I took German in high school for four years. I took two years of it in college. That was in 1992. I never really had chance to use it after that for some time, but I enjoyed being able to watch German movies and an occasional German song or two.
Then, years later, my sister-in-law met a guy who was from Germany. Long story short, they got married and had a wedding in Germany in the small village where his family still lives. They live in the Black Forest about an hour south of Stuttgart. When we found out the wedding was going to be there, we were so excited. What a great chance to go native in Germany. I was curious how I would remember my German, or if I even would. This was in September 2001.
I was so surprised how my German came back to me. Being immersed in the language and being on our own for a while really helped. It was wonderful. Ever since then, I’ve really wanted to continue to learn German and grow my vocabulary. But I feel that I have enough base, and basic understanding that if I wanted to take classes I might need to start at the beginning since I don’t remember all the vocabulary or take a more advanced class but still lack in the vocabulary department. I wasn’t sure where I’d fit it. I also didn’t have the money or the time to take classes. I work right down the street from the Goethe Institute but the times just never worked out. I did take their placement test, but never faxed it back in.
There have been many blogsites about learning languages and they’ve been a great help. Some of those pages are gone, but in their absences, other helpful tools, like Skype, have emerged.
Here’s a page I put together with some of my most helpful items. Expect it to be updated.