Top critical review
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This book is not bad. It has some good features and some bad
on 17 March 2017
This book is not bad. It has some good features and some bad.
The good things about this course are:
1. The vocabulary lists along with the pronunciation (as long as you have the CD with this book). Some language courses fail to add vocabulary lists at all, making a student's life difficult and forcing them to use just the dictionary at the back of the book or a translation, but this one has included vocabulary for each dialogue and the fact that you can hear each word pronounced on the CD is a bonus.
2. At the end of each chapter, there is a small culture-based reading text, which is quite nice.
The bad things about this course are:
1. Although there is a vocabulary list for each dialogue in each chapter, a lot of vocabulary which pops up in the dialogues is not included in the vocab list. That means you have to use the dictionary at the back which can be a bit tedious and time wasting. I have written words in pencil all over my book because the authors have not included them. Quite a few times, I have had to use "google translate" because some words are not included in the dictionary of this book at all. This leaves the student puzzled and wondering how they are supposed to "guess" words.
2. The grammar, whilst well explained, can feel a bit too much per chapter. Smaller more manageable chunks of grammar would work better I think. There is quite a lot to take in.
3. A lot of grammar pops up in the dialogues without an explanation for it, so sometimes you are left wondering why you are saying a phrase in a specific way and there doesn't seem to be an explanation for this.
4. It is nice to have the culture based text at the end of each chapter, but there is no vocbaulary list for this section and the texts are quite difficult given the level. People with no language-learning background may struggle with these texts.
I have not seen the Teach Yourself Swahili or Colloquial Swahili books yet, but I intend to invest in one of these, in hope that their courses may have a slightly better structure. Having said that, this course is not bad, it could however do with improvement.