Foreign language study often starts as an adventure and ends in frustration. Students should be drawing comparisons between the new language and their native language (most likely English for most of us), but this is difficult to impossible without a solid English grammar background.
This series of grammar outlines includes books for German, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and Latin, as well as an English book for native Spanish speakers. Titles read English Grammar for Student of Spanish, substituting the name of each language in the title. Arranged in question-and answer format, the guides cover all major aspects of language structure such as definitions and usages of nouns and transitive and intransitive verbs. Topics are first explained in relation to English, then in comparison to their usage in the foreign language. Abundant sample sentences in both languages clearly illustrate the point at hand. Confusing grammar jargon is limited, and follow-up questions allow students to gauge their comprehension.
These books are not intended as comprehensive grammar guides for either language, however. They do not explain the many exceptions to grammar rules that exist in every language, nor do they address concepts that have no equivalent in English, frequently the most difficult aspects of any language. Therefore, every language student who has progressed past the very beginning stages of study ought to have a complete, detailed grammar handbook of the foreign language for reference.
These books are appropriate for students at junior high level through adult. For students whose limited grasp of English hampers their language study, these books might be just the help they need.[Danna Faturos/C.D.]