My first year university text book

Kontakte: A Communicative Approach (Student Edition) - Tracy D. Terrell, Tracy D. Terrell

This is the text book that I used in class when I studied German in my first year of university. Since I have developed an interest in learning the German language again (particularly since I have been there once, and am going there again very soon) I decided to pick it up and read it through, not only to revise what I had learnt but also because I wanted to add this book to Goodreads.

The problem with reading through this book is that it is designed as a text book to be used in a class, so there are numerous parts which require us to wonder around the class and speak to people in German. However, one of the key things in learning another language (with the exception of the ancient, dead, languages, though one could probably go and speak to a Catholic priest in Latin) is the ability to be able to go and speak it to another person (which I why I am passing through Germany on my way to London). However, there is a problem with that because native, or fluent, speakers tend to speak a lot faster (which is why I learnt how to say <i>spreachen sie langsammer bitte</i>).

The chapters are divided into four parts, the first being speaking and contextual exercises, then a list of vocabulary relevant to that chapter, then some reading comprehension, and finally a section on grammar that pertains to that chapter. It works in class because the teacher is in control and she can guide the students, however reading through this book from cover to cover is problematic because the vocabulary comes after the main part of the chapter. However the main part helps you understand the grammatical structures by using pictures and phrases, rather than simply the information dump that is at the end.

I will be going back to this book though, namely to help develop my grammar, and to actually work through the exercises so that I can continue to develop my German. However, I think I should also take classes, because, in the end, that is the much better way to learning the language (since you get to interact with others who are also trying to learn the language). Or, I could simply wonder around Germany for a lot longer, though I don't think that will work as well (since I have already done that and it didn't work that well, though I was able to understand a little, such as when a shopkeeper asked me whether I wanted the bottle of beer that I had bought at the subway station open – but then again a lot of that is guess work).