Kontakte: A Communicative Approach (Student Edition)

ISBN: 0072560770
ISBN 13: 9780072560770
By: Tracy D. Terrell Erwin Tschirner Brigitte Nikolai

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About this book

Presents a German text based on the Natural Approach, pioneered by Tracy D. Terrell. This book helps to learn German through communicative contexts with an emphasis on the four skills as well as cultural competence, with grammar functioning as an aid to language learning. It also contains activities and readings.

Reader's Thoughts

David Sarkies

This is the text book that I used in class when I studied German in my first year of university. Since I have developed an interest in learning the German language again (particularly since I have been there once, and am going there again very soon) I decided to pick it up and read it through, not only to revise what I had learnt but also because I wanted to add this book to Goodreads. The problem with reading through this book is that it is designed as a text book to be used in a class, so there are numerous parts which require us to wonder around the class and speak to people in German. However, one of the key things to learning another language (with the exception of the ancient, dead, languages, though one could probably go and speak to a Catholic priest in Latin) is the ability to be able to go and speak it to another person (which I why I am passing through Germany on my way to London). However there is a problem with that because native, or fluent, speakers tend to speak a lot faster (which is why I learnt how to say spreachen sie langsammer bitte). The chapters are divided into four parts, the first being speaking and contextual excercises, then a list of vocabulary relevant to that chapter, then some reading comprehension, and finally a section on grammer that pertains to that chapter. When in class it does work because the teacher is in control of the class and she can guide the class, however when reading through this book from cover to cover is problematic, because the vocabulary comes after a main part of the chapter. However the main part helps you understand the grammatical structures by using pictures and phrases, rather than simply the information dump that is at the end. I will be going back to this book though, namely to help develop my grammer, and to actually work through the exercises so that I can continue to develop my German. However, I think I should also take classes, because, in the end, that is the much better way to learning the language (since you get to interact with others who are also trying to learn the language). Or, I could simply wonder around Germany for a lot longer, though I don't think that will work as well (since I have already done that and it didn't work that well, though I was able to understand a little, such as when a shopkeeper asked me whether I wanted the bottle of beer that I had bought at the subway station open).


This is really a first-rate language textbook. It is highly versatile, well-laid-out-and-referenced, full of the most basic grammatical building-blocks. German teachers can adapt it for differing speeds of teaching and student requirements. Students can keep it on their shelves for years to refer back to on points of grammar. It is available with a workbook and CD, and teaching materials include audio and video recordings, but the text itself is the most valuable part over time, the thing worth holding on to. Learning a language is difficult, and requires classroom work (generally, you can't do it out of a book alone), but the textbook makes a huge difference in learning, and this is the one that will best launch students in pursuit of learning German.


My German textbook for first-year College German. It is what it is. Seems to have suffered throughout the editions, as things which have not yet been introduced in earlier chapters are referenced, despite being later in the book.

Carlos Burga

It is quite useful in getting a person from a complete lack of knowledge about German to a moderate handling of the language. Likewise, the online workbook was quite helpful. Lastly the grammar sections were incredibly helpful. While not without its flaws, the book was quite capable of serving as an introduction to new German students.

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