In this post I review the book “German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day“. I talk about its features and why it might be worth your time to buy it for yourself.
A few months ago I updated my recommendations on my Amazon Affiliates page to include some more German learning resources that I thought German learners would like. While I was doing that Amazon kept suggesting more things for me to buy. So I bought a few of their recommendations and I decided to see whether or not they were worth you buying as well. The first of those purchases is this book, German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day.
What is this book?
German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day is exactly what the title says. It shows you 5 words every day. The book doesn’t actually do 5 words every single day of the entire year, however. The first four days of each week present 5 new words and the 5th day helps you practice the words. Apparently they want you to take a break over the weekend, so there are only 5 days in each week.
This means you are actually learning 20 words per week for 52 weeks, which is just over 1000 words. One article I read said that beginners need to learn 250-500 words. Intermediate learners should learn anywhere from 1000-3000 words. This puts you right on the edge of that intermediate range.
The book itself is incredibly well made. The cover is almost a kind of plastic, the pages are all woven into the book very well and the pages themselves are very sturdy. The images and text are sharp and very well drawn. It looks and feels amazing.
Which 1000 Words are in German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day?
Usually my biggest complaint about books like this is that the words you learn aren’t what I would recommend for the first 1000 words you learn. German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day actually does a pretty good job of mixing variety of vocabulary with useful vocabulary. The first week for example, includes numbers 1-5, a few fruits, colors, and some school vocabulary. Week 2 includes numbers up to 10, some more school vocabulary, names for toys and writing utensils.
Since this is the Junior version of the book, the vocabulary in this book are aimed at kids. I personally think that the vocabulary they picked is practically perfect for elementary-aged kids learning German. The words they chose are the ones that elementary-aged children are going to be using on a daily basis in their everyday lives. This gives you an excellent opportunity to work them into their daily routine. “Oh, you learned the German word for a playground today? Let’s go to the Spielplatz.” You can slowly replace English in your conversations with the German words as you learn them each week.
The exercises at the end of each week are awesome, too. They make you recall the spelling of the words, match the words to their images and a bunch of other age-appropriate exercises. There is an answer key at the back of the book, but I think that the exercises are simple enough that you could just flip back to the previous page and check your answers on your own.
If you were teaching German at an elementary school, this book would be perfect. It teaches 5 words each day for the first 4 days of the week and then the class can practice at the end of the week. You could even practice the vocabulary throughout the day as you integrate the vocabulary into daily conversations like a said just a minute ago.
FREE Audio Companion App
So far, I still haven’t even gotten to the coolest part about this book. In the top right corner of the book it says it includes free online audio. You can either use the DK 5 Words website or the app (Android or iOS). I tried both.
When you download the app, you have to tell it which language you are using. Then you finish the website URL in the app. At first I thought there must be different versions of this book, since I had to type in “US”, but this is not the case. I’m not sure what that is doing there.
The app itself is very simple. You can choose the week, start from day 1 or something from the quick reference from the back of the book for numbers, days and months. Once you choose a week, it shows you the first day. You can read the words in German below each play button.
When you tap on the play button, a super chipper German native speaker reads the word to you. You can tap one word at a time or “Play All” to play all of the words one after the other. I personally like the one at a time option, because then it allows you time to listen and repeat. You can also listen to the same one over and over again to get the right pronunciation.