One of my biggest problems with German is being able to understand spoken German. I seem to struggle more with listening exercises than the rest of my class do. Therefore, this is one area I really need to spend more time working on. Speaking German with my colleges is helping but they talk at a much faster speed than I am used to and at a much higher level, naturally, than my measly mid-A1 level.
However, I have found a free podcast by Deutsche Welle called Radio D which so far I’m enjoying. It is aimed at A1 learners and uses a mixture of English and German with the German audio played once through, then broken down and explained in English and then played through again which I find really helpful. Each episode is only 15 minutes long and can be downloaded onto your iPod or listened to on your computer. There are also PDFs of worksheets that accompany the episode if you want to combine listening with reading and writing skills.
I admit that the premise of the Radio D podcast series is a little cheesy but nowhere near as bad as other ones I have encountered. It is aimed more at junior high school (12-14 year olds) learners than adult ones. However, since it is free, I’m not going to complain.
I’ve worked my way through 5 of the 26 episodes they have at A1 level (they then have 26 more episodes aimed at A2). I’ll let you know if I see any improvement in my ability to understand spoken German after completing the whole series.