Tag Archives: book review

Is learning German difficult?

New year, new language? Here at Lingotastic we love learning languages and we love a challenge! The British Council brought out a report last week urging British people to learn a language in 2016.

Where do you start though? This week Maik is reviewing a brilliant book The A-Z of Learning German by Angelika Davey

German Bier

Is learning German difficult? I can’t really comment, as it is my native tongue. Having said that, if German children can manage it, then the perceived difficulty may just be a matter of the approach taken.A lot of language teaching is still very academical in its approach. This may work well for some people, but unless your aim is purely to read German material, a more conversational style maybe more suited to your language learning goals. The trouble with most language learning materials is, that they end up imposing a particular learning style on you, rather than letting you tailor the material to your own style and goals.
Angelika Davey’s book is not one of those books. Instead, it’s full of ideas to shake up the monotony of learning vocab lists and Grammar tables. Yes, you most likely will still need to refer to these things, but the strength of Angelika’s book is to open your eyes to the dozens of options you have to spice up a dreary learning session. As the title implies, the individual ideas are arranged alphabetically, and this is possibly the only weakness in this book. There is no thematic grouping, no progression, but then you may not want to read the whole book from beginning to end anyway. In most cases, you get a good idea by looking at the contents page which idea may work well for you, so you can jump straight to it. The only exception is possibly the chapter titled “Zwieback”! A lot of Angelika’s ideas are common sense, but as is often pointed out, the problem with common sense is that it’s not that common any more. I certainly found a lot of great ideas in the book to support my efforts with learning other languages, as a lot of the suggestions work not just for German.

In particular the chapter on using social media is packed full of information on how to use Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest , LinkedIn, Instagram etc. for language learning. There are also chapters dealing with the basics that few other teaching materials touch on, but are transferable across languages, such as believing in yourself, daring to speak and allowing enough time to make progress towards your language learning goals.

So, whatever level your German is at, you’ll find ideas to take your language learning to the next level, and even if you’re learning a different language, you will find helpful nuggets in Angelika’s “A-Z of Learning German”. I recommend you get your hands on a copy. browse through it and start implementing what you think will work best for you.


If you’re a member of Amazon Prime, or Kindle Unlimited, you can read the book completely free. You could sign up to Amazon Prime If not, you can benefit from Angelika’s hard work for a mere £1.99 (at the time of writing this review).

Just pop over to Amazon to get your copy ,The A to Z of Learning German: 26 ideas to make learning German more exciting and fun! and discover 26 ideas to make learning German – or another language for that matter – a lot more fun!

Review of David Baddiel’s new book The Person Controller

Our family love reading. It’s great for language and literacy development and great fun too. We are considering a house extension just for a library!

I was chatting to a librarian friend a few months back and she mentioned this 2010 study “Family scholarly culture and educational success: Books and schooling in 27 nations” M.D.R. Evans a,∗, Jonathan Kelley b, Joanna Sikora c, Donald J. Treiman
A few of the key findings from this study were:
Creating a ‘reading culture’ and having a wide selection of books present in the home enhances a child’s educational attainment.
Increasing the number of books in the home, even by one title at a time, has a great impact on a child’s learning and boosts their attainment in the first few years of school.

In the light of this evidence for the value of reading we have another guest book review from my 8 year old reading monster.

She’s been reading David Baddiel’s new book. The Person Controller.

Who are the main characters?

The main characters are Ellie and her twin brother Fred. Ellie is really good at video games.

Who was your favourite character?
The fat man, Ellie’s dad because he likes bacon. I don’t like
the bully because he is mean.

Which character would you like to be and why?

The mystery man as he is mysterious.
The story was funny and very silly. I do not think it would happen in real life.

Since finishing this book she’s asked me to buy her the prequel. The Parent Agency. I think that speaks volumes!



What would YOU do if you had a Person Controller for the day?


As we said Ellie loves to play games.  Harper Collins – the publishers are giving away one PS4. To win your own PS4 enter on http://thepersoncontroller.harpercollinschildrensbooks.co.uk/


We were sent this book to review by the publisher. The review is our own honest thoughts on the book.


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