Reading German: A Course and Reference Grammar

Reading German: A Course and Reference Grammar

Reading German: A Course and Reference Grammar

Reading German: A Course and Reference Grammar


Reading German is a structured reading course designed to take a wide variety of users to an independent reading of authentic German texts. It is ideally suited for courses in colleges and universities, for students or specialists in any discipline, and for independent learners. Drawing on recent research into reading in a foreign language, the course chapters focus on the recognition and decoding of progressively complex written structures, before rehearsing a variety of strategies (such as skimming and scanning) for negotiating longer and more complex texts.


We hope this book will prove both useful and enjoyable. Our aim in writing it has been to provide a practical and structured guide to reading authentic German texts. The twin aims of the book are to develop the user's reading skills to the point where, with the aid of a good dictionary, he or she can tackle previously unseen authentic texts with confidence; and to act as a reference work for independent reading. We have written Reading German for students and teachers in universities and institutions of higher learning and for independent learners who need to develop or maintain a good standard of reading competence in German. We have designed the book to be of use to a wide variety of users, including those with little or no formal understanding of German grammar or indeed of grammatical concepts in general.

As practising teachers of reading courses in UK universities it quickly became apparent to us that there was a need for a new reading course and indeed a new approach to German grammar which catered specifically for the needs of English-speaking readers of German as a foreign language. This book brings together a new kind of 'reading grammar' of German and a structured reading course which will enable students to develop and enhance their reading skills.

We would like to express our thanks to all those who helped to shape this book. The late Eva Paneth provided an important early stimulus and focus for our ideas. It was as a result of discussing our early drafts with Eva that we began to elaborate the principles of a user-oriented reading grammar which underpin this book. Our students at Birmingham and, particularly, at Durham, provided invaluable feedback on early drafts, sometimes pointing out problems and even solutions that were obvious to the users, if not to the authors. Travel grants from the University of Birmingham helped the Birmingham author to meet his Durham colleague. Several colleagues in the UK and the United States provided helpful criticism of the manuscript at various stages, whether as readers for OUP or simply out of collegial interest. We would particularly like to mention John Klapper and Christine Eckhard-Black. A special debt of thanks is due to Frances Morphy, commissioning editor at OUP, for her guidance and unstinting support. We are indebted to all of the above for making the book possible in its present form. A final word of thanks must go to our families, who gave up many hours of family life so that we could write and re-write this book.

WALTRAUD COLES, Durham BILL DODD, Birmingham . . .

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