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Deutsch: Na klar! An Introductory German Course 6th Edition 6th Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0073386331
ISBN-10: 0073386332
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About the Author

Monica D. Clyde is a native of Düsseldorf. She received her Ph.D. in German literature from the University of California at Berkeley. She has taught German language and literature at Mills College, Cañada College, the Defense Language Institute, and the College of San Mateo. She was Director of Faculty Development and Scholarship at Saint Mary's College of California until her retirement in 2003. She coauthored Texte und Kontexte and was contributor to Mosaik: Deutsch Kultur und Luteratur, Third Edition, both intermediate college-level German textbooks.

Jacqueline Vansant received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught at Hamilton College and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and currently teaches at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where she also heads the German section of the Department of Humanities. Her particular interest in language pedagogy lies in reading and reading strategies. She has written widely on contemporary Austrian literature and culture, served as coeditor of Modern Austrian Literature from 2000-05, and is presently working on a book entitled Austria: Made in Hollywood.

Robert Di Donato is Professor of German and Chair of the Department of German, Russian, and East Asian Languages with Hebrew and Arabic at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He is the chief academic and series developer of Fokus Deutsch, a telecourse with accompanying texts and materials for teaching and learning German, and coauthor of The Big Yellow Book of German Verbs. He has also edited two volumes for the Central States Conference, written articles aout language methodology, and has given numerous keynote speeches, workshops and presentations - both in the United States and abroad - on teaching methods and teacher education. He has won a number of awards for his work in language education, including the Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in Foreign Language Education.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 6 edition (January 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0073386332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0073386331
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Michigoon VINE VOICE on January 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There's really no point to owning this book if you're enrolled in a German class, and there's absolutely no reason for a self-learner to pick this up otherwise. There's a lot of people who say this book "is great if you're in a class / using video / using audio / great teacher / etc etc..." and the truth is, when you have that much enrichment anyway, you don't need a very good book (which is the only time when using this book is acceptable). And the "listening comprehension" CD? It's much more useful as a coaster. A coaster that might cost you a whole paycheck.


-Never provides ANY blocks of words/pronunciations in chapters (even when it does, it tends to have whole phrases translated, not word-by-word breakdowns like you need, especially in the beginning). You have to learn 90% of your words on your own, and then try to figure out what's going on in the book based on your own knowledge. This is an almost absurd problem considering the price.

-Randomly tosses around different dialects of German with little division. Without a professor keeping you informed, you might not even notice some of the differences. My fiancee was dismayed to learn that I wasn't learning the same dialect that she knows (and her dialect is High German, which is the one you're "supposed" to learn in an introductory class). I think I'm learning a more Southern or Austrian dialect. Is that the book's fault or my professor's? Since the book doesn't help, I have absolutely no clue!

-The CD is truly worthless. It barely follows the book, and doesn't provide ANY quick access to any necessary elements.
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I really wish this book had instructions in English. I'm okay with the practice being in German. But when you're a beginning student, it takes you twice as long to get through the exercises because you have to look up what the directions are asking you to do.

The chapters and grammar points don't seem to follow intuitive order for new language learners. I have studied three other non-English languages and wasn't as confused by the order of introduction to new vocabulary and grammar. A more advanced concept will be thrown into the mix and will leave you wondering if it was explained earlier or not. (Chances are it wasn't). This book introduces new concepts but only gives you a few practice questions. So you will have to do more than the book and lab manuals to really hone in on the way this language works.

All in all, I wish there was an easier book to work with. My use of this book is accompanied by a separate dictionary and the Living Language German grammar coursebook, which explains German grammar rules in straightforward, simpler terms.
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Not Terribly User-Friendly

One would think that with 5 revisions, the authors of Na Klar! Would have tried to make it a little bit more user friendly. Since English and German have many cognates, the authors like to encourage a great deal of guessing of meaning in this book. This is perfectly fine, but then I think that there should be a translation or at least a vocabulary bank for advertisements, newspaper articles, ticket stubs, etc. with vocabulary that hasn't been introduced before. A lot of the exercise have this "Hey! English and German are similar, so let's guess our way through this newspaper article with a bunch of words and grammar that you haven't learned yet!" feel to it.
I'm surprised that there is not a whole chapter devoted to just pronunciation. Not all German classes are taught by native German speakers, and I think that this needs to be addressed by a pronunciation of the German alphabet and all words on a CD by native speakers (more on this later).
There needs to be better coordination between the lab book, workbook, and the main text. What I would like to see is a vocabulary bank for each Kapitel that covers all the words from all three books at the end of the chapter in the main book. I think the CD would be more helpful if all of the vocabulary items were pronounced by a native German speaker. Sometimes students may not remember how to pronounce something a few days after class, and having such a resource on CD would be most helpful.
I would actually prefer it if the authors had gone for a text based on the Audio Lingual Method of teaching language, i.e.
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Why this textbook was issued escapes me. Aside from moderately updated cultural references and a prettier design, this book is substantively synonymous with the 5th edition of Na Klar. Where students are expected to purchase this book for high school or college classes, language departments compel their students to waste their money.

That being said, Na Klar 6 retains all the virtue of the 5th edition. While there is a definitive limit to what can be gleaned from a language textbook, as textbooks go this is not the worst. The workbook is immensely useful. The Lab Book does not. Like most products from this publisher, it it clear that the Lab Book was printed to generate profits for the publishing company rather than improve the quality of content of enhance the educational experience of any prospective reader. Instructors would be wise not to use the 6th edition, where the 5th is sufficient to meet the needs of the classroom, given the vast cost difference between the two.
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