And how to get the most out of each book!
If you are an A1 German learner, then that means you are at the beginning level of German. You're a beginner. It stays that way for a while.
At the A1 level, you can expect to not understand a whole lot, but you can ask basic questions and give basic answers. You'll still need to ask people to speak slowly for you, but you can exchange some information and have basic conversations.
The A1 level is key for you because it gives you the basics of German grammar. A1 is the foundational level for all other levels. I frequently tell people
Think of the A1 level like the foundation of your house. If you don't have a good foundation, you're going to have a lot of problems later. So build it well, brick by brick, and make sure it's solid.
To help you solidify this, read materials that you enjoy and that bring you new words on topics you enjoy. Look for the A1 level. Your new A1 level book will have A1 either in the title or you'll see a special emblem on the book that looks like this:
This means the book is written for and adheres to the standards of the A1 level as set by the European Union. So look for this when you're looking for books and other learning materials. This is the seal of approval for the A1 level.
I'll be writing more about what to expect at each level A1, A2, etc. in future blog posts. For more A1 blog posts, click the tag "Niveau A1" at the bottom of this post.
So when it comes to reading...
At the A1 level of German, it's kind of like approaching reading like children do. But you're probably not a child if you're reading this post! Finding material to read which you can
- engage with more than once
- and isn't explicitly a children's book
is a challenge. So people just grab something they're interested and start reading. Then they stop.
Because they're overwhelmed.
So many people start learning German, they get overwhelmed, and then they quit. The saddest part of that is they barely got started.
So to fight that feeling of not being able to understand anything, this week I recommend you A1-level learners try something completely different. Try reading one of these A1-level readers.
I recommend you buy physical copies so you can take notes in the book and so you can use the included audio/mp3 download with the book.
Each is a unique story written specifically for German learners at an A1 level. They are stories about teens and kids, but they are stories for everybody. They may be mysteries, but they are not scary.
Here are three short ways to get the most out of the books:
1. Read one, short chapter three times. Once to get the idea, a second time to figure out what you need to figure out, and a third time to enjoy it. Then move on to the next chapter.
2. Read a page, play the audio, and then re-read the page.
3. Read the book enough so you understand it, then switch to the audio and listen to that enough so you understand it, and continue alternating until you know it like the back of your hand.
Without further ado, here are my 5 recommendations for you. These are Amazon Affiliate links, which means that if you purchase the book, I receive a small amount of money for recommending it to you. This also helps me create income, which helps pay for this site and funds my writing time. So if you use these links to make your purchase: herzlichen Dank!
Click the picture to read more.
1. Der Schatz von Hiddensee
|This is my favorite A1 story. Read this one if you like a wintery vacation, Schmuck (jewelry), and archaeological history.|
2. Spannende Tour im Schwarzwald
|Read this one if you like Fahrrad fahren (bicycling), Wälder (forests), and Baden-Württemberg.|
3. Gefahr am Strand
|Read this one if you like being am Strand (on the beach), die Nordsee, and Norddeutschland.|
4. Blinder Passagier
|Read this one if you like Schiffe (ships), den Rhein (the Rhine river), and Familienausflüge (family outings).|
5. Wilde Pferde im Münsterland
|Read this one if you like Pferde (horses), Ferien (school holidays), and reiten (riding horses).|