German, as you know, is a grammar-heavy language, requiring painstaking attention to detail from its speakers. LingoDeer is a lesser known app compared to Duolingo or Rosetta Stone, but it is quite popular among those who learn Asian languages, such as Korean and Japanese.
Can LingoDeer help you with German? This article will show you the pros and cons of using LingoDeer to learn German and help you decide whether to use it to learn German. Gamification is still an effective strategy to make the learning motivation consistent so long as with the right material.
LingoDeer - a truly structured and convenient learning aid:
Favorite features #1: Learning Tips always at your disposal before and during the lessons
Although most apps offer translation for underlined words, LingoDeer is a much better helping aid that offers extensive and detailed explanations instead of just simple translations, and not just for underlined ones but all words.
Even just based on the substantial amount of explanations that supports further learning as well as effective memorization, LingoDeer is a better option.
Favorite Feature #2: Practice listening and speaking using Stories
This feature can be somewhat difficult for learners just starting to dip their toes into a language. But it is also what closely reflects authentic language use in reality, that beginners only understand a meager few words in a whole conversation when just started out learning. With context guessing and reading along, one can pick up a lot of the linguistic cues, thus facilitating language learning.
In addition to just reading words off of the screen, LingoDeer offers an extra “speaking” feature. You can follow each line of the story and record your read-along. This is a way to learn the pronunciation and rhythm of the language. Listening to your own audio feedback has been proven an effective tactic in improving pronunciation and correcting errors early on.
Favorite Feature #3: Reviews multiple vocab lists or specific grammar lessons in one go
One of the customizable features that help learners review the content is how you can customize your own review plan accordingly. This is comparable to flipping through a comprehensive grammar book, and gaining a more solid understanding of the language as a whole.
Difference being that LingoDeer offers this in the mobile form and makes it customizable, because the learner self knows where there are gaps to be bridged.
Favorite Feature #4: Knowledge cards
Like any good learning apps, LingoDeer also has flash card functions built into it. What’s special is their knowledge cards. They are especially useful when learners have moved past the first “vocab flashcards” stage. The knowledge cards contain condensed summaries of set phrases or grammar learning points on each card.
This function beats other products out there that emphasize immersion, but leave learners scrambling to reasonably compartmentalize their acquired knowledge. This summarized knowledge is more palatable to the adult mind. It’s more compatible with the knowledge system adult learners seek to build up.
LingoDeer Plus for Intermediate learners
In addition to basic courses, LingoDeer has a supplementary app that trains active language skills and is great for further learning.
The German language demands accurate grammar, such as use of articles and verb conjugations. You can practice grammar using a variety of fun games in the app.
This is different from learning apps that focus just on expanding vocabulary, such as Drops or Anki. Spaced repetition apps have their own merits and have proven greatly effective in memorization. Drops, for example, also uses the gamification strategy. They offer beautiful pictograms and cover a wider range of vocabulary.
LingoDeer Plus is more of an all-rounder. It covers not only words and articles, but sentences, phrases, dialogues, where learners can see and listen to the vocabulary used in context. This is great for intermediate learners who want to develop a more rounded language skill set using the material already learned.
Many Duolingo users feel stunted by the fact that their German level is still very basic and fragmented even after completing all levels in Duolingo. They aren’t able to actively form sentences or provide suitable responses to basic questions. LingoDeer Plus makes up for this shortcoming of app learning by training integrated skills.
Like the regular LingoDeer app, you can see that they still emphasize grammar and train learners with active recall, demanding both accuracy and speed. The audio recording spoken by native speakers in the app is also recommendable.
Drawback: No easy access to individual lessons at will
After using the “test out” function, although you can progress in your lessons, you cannot automatically gain access to each individual lesson under each unit. This can be a bit annoying to more advanced learners.
But it wouldn’t make a difference for a beginner who is following their lesson plans and leveling up in the language. Also, this configuration is similar in Duolingo. In Duolingo the user can’t even see what’s available in each unit, only that there are “x” number of lessons.
Verdict: Should You Use LingoDeer for Learning German?
LingoDeer is well suited for learning a structured language like German. It offers comprehensive materials that would suffice learning needs from basic to intermediate level.
The varied and robust learning and review features are very helpful in developing active recall and production abilities. LingoDeer has solid teaching in mind, not just awarding points, which is what Duolingo feels like nowadays when everyone boasts high levels without really checking for their actual proficiency.
The gamification element in LingoDeer is also applied more broadly and is very well integrated with the learning material. The wide range of games and exercise types is great for avoiding monotony while learning.
The app offers learners detailed explanations to each question they got wrong. Learners are not left struggling to come up with rules themselves. Adults learning on their own require more structural thinking and compartmentalized knowledge, which Duolingo does not offer, despite its popularity.