Where can I find a print version of the 'English für Germans' cover?
Why did you write this book?
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I wished that a book like this existed. I've been teaching English in Germany for years, but I've never found a fun book about English just for Germans - in English. So I wrote one. In addition, the book is also my way of saying thank you - Germany has been very good to me, so this is my little way of saying 'Danke Deutschland!'.
Is 'English für Germans' a text book?
No, absolutely not. It is a humourous overview of the English language and its structures. It could be an enjoyable supplement to English language lessons. Primarily the book can be helpful for refreshing English skills and building confidence.
How long did it take to write the book?
Well, way back in 2004 was when I started, but I only worked on it now and again. In the meantime I got married (believe it or not: to a German lady)and did a million other things. But I kept putting ideas on paper, and eventually there was enough material for a little book.
How is the book structured?
The book is divided into five parts - Basics, Help, Work, Play and Fun. Each part has roughly the same chronology; an introduction, some basic vocabulary (extremely similar to German), some language structure, some stories, a summary and a quiz.
Is there anything serious or academic about this book?
Well, it does accurately cover the main grammatical structures of the English language - so yes. It just uses humourous examples and stories to illustrate the grammar. There is also a Glossary at the end so you can easily find the various language structures throughout the book.
Did you have any help with the book?
Not directly, but my friend Amanda Habbershaw definitely influenced the way I teach English, and I can see her influence in the book. Petra Junkert and Lutz Kiefer both gave me a lot of help over the last couple of years with refining and finally finishing the book.
Who inspired you?
I love Sterling Johnson's book 'English as a Foreign F*cking Language' - so that was definitely an inspiration. I wanted 'English für Germans' to be irreverent and fun, yet still cover all of the language's main features - which it does.
How can Germans speak better English?
Just do it. Go for it. Generally speaking, Germans finish school thinking they must know all the grammar before they can speak. But really they just need to speak, and then learn by doing. They don't tell you this in school: nobody cares about grammar in the real world. Communication is everything, in my opinion.
Why did it take you so long to finish the book?
Well, it was a labour of love - particularly the design, illustration and story-writing parts of the process. So to put it in Irish English; it took as long as it took because that's how long it took. My goal was to finally have it available at amazon.com by Christmas 2011 - and I made it. Yaay!