Basic German: A Grammar & Workbook
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  • Basic German: A Grammar & Workbook
  • Heiner Schenke & Karen Seago
  • Published by: Routledge
  • Level: Beginner
  • First Published in: 2004

This book is suitable for independent study and for class use, it introduces German people and culture through the medium of the language used today, covering the core material that students would expect to encounter in their first year of learning German.

Review posted: 13/12/2013
Have you used this book?

So you want to learn how to speak German? Then get prepared to give ample time to studying German grammar. Learning a language is not just about learning new vocabulary; it’s about learning a whole new way of speaking. Mastering word order, tenses, and sentence structure are all part of learning how to speak, read and write German. It’s hard to learn and perfect grammar unless you really study and practice each grammatical rule. The book Basic German: A Grammar and Workbook can help you to master German grammar in your everyday life.

"The book covers a wide range of grammatical topics including but not limited case, questions, gender, pronouns and so on."

Basic German: A Grammar and Workbook is designed to teach beginner students about German grammar, however, even students with a bit of basic knowledge of German would probably benefit. The book covers a wide range of grammatical topics including but not limited case, questions, gender, pronouns and so on.

Each chapter usually dedicates about 3-4 pages to pure instruction. This helps the student understand each grammatical concept in its entirety. By presenting explanation and examples, the student will feel prepared before moving on to complete each grammatical exercise. Then, he/she will be presented with 2-4 exercises to review what has been taught in the chapter. These exercises are a combination of translation, sentence making, and fill-in-the-blank. At the end of the chapter, the student can recap by completing the “Checklist”. This checklist outlines what he/she should be able to do upon completing the chapter.

The chapters are all outlined in a similar fashion, making it easy for a student to study alone, with a tutor or in a group class. One of the only shortcomings of Basic German: A Grammar and Workbook is that the exercises are short. Each exercise covers a study point, but only has 5-10 questions for the student to complete. This is not ample practice to really absorb the grammar rules. If you are a German teacher using this book with your students, it would be beneficial to create additional exercises or practice activities so that your students can have a bit of repetition in order to ensure he/she really understands the German grammar rules. Even if he/she appears to understand it, 5-10 practices is not enough to solidify the information in ones’ mind; it will quickly be forgotten with such little repetition.

Overall, the book does a great job of covering every essential aspect of beginning German grammar. This book can act as a catalyst for other activities. As a teacher, you can likely make great use of this book. While you will still need to do a little prep work, the book can guide and structure every lesson. Basic German: A Grammar and Workbook is a great option for any student who really wants to become proficient in German grammar.



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