This plan is based on suggestions by the Chicago German Teachers.
Here is a good plan for the the beginner to learn German.
This website is new and incomplete, but it can will help you with all the above steps.
Ich bin ein Berliner. = I am a Berliner. Unlike English ich is not capitalized, but here it was the first word of a sentence. ich = I bin = am ein = a Berliner = a man from Berlin such as we say I am a New Yorker. Now speak or write the German for "I am a New Yorker."
For the simplest German sentences in this website go to section 100 and read some of Meine bunte Welt. Meine bunte Welt was written by Germans for German first graders. You can count on it being standard German. The Purpose of reading simple sentences is to begin to get the feel for German word order, build your vocabulary, and learn German grammer. Read the same sentences over everyday. You are not some genius who can read them once and know everything they can teach you.
Learning to speak German correctly is hard enough if you have a good native German teacher. Few people have that opportunity. If you have access to a library try to borrow some records or tapes. I found a CD-ROM which allows me to speak into a microphone while listening to the German native and then play back the digital sound of my voice following the German voice. That CD only cost $10 and they had a table full for all languages. Notice that Section 400 of this site begins with pronunciation of German letters. Notice that each lesson of Section 400 begins with a simple German text and has the meaning and pronunciation of each word .
After you have become familar with the word order of simple sentences and have some feel for the meter of speaking German , you will find nearly every new sentence has new words. Often the new words are merely combinations of simple words. Section 200 has a list of the most frequently used small words. You should begin studying that list as soon as you wish. We even provide a free, simple Qbasic computer program to quiz you on the list.
Pay attention to the short words: der, die, das, aus, ein, tun, oder, man vs Mann, in, am, zu, zum, gar, ehe, da, von, bis, an, and many more and combinations of them: heraus, davon usw. usw = etc. Your study wiIl go faster if you can pronounce these short words. They are simple to pronounce. Their meanings are more difficult as most have many meanings. I hope we can get lots of sentences using them posted in this website.
Notice each lesson of Section 400 has a subpage on Grammar and a subpage on verbs. Boring, boring, boring, aber wichtig! wichtig! wichtig! (important). Take your time andwork through the exercises. You will be astonished how much doing the exercises speeds your progress. When you visit a used book store look for German books: novels, grammar, anything. All these helps will add to your interest and give variety to your study so that your studies become less boring.
Notice Section 200 has a page and sub-pages on combining words. Once you know lots of simple words, it becomes easier to find the little words which were combined to make a big word. If you know the little words, you can make some good guesses at the meaning of the big word. The way the big word is used in the sentence will help you figure out its meaning. Again you can see the value of having read lots of simple German sentences.
How did you become so good at your native language? How did you learn the grammar of your native language so well that it just comes naturally to you now? The same methods will work for you in learning German. The main method was lots of reading. Read all the German you can. That will be easier if reading German ties in with your Career. Otherwise, try visiting German websites or magazines if you can find them. If you have access to a library, be sure to look for simple german books there. In Indiana, our driver's license is our library card for borrowing from any state owned college.
You may not have any opportunity to help local people learn German. Few people want to work that hard. However, there are lots of people online who would like to be your pen pal to learn German. The best way is to join GermanList or GermanWay and the other German e-mail lists. This website is being written by the 30 members of GermanList. Please join us. Help yourself learn German by help others on the list. You never learn any faster than when you are teaching. That is one reason I began this website.