Free German Listening Activities, Exercises, and Sources
This page features an ever-expanding number of free German listening activities for students of all ability levels. Each audio activity includes a link to an audio file, as well as a worksheet, often as a complete-the-blank listening activity. Some of these German listening activities are designed for a specific vocabulary or grammar unit that is used in the text/lyrics.
Although most of the songs are available for free on youtube (sometimes with video, sometimes with lyrics), I strongly encourage you to download the files that are available from the artists for a small fee, particularly if you plan to use the audio in your classroom. Unfortunately, as I found out, mp3 downloads are NOT available on Amazon.de for users outside Germany, Switzerland, or Austria. You are able to purchase complete CDs, but not mp3 files. Amazon.com has SOME of the German mp3 files, but not all. As a result, youtube may be your only option for some of the audio. Audio files for literary text readings are from vorleser.net or librivox.org and are free.
If you are looking for the lyrics to a specific song, http://www.lyrix.at/ has a huge collection of lyrics to both German and English songs.
Creating the materials on this website has taken hundreds of hours of unpaid work, and while deutschdrang.com is a labor of love, a small Paypal donation would be greatly appreciated if you have found the materials on this website to be of use to you.
The following German listening activities are suitable for classroom or individual use. Many of them can be used even by beginner-level students for German listening practice.
— “Das Dunkel und ich”: very easy listening activity for conjugation of modal verbs. From Rolf Zuckowski’s musical “Der Kleine Tag”, a wonderful musical that is very usable in a German classroom. A version of the song is available on youtube,
— “Max und Moritz” (Erster Streich): Easy listening activity. Fill in words from a word list as you listen to an audio text. If you experience problems with the audio file, an alternate reading is available at http://librivox.org/max-und-moritz-by-wilhelm-busch-version-2/. The recording for the first chapter starts at 1:20 min (64 kbp file). Additional worksheet (1. Streich only). A story about the background of “Max und Moritz” from Deutsche Welle’s Top Thema (mp3 available).
— Das Haus von Katrin: listening activity with online comprehension exercise. The comprehension exercise is multiple choice. You must get all of the possibilities correct for each question to score 100%. Online exercise / Audio Link
— “Wieso nicht?” Short audio stories with some activities, from Deutsche Welle. Audio download and pdf text available. German only.
–Great Music Video Resource: German music videos, available with German and English lyrics and some teaching activities. Some of the videos are suitable for specific grammar issues (e.g., “Gib mir nur ein Wort” by Wir sind Helden can be used as an introduction to basic verb endings in the present tense). Many of these videos, however, would be more appropriate for at least second-semester German classes.
— Deutsche Welle News: Great resource for Intermediate-level and up. Deutsche Welle has a news audio each day that is read extra-slowly and is great for German listening practice because it also comes with the actual text to read along. On the same page, you also find an extensive glossary of terms commonly used in the news. Another great news resource (texts and audio for relatively short and very well “simplified” news items; very usable resource, even for mid- to advanced-level beginners).
— Slow German: a very large site with many German podcasts, available in a slow and a normal-speed version. Additional study materials like texts and vocabulary can be downloaded for a nominal charge. A subscription is also available.
— detektor.fm: Lots of German podcasts, mostly short interviews, on many different topics (politics, culture etc.). No activities specifically for German students, but great listening practice for advanced German students.
— Deutsche Kinderlieder: audios/videos of lots of German children’s songs with lyrics. No specific activities right now. I’ll try to work on that.