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A hefty textbook with accompanying audio CDs and online material, Complete German certainly boasts a lot of content, especially at as cheap a price as £17.49. All together, the components of Complete German make up a comprehensive language course which will take you to B2 on the Common European Framework for Languages. Users work their way through 23 units each based on a theme consisting of a new grammatical concept and a set of vocabulary specific to a certain context. The grammar is organized into simple ‘building blocks’ which are applied effectively to real life situations in order to demonstrate how and when they can be used effectively. We personally enjoyed the 1, 5 and 10 minute introductions which are perfect for those pressed for time or who just feel they need to briefly go over a topic. Likewise, the ‘Try This’ exercises were great for improving our confidence and consolidating what we had learnt.
Whilst covering grammar sufficiently, Complete German places emphasis on communication. The accompanying audio CD consists of native speakers clearly demonstrating how words and phrases are pronounced in real life situations. Pronunciation exercises and opportunities to practice your speaking allow you to get your tongue around the language as well as your head. With these two aspects covered you will soon pick up German that you will be confident in using immediately, taking the learning process yet further!
We generally found the teaching style of Complete German to be clear and effective. The full color textbook is not only of high quality but also boasts content that is clearly laid out and succinctly explained. All the exercises and activities are simple and effective and there are even some fun quizzes and games to give you a break from intensive study. You can also test yourself throughout the course to ensure you are on track and highlight areas which may require further study. The textbook alone may be quite limited, but luckily the online resources give you a variety of exercises to hold your attention while the audio CDs are invaluable in practicing your listening, understanding and speaking; probably the primary aspect of the language for you!
A word of caution; in our opinion, Complete German slightly over promise how far their product will take you. Unless you are a natural language whizz, you will need to put the effort in to learn the grammar and vocab and to reach the B2 level on the Common European Framework of Languages you will have to combine Complete German with other sources of learning such as German TV., radio and friends. In sum, this is a straight forward, well rounded product which will get you from A to B as long as you put in a bit of effort and initiative yourself. One can’t expect miracles, as long as you don’t get your hopes up too high, you will not be disappointed.
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