In my opinion, if you've chosen, or even been forced, to study German at GCSE you have massively lucked out. This is a phenomenal choice for so many reasons! Once you properly get to grips with German you're onto an absolute winner. It's a great language to learn and with my free 10 week course on YouTube you'll be smashing your GCSE in no time! However, why am I so passionate about German in the first place?!

Firstly, Germany is amazing. If you haven't been you are massively missing out. German culture has so much in common with English culture that in so many situations you can really feel at home there as soon as you get past the 'language barrier'. If you are into football the football culture out there is just immense. I have started following Mainz and Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga and I cannot tell you how amazing it is to go to their games and sing along  with the fans. Also, the German sense of humour (despite the stereotypes) is actually very similar to the English one so it's really easy to get on well and share a joke with people out there. However, there are other ways that German and English culture differ quite a bit so it is really fascinating to talk to the locals about these differences too.

Why do I mention all of this? The main reason is that it is all too easy to forget why you are learning a language when you're doing it at GCSE. It can easily become all about the precise topic or verb you're learning rather than about the bigger picture. Try your best to raise yourself above this and remember that if you put in the effort you will actually be able to speak German! I can tell you first hand that this is just so, so cool. If you happen to be learning German but don't love Germany at the moment use the next few weeks to find out all about it and start to fall in love with it. If you love your sport find out as much as you can about German sport. Into music? Google German music. Love your cars research the German ones? History your thing? Well, nowhere in Europe more personifies the difficult history of our fascinating continent than Germany. Whatever it is you love in English start finding out about that thing from a German perspective. If you do this enough you will begin to trick your brain into thinking that you love Germany (assuming you don't at the moment) but, here's the best thing, Germany is so fascinating that it won't be a trick for long! You will end up loving Germany! Once you're at this point you're ready to really get into the nuts and bolts of learning German!

To do that I would recommend you get your folks to get hold of Benny Lewis' Language Hacking book and work your way through that day by day. I would also recommend the 'Dummies Guide' to German. If you alternate between these two resources whilst also working through my 10 week Youtube based course you should have enough to stop you ever being bored and to help you really Kick Start your German journey!

Remember, above all else, my main tip for smashing your GCSE German is to stop relying on your teacher to 'teach you' German and get going with learning it on your own. Once you've properly got your learning kick started and can have a basic conversation in German you can then use your teacher to tighten up on your grammar and guide you on the best way to learn the specific subject knowledge content you need to pass your GCSE. In other words, your aim to is to learn to speak German and this will mean you smash your GCSE rather than your aim being to smash your GCSE and learning German just to try to do that. One of these routes has a future and will see you leaving school speaking German. The other is a boring and soul destroying pursuit. Take your pick!