Gardens, explore multiple collections, view archeological studies, see many famous churches, and see online documents in the Vatican Library. Available in French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Latin, Arabic, and Chinese.
Bookboxinc is a YouTube channel that reads many children’s stories aloud and has subtitles to make it easier to read along. There are a limited number of stories for each language, but many languages available, including some rarer ones.
My kids use these cards in French. The full set came with a book to store them in after you’ve stuck them around your house. They’re organized by category. You can use a phone or tablet to scan the card and hear the pronunciation. Excellent.
Lingotopia is a new favorite game of my oldest child. The first day he played, he collected over 100 words (some new and some he already knew). Their official website description says that “Lingotopia is a language learning game about being lost in a city where you don’t speak the language.” I think the concept probably resonates with a lot of kids because my own kids have made up stories on their own about being lost in a city and having to learn the language to survive. At the time of this writing, it’s available in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish, and seems to indicate that more languages are coming, including Greek.
Here is a little teaser trailer for the Lingotopia game:
There are many versions of bilingual picture dictionaries. We like the Visual DK series.
There are a whole bunch of books in this series:
There are many options for finding German books to read:
ChildrensBooksForever.com has free children’s books online in many languages. The languages available are Afrikaans, Danish, Butch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish.
Gus on the Go is an iPad app game. They describe the app as such: “Learn Spanish, French, Greek and Hebrew by diving into a classic story with a silly twist. Meet new characters, make them move and explore a new language with a fun and familiar story.” Their website has free printable games in more languages, Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Croation, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Ingush, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Taiwanese, Taiwanese Mandarin, Vietnamese. Their print shop has some very cute nursery room style alphabet posters for many languages.
Readlang’s website says that you can learn a language by reading whatever you like. Translates words and phrases live on any web page. Use these words to make practice flashcards. This lists many languages.
This website has many short reading passages and videos. You can click the word you don’t know and it will give a translation for it. The website tracks the words you know and tries to give you those words, then put new words in context. Until the website has an idea of what you know, there could be a lot of words that would be confusing, which could be discouraging for a student if they didn’t understand. The input comes from websites, so it’s actually text that you find in real life. It gives goals and achievements and keeps track of how many words you know. There are different modes. There is audio and video by native speakers, but in the reading texts there are some pronunciations that were recorded by non-native speakers. This could work very well for boosting vocabulary after you get beyond the basic level. It is in many languages. Bliu Bliu
Word Brewery is a website that pulls reading passages from newspapers. The website tracks what you know and tries to give you those words, plus new words in context. There is a limited free subscription, plus paid subscriptions with more content and customized language courses. This could work very well for boosting vocabulary after you get beyond the most basic level. It is in many languages.
Clozemaster. Free. Their website says “Clozemaster is a game to learn language in context. It shows you a sentence missing the most difficult word, and the challenge is to fill in the correct word from context.’ Cloze is usually used as a fill-in-the-blank kind of test. It is in many languages.
Make flash cards and post them around the house.
There are many videos that have subtitles. If you read along with the subtitles as the characters speak, you can count that time for both video and reading.
Amazon Kindle has many inexpensive books in foreign languages, for many levels.
Check your local library for books you can check out.