German Grammar Drills

3 German, Books

March 10, 2013

Author  Ed Swick
Publisher  McGraw-Hill
Publication Date  2007
Price  $14.00
Skill Level  Beginner, Intermediate

German Grammar Drills by Ed Swick does indeed provide the drills that its title promises, but the exercises could be better at developing skills and encouraging retention.

There is just too much mindless repetition. For example, in Exercise 129 you are given an infinitive phrase, such as können gut Mundharmonika spielen (to be able to play the harmonica well), and then told to conjugate that with ich (meaning “I”) in the present, past, present perfect, and future tenses. Then there are nine more questions structured just like that, each with a new phrase and a new pronoun, but still, with every question you are repeating the same vocabulary four times, with the same subject four times, and with the same four tenses.

It is dull and doesn’t do enough to promote learning. German Grammar Drills needs to mix it up more! (Effective pedagogy demands variety.)

In addition, there are too many exercises for which answers can’t be checked, because multiple answers—sometimes infinite answers—are possible. That is really annoying, and really unnecessary. This is a self-help guide; construct the exercises so I can help myself, please.

Note: I used the 2007 version of German Grammar Drills. A second edition came out in 2012, and that one I haven’t seen. 

German Grammar Drills: Not the Most Grammar Fun I've Ever Had
German Grammar Drills: Not the Most Grammar Fun I've Ever Had

Comments (2)

Matthew • Posted on Sun, April 05, 2015 - 1:44 am EST

Repeating is drilling when it comes to grammar.  Do you remember elementary school and the repeating of grammar exercises?  Grammar is mindless repition, you have to be lucky to get a fun teacher.  Skills and retention is reinforced through practice; and the only way to develop skills and retain knowledge when it comes to language is to speak the language.

However, I cannot total trust any review of grammar books since every review contains several grammatical errors.  I spotted four grammatical errors in your review.  It is improper to start a sentence with the word for; that same sentence has an unnecessary comma after the word phrase in that same paragraph, you have a run on sentence; and the last error you have is an unnecessary comma between checked and because in the fourth paragraph down.  My review of your review proves that drills like these work because that is how I learned English.

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Sun, April 05, 2015 - 2:39 am EST

For a haughty man, all roads lead to arrogance! – Mehmet Murat ildan

For all their strength, men were sometimes like little children. – Lawana Blackwell

For an educated person, intelligence is important but character is more important. – Debasish Mridha, M.D.

For God’s sake give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself! – Robert Louis Stevenson

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