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Posted September 27, 2009
I bought subject book this summer as a training tool for my grandaughter from Germany who was visiting us for six weeks to improve her English. Many years ago, when I was studying German at The University of Innsbruck in Austria, I had to invent my own list of German Idioms. As all instruction was in German, I gradually accumulated a vocabulary list for each professor from his lectures. This list I would study at night to improve my comprehension the next time I had his class. Another method I developed was to read aloud to my landlady the entire first page of the local newspaper each morning before attending classes. She would correct my pronunciation, and although I certainly did not understand every word I read, the exercise prepared my mind for class. I found that my ears would catch mistakes my eyes were making. Having already had High School and College German classes at home, I could read basic German upon arrival in Austria, but understanding the spoken language initially was beyond me. The way people speak is basically heavy with idiomatic expressions, so if your goal is to understand and be understood an emphasis on the idioms is essential. Therefore, I found the subject dictionary of idioms very valuable for my grandaughters mastery of spoken American English. In many cases the meaning of the idiom cannot be deduced from an understanding of the individual words comprising the idiom. We made a game of using the idioms in sentences, and I feel confident it helped. In fact, I feel that it would be advantageous to emphasise the study of idioms to master the spoken language of any country because that is the language you are going to hear and need to understand. I found the book to be clear and concise. It is well organized, easy to use and an indispensible aid to understanding American English. Frankly, I found very few expressions I have not used myself one time or another. I would love to have had such a dictonary of German idioms back in my student days, so I highly recommend this book to students of American English. I will use it again next summer when my younger grandaughter has her turn to visit Grandpa and Grandma.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.