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Contatti 1 Italian Beginner's Course 3rd Edition: Coursebook Paperback – 24 June 2011
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I have just started a part-time Italian course. This is the course book and is one of the best I have come across in my many attempts to master Italian. It is straight forward, easy to follow and seems to incorporate the grammar in a very easy way to take on board., Amazon reviewer (Contatti 1 Second Edition)
- Publisher : John Murray; 1st edition (24 June 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1444133144
- ISBN-13 : 978-1444133141
- Dimensions : 19.05 x 1.59 x 24.77 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 505,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I have contacted Amazon and they referred me to a firm that stated they were just retailers and I have tried to contacted the publisher but have received no reply. Very poor.
The App is stated as matching the coursebook, providing listening and speaking practice and a record and compare activities and so without it the book does not fulfil what I expected.
Having learned French, German and Serbo-Croat in the past, this course is not really any different. It offers much the same mixture of basic practical vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing as you'd expect in such a course. Importantly, it assumes you are in a classroom situation, which can be a bit weird when you are studying alone at home. For example, many of the exercises require you to ask each other questions and give answers around a group, which of course falls flat when there is only one of you, or in our case two of us, unless you are keen to pretend to be other people. The many listening-to-recordings exercises it refers to are not included with the book. You get them only with the teaching copy. Nor can you download the required audio CD to get that content for yourself. It does rather hamper your efforts to learn when not in the classroom.
The illustrations are diabolical. They should help the process not hinder it with needless stylistic flourishes that often leave you baffled as to what you are looking at. For some reason, the illustrations in language course books are often completely rubbish. Simpler graphics would certainly help this book a lot.
At the end of the day, whether or not you do well with Italian depends on commitment and study. I have never found a shortcut to speaking a language. Italian grammar, with its rules, exceptions and quirks, requires as much attention to learn as does the equivalents in other languages. This book is no better or worse than any other I have tried but, while its content is very good, with better page design it could so have been a much better book.