Deutsch: Lehren und Lernen

Deutsch Lehren und Lernen

Deutsch: Lehren und LernenDeutsch: Lehren und Lernen is the Language Zone for teachers of German at all levels and in all sectors, available to ALL members. It includes articles on teaching German, on the German language and on contemporary Germany. There are also reviews of publications about Germany and of resources for teaching German, plus details of forthcoming events. It includes regular News and Notes sections informing readers about cultural and political events in the German-speaking countries.

We aim to provide a link between different educational sectors in which German is taught as a foreign language, from primary through secondary and into adult, further and higher education.

Articles are in English or German. Contributions reach us from inside and outside the UK. Contributions submitted to Deutsch: Lehren und Lernen are peer reviewed and published online subject to approval by independent referees.

Recent articles have included the following: '"Normales Leben" in der DDR', 'Year 12/13 lessons on an aspect of the topic "Ausländer in der Bunderepublik Deutschland"', 'Reading (and –re-reading) Jana Hensel’s Zonenkinder', 'German language and culture as a medium for diversity education and peace-building in Northern Ireland', 'Controlled assessments: initial suggestions and observations', 'Quantities - some hints for teaching German in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5'.

Editor: Wanda Marshall

Contact the editor of Deutsch: Lehren und Lernen

Writing and submitting articles

Libraries: Subscribe to Deutsch: Lehren und Lernen

ALL members: Log in now to access this ALL member benefit

Non members: Join ALL to access this ALL member benefit


Book Reviews

We are publishing two further reviews online to assist readers who may be considering buying new material for the academic year starting in September. Dawn Sadler highlights the flexibility and comprehensiveness of the new OUP publication for KS3, Zoom Deutsch 1, in her detailed review. This resource looks extremely attractive for young learners and departments alike. In DaF Kompakt Billy Brick draws attention to a sound textbook for Beginners from Klett which might be suitable for adult learners in the UK.

We hope you find these reviews helpful. Do get in touch with Mandy Wight, the reviews editor for DLL, at m.wight@yahoo.com if you are interested in reviewing or have any suggestions for publications to be reviewed.

Zoom Deutsch 1 Course
Corinne Schicker, Marcus Waltl and Chalin Malz,
Oxford University Press, 2011, 175pp (Student’s Book)
ISBN 978-0-19-912770-2 (Student’s Book) £13.50
ISBN 978-0-19-912773-3 (Audio CDs) £118.80
ISBN 978-0-19-912776-4 (Interactive OxBox 1) £570.00
ISBN 978-0-19-912777 (Assessment OxBox 1) £210.90

Zoom Deutsch 1 is a new two-part complete German course, offering a range of resources to cover the whole ability range at KS 3. It includes easy-to-customise software, foundation and higher workbooks, as well as a comprehensive teacher book that provides guidance on both two-year and three-year teaching route plans.

The clear layout of the resources makes the materials readily usable. With graded progression leading to Level 6+ at the end of the course, Zoom effectively delivers the revised KS3 Programme of Study, PLTS and Renewed Framework. Exercises in the student book are clearly annotated with National Curriculum levels, and ‘challenge’ exercises are designed to give students extension opportunities, providing them with guidance on how to attain the next level.

The student book includes a useful initial overview of the contents, outlining the language and contexts, grammar, and learning strategies and pronunciation. Each unit is clearly signposted, including the learning objectives. A colourful but uncluttered page layout makes the book accessible to students. Exercises are colour-coded according to the skill area covered. Orange-backed grids provide new language structures, green indicate the new grammar being used and purple mark the challenge exercises. Particularly praiseworthy are the blue ‘think’ grids, which refer students back to language they have encountered before and give pointers for building on it.

Additional sections at the back provide a variety of additional reading materials in different formats, linked to each unit: a well set out grammar section with clear explanations, examples and straightforward, confidence-building mini practice exercises; and vocabulary pages (German into English).

Teachers will find the user-friendly OxBox an invaluable resource. The fully integrated video drama (linked to each unit in the textbook), promises to provide cultural background as well as language practice, following the lives of four teenagers in Berlin. In addition, the OxBox CD ROMs provide a wealth of high quality and beautifully presented materials, e.g. grammar presentations, copymaster worksheets, record and playback facilities, pronunciation practice, interactive games and activities and audio files. The OxBox is extremely flexible, allowing teachers to add their own resources, thereby keeping all materials together in one place and enabling them to be shared easily within the department. The planning files give access to a full scheme of work, as well as to individual lesson plans that can be customised. A very exciting feature of the lesson plans is that all the required resources are embedded within the file, making them immediately usable in the classroom. The assessment files provide both online and paper-based progress tests, including ingenious electronic formative and summative progress tests in speaking, listening, reading and writing, with features such as National Curriculum levels and immediate student feedback, and also feedback to the teacher in the form of class spreadsheets for monitoring purposes.

Zoom is an excellent KS3 course and is clearly suited for use by students across the ability range. The support materials, interactive elements, up-to-date and colourful textbook layout and high quality resources make this a good choice. Its user-friendly and comprehensive nature also make it invaluable for use by NQTs and non-specialist teachers seeking a course that offers them support, and is both accessible and appealing to students.

Howell’s School LLandaff, Cardiff

DaF Kompakt A1 Kurs- und Übungsbuch mit 2 Audio-CDs
Ilse Sander, Birgit Braun, Margit Doubek, Andrea Frater-Vogel, Ulrike Trebesuis-Bensch, Rosanna Vitale
Klett, 2011, 152pp, £19.95
ISBN 978-3-12-676186-4

DaF Kompakt A1 is part 1 of a three-part series aimed at adult learners who need to learn German for study or work purposes. The series is designed to help adult learners who already have experience of learning a foreign language reach B2 on the CEFR quickly.

The book is divided into eight typical themes, which are in turn divided into content and exercises. Rather than including the exercises with the content, the authors have divided them up into two parts. As many of the exercises refer back to texts contained in the content section, the reader constantly has to locate the text in the content section to make any sense of them. This could have been avoided, had the content and exercises been included together in one section.

The themes covered in the book are: introductions, making appointments, the household, free time, looking for a room, and visiting the laundrette. All of the chapters are of a similar length and conform to a similar format, and the grammar and word list sections are well organised and clearly presented at the end of each chapter. However, unlike many textbooks, the authors have not built in any revision section. Instead a short self-assessment test for ‘Start Deutsch 1’, the Goethe-Institut’s CEFR A1 test, is included at the end of the book. However, the test would need to be marked by a tutor, as the answers are not provided.

Other free supporting materials are also available online, including a Moodle web which contains additional practice exercises for all eight chapters. However, this is only available to institutions that already have Moodle installed on their systems. Full transcriptions of all the listening exercises are also available to download free from the Klett website.

As is the case with most German language textbooks, a monocultural picture of Germany and Switzerland are presented. The cartoons and photographs present a view of white European faces with only one exception to this, a small cartoon on page 70.

The authors have adopted an unorthodox approach to presenting the imperative on page 54. In what can only be described as slightly surreal, a cartoon washing machine is shown shouting insults at a man or woman in bed, apparently dreaming. On the one hand this could be interpreted as creative, but it could equally be confusing to learners at beginners level.

The book is available online for €15.99. Although it has its weaknesses, it presents CEFR level A1 coherently, and contains numerous practice exercises in listening, reading, writing and speaking, together with clear grammatical explanations.

Coventry University

We are here publishing four reviews which we feel may be of immediate interest. Teachers may prefer to see the reviews at once rather than waiting until space is available for them in a published issue of Deutsch: Lehren und Lernen.

Those preparing pupils for GCSE will be interested in the Malvern Guides, and teachers considering textbooks for the next academic year may find the review of Palgrave’s Foundations helpful. All students and teachers will be intrigued by the Reverb software, and the advanced Modern German Grammar and workbook will be of interest primarily in the university sector.

If you are interested in reviewing books or have ideas and suggestions for material you would like reviewed, please get in touch with me at mandy.wight@yahoo.co.uk.

Many thanks to our reviewers for producing these helpful reviews!

Mandy Wight
Reviews Editor


German GCSE Speaking Controlled Assessment
Val Levick, Glenise Radford and Alisdair McKeane
MLG (Malvern Language Guides), 2011, 44pp, £4.50
ISBN 9781904463450

Mein Austausch
Val Levick, Glenise Radford and Alisdair McKeane
MLG, 2010, 47pp, £3.50
ISBN 9781904463405

Essential German Verbs
Val Levick, Glenise Radford and Alisdair McKeane
MLG, 2000, 94pp, £4.50
ISBN 9781898219682

German Grammar (5th Edition)
Val Levick, Glenise Radford and Alisdair McKeane
MLG, 2005, 92pp, £5.50
ISBN 9781904463191

German GCSE Vocabulary
Val Levick, Glenise Radford and Alisdair McKeane
MLG, 2009, 92pp, £4.50
ISBN 9781904463368

Your German Dictionary (3rd Edition)
Val Levick, Glenise Radford and Alisdair McKeane
MLG, 2002, 240pp, £6.00
ISBN 9781904463016

These six black and white publications by Malvern Language Guides are aimed at GCSE students of German, working at both the Higher and Foundation Tiers, and are also suitable for use by students in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Written by a team of language teachers, including a GCSE Chief Examiner, they aim to support students preparing for GCSE German with any awarding body from 2011.

German GCSE Speaking Controlled Assessment is broken into seven main sections covering:  opinions and justifications; essentials (questions and responses); the areas of lifestyle, leisure, home and environment, and work and education; and key phrases to help students improve their language. The task sections provide useful examples of both questions and extended responses.

Mein Austausch has been thoughtfully prepared to provide a linguistic focus for students participating in an exchange visit. Not only are learners invited to record their experiences, but there are also includes activities, useful travel information and a survival language guide. I would thoroughly recommend this as a means by which the student can maximise the unique learning experience offered by a residential visit to a German-speaking country.

Essential German Verbs is an extremely useful guide dealing with regular verbs, features of all types of verb, plus including tables of common irregular verbs (present, perfect, imperfect, future and pluperfect forms). German/English and English /German indexes of verbs refer the learner to the verb itself or to a verb that behaves in the same manner.

German Grammar (5th Edition) provides a concise and accessible introduction to German grammar. The introductory section offers a brief but clear explanation of the grammatical terms a GCSE student is likely to meet, and comprehensive contents and index pages enable the student to easily locate the explanations required. The contents include, for example, adjectives, an overview of cases, a guide to the use of pronouns and a comprehensive section on verbs and tenses. All explanations are clear and logically set out, with examples in German.

German GCSE Vocabulary presents vocabulary in a straightforward and systematic manner, under the general areas of lifestyle, leisure, home and environment, and work and education. Each general area is broken into smaller units, e.g. healthy/unhealthy lifestyles. Within these sections, vocabulary is grouped grammatically, keeping verbs, nouns etc together for ease of use. Abbreviations used in the lists are clearly set out on the opening page, and standard German abbreviations (eg ADAC) are listed in the back alongside a comprehensive index. This handy little guide would provide invaluable support for students whilst revising or planning their controlled assessment tasks.

Your German Dictionary (3rd Edition), is a basic, easy-to-use bilingual dictionary, suitable for students in Key Stages 3 and 4. Accessible to beginners and improvers alike, it provides genders and plurals of nouns and clearly indicates whether verbs are regular, separable or reflexive. It contains many of the useful features of traditional dictionaries, including a useful grammar section, verb tables, target language instructions and tips for writing both formal and informal letters etc. The preface also explains how to use the dictionary and takes the learner through grammatical terminology.

These no-nonsense, no-frills guides are very well suited to their intended audience. They represent good value for money and are clearly suitable for both the independent learner looking for support, revision guidance or extension material at GCSE, and for class use when covering the examination specifications and preparing for controlled assessments. They can be ordered from the Malvern Language Guides website: http://www.malvernlangs.co.uk/

Howells’ School, Llandaff


Foundations German 1 (2nd Edition)
Tom Carty and Ilse Wührer
Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 192pp, £23.99
ISBN 978-0-230-28474-6

Foundations German is a Beginners German coursebook, designed primarily for use in university Institution Wide Languages Programmes and similar provision. Its 10 units fit well into the structure of the academic year and provide enough material for one year. The topics covered are standard for a Beginners’Textbook: ʽStudenten- yourself and othersʼ, ʽBibliothek oder Diskothekʼ, ʽFamilieʼ, ʽAm Wochenendeʼ, ʽZu Hauseʼ, ʽIn der Stadtʼ, ʽFahrenʼ, ʽGesternʼ, ʽLebensläufeʼ, und ʽ Zukunftspläneʼ. The coursebook comes with all the listening material on CDs, which explains the rather high price.

The book contains a wide range of material for self-study which is most useful for courses in HE. Each unit contains core listening and reading material for presenting new vocabulary and structures and is followed by an Extra! section with additional material as well as Weitere Übungen at the back of the book. Grammar is explained briefly within each chapter when it comes up and then in greater detail at the end of each chapter and in a comprehensive summary at the end of the book. Each chapter has grammar exercises at the end. The book is therefore well laid out and easy to follow, though it is a pity that all instructions are in English rather than the target language.

Disappointingly, this second edition has been very little updated. Photographs are in black and white and remain largely the same as in the previous edition, not reflecting Germany’s multicultural society. The content remains mostly unchanged, so the free time activities in ‘Am Wochenende’ do not include using the internet, let alone going on Facebook. To some extent, given the speed of technological change, teachers will always have to supplement coursebooks in this area, but other publications have reflected the ‘digitales Zeitalter’ better, and I do feel that this is a shortcoming. Similarly, the coursebook has retained the theme of ‘Die Wende’ in its section ‘Hoffnungen und Realität’ in the final chapter and has only slightly altered a text about Marianne Hildebrandt’s experiences of the Wende. This text about a 50-year-old woman now seems old-fashioned and of little interest to the young people who are the target group for this course. Why not abandon ‘Die Wende’ altogether? There are plenty of areas which provide material for ‘Hoffungen und Realität’ of far more relevance for today’s 20-yearold.

The listening material contains some help with pronunciation at the end of the course. This is useful, but it would have been better placed within the units, with some more examples and practice exercises.

All in all, this course is useful in its design and layout. However, it has not been sufficiently updated and so will require additional input from teachers in order to teach contemporary language and culture.

University of Sheffield



Reverb German
Jim Flewker
Flewker, 2011, CD-Rom £6.50 (Individuals), £18.50 (Site Licence) 

Reverb German is an innovative CD-Rom package, created by Jim Flewker. It is a comprehensive resource, designed to assist students of German with the learning of common strong and other irregular verbs. Almost all of the 98 verbs in the programme are in their ‘simplest’ form, although a number of compounds are listed within Reverb and on the associated web pages. Each verb is presented with its meaning, and each of its key forms is listed: infinitive, 3rd person present indicative, 3rd person imperfect and 3rd person auxiliary plus past participle. Further information can be called on to the screen, including compounds, an example of the verb in a sentence and a piece of useful information. The verb is linked to other irregular verbs that have similar sound changes across the tenses. Each verb also has two dictionary links giving access to a further range of meanings and examples. The monolingual dictionary link also has a sound file to assist with pronunciation. A further link to a verb conjugator is an extremely useful tool for advanced learners.

The clear layout of the contents makes the materials easily accessible and usable. A constructive documentation folder provides thorough support on how to edit the package and detailed information for its usage, making the resources accessible for all teachers, including those with non-specialist knowledge of ICT. Other useful functions include a spreadsheet of the data in a back-up folder and the print utilities which enable verb lists to be printed out in full, as well as options for quick random tests.

One of the major strengths of this resource is its versatility: all the materials can be copied from the CD to any location, making them accessible for individual students to use in order to test themselves or for whole class use via an interactive whiteboard. Another major strength is that the resource could be used with a variety of audiences. The editing facility means that it could be made accessible for learners in Key Stages 3 and 4, supporting the grammar sections of a conventional course book, and stretching the more able learners. At Key Stage 5 and with adult learners it could be used as an independent study tool, a means to test oneself or as a class presentation or revision tool. Random testing, self-scoring, flag to repeat and the ability to jump to a different verb via an alphabet key lend themselves specifically to this.

Teachers will find the user-friendly presentation slides very helpful. One verb per screen makes for an uncluttered and attractive format. Arrow keys to move from verb to verb, a dice icon for random testing, an ‘A’ button for the answer and a display key allowing the user to switch between the minimal screen and the screen with additional information are very helpful and make for speedy usage.
Reverb is an excellent resource, and is clearly suited for use by both teachers and students alike. The supporting notes, web links, clear and colourful layout and high quality resource materials make this CD-Rom a useful addition to any course.

Howell’s School, Llandaff


Modern German Grammar. A Practical Guide (3rd edition)
Ruth Whittle, John Klapper, Katharina Glöckel, Bill Dodd and Christine Eckhard-Black
Routledge, 2011, 475pp, £23.99
ISBN 978-0-415-56726-8

The third edition of this successful reference grammar contains several minor reforms and new features such as examples of Swiss and Austrian variants in usage as well as frequently used Anglicisms in German. The rules of the latest Rechtschreibreform (2006) have been implemented, and the index has been expanded and redesigned. Trying to provide material for a traditional as well as a more communicative approach, the established format still comprises two parts, part A covering grammatical structures and part B organised according to language functions. The authors generally aim at a wide readership of both learners and teachers from secondary school to all levels beyond, which I believe they achieve.    

This edition, as does its predecessor, contains established features such as a concise and user-friendly guide on how to use the book. The glossary is very well structured, with good and simple examples. However it does contain minor discontinuities in relation to categories (e.g. meine as an example of an adjective p.5 and as a possessive pronoun p.11) that are not explained. The new division of the index into three different parts to distinguish between words, grammar terms and functions works very well and to me seems very user-friendly.

Part A is classically structured, which truly facilitates a systematic search for distinct phenomena. The choice of language in this part is excellent, simple and straightforward, so that it does not distract from the structure that is presented. In all sections, very useful examples are given, with special reference to particularly difficult areas for native speakers of English. There are numerous cross links between sections and explanations of special grammatical features that need more attention and awareness. I particularly like the information given in the section on register, regional varieties and pronunciation. Apart from the section on youth language, which seems slightly artificial, all other examples are particularly idiomatic and attention is drawn to the most typical features, including reductions and informal syntax.

Part B provides comprehensive material covering functions such as social contact, giving and seeking factual information, putting events into a wider context, or conveying attitudes and mental states. Each sub-section gives typical vocabulary and idiomatic example sentences as well as information on correct use. The chapter on communication strategies is exceptionally useful, giving common examples of how to shape the course of conversations and delivering monologues in formal speaking contexts. 

Throughout the different sections, helpful introductions and links between the different parts make it easier to grasp grammar as a whole, which is very helpful for both learners and teachers of German. Overall, the book is full of idiomatic and sound examples and straightforward explanations, which, together with an excellent and user-friendly layout, makes it an essential reference grammar for a very broad target group.

University of Bamberg


Modern German Grammar. A Practical Guide (Third Edition ) Workbook
Heidi Zojer, John Klapper, Ruth Whittle, William Dodd and Christine Eckhard- Black
Routledge, 2011, 176pp, £19.99
ISBN  9780415567251

The Modern German Grammar workbook is described as an 'innovative book of exercises and language tasks for intermediate and advanced learners of German'. It can be used alongside Routledge's Modern German Grammar. The workbook is divided into three sections, the first containing essential grammatical structures, the second practising so-called 'everyday functions', and the third containing role-play type exercises, entitled 'Functions in Context'. There is an answer key at the end of the book allowing students to check their progress.

In the main, the exercises are best suited to post-A level students, or teachers who wish to update their skills. The third section, everyday functions in context, could well be used within a setting of a conversation class and provides useful support scenarios for the more mature German learner. The exercises are referenced to the 'function' index of Modern German Grammar.

The format will no doubt appeal to the intrepid adult learner as well as to the motivated degree level student, but may be unappealing for AS and A level learners. This is another addition to the current selection of grammar workbooks but does not offer anything significantly new or innovative in terms of its approach or presentation.

Lady Manners’ School, Bakewell


Deutsch: Lehren und Lernen 45 Spring 2012

Published: 8th May 2012


Articles published in Deutsch: Lehren und Lernen, 45, Spring 2012

 Tackling a lengthy work of fiction: an experiment using Gudrun Pausewang’s Und was mach ich? Oder Der Traum vom Fliegen (2006) as a model
Susan Tebbutt

Armut in einem reichen Land
Uta Smail

Controlled assessments: an initial response
Sue Clough

Shall we go Dutch?
Abigail Parrish

Just-in-time Grammar: Observations about an on-line grammar programme
Annemarie Künzl-Snodgrass and Silke Mentchen

‚German Outreach’ Konferenz für Schulen und Hochschulen
Svenja Bromberg

Your views: results from the Goethe-Institut ‘Teachers of German’ survey
Phillip Nicholls

Deutsch lehren und lernen mit der Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache
Falco Pfalzgraf


ALL Members' Area

ALL Members' Area

Available to ALL members, the ALL Members' Area contains our online Language Zones and the Language Learning Journal.

Language Networks

Language Networks

Our Language Networks organise events and competitions, and disseminate information for teachers. View more about Language Networks

Association for Language Learning, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH

General enquiries: 0116 229 7600 Fax: 0116 223 1488 Email: info@all-languages.org.uk

Cookie Policy - Site map - © ALL 2015