Magazines for English language learners

Magazines for language learners are popular around the world. They tend to be country- or first-language specific, and for German-speaking learners of English, there is, for example, Spotlight (for adults) and the apparently now defunct (and unfortunately titled) Spot On (for adolescents). They vary little, usually containing articles of current interest (along with bilingual glossaries), quizzes, jokes, competitions and so on.

Such magazines have been around for a long time, and we’re pleased to bring you an entire issue of a magazine for German-speaking learners of English from over one hundred years ago. It was called Little Puck (Illustrierte englische Zeitschrift für deutsche Leser) and there were similar magazines, Le Petit Parisien (for learners of French) and Don Quijote (for learners of Spanish). Widely available at booksellers, they cost 40 Pfennig and were designed, according to the publisher to ‘brighten up your life: they will entertain you for hours and in addition to the amusement they convey much useful information and instruction. They are altogether invaluable.’

Little Puck contained jokes (mostly sexist, sometimes incomprehensible), illustrations and cartoons (usually mocking stereotypes of the time), cultural information about the U.K., poems, samples of business letters, serialisations of work by Thackeray and Dickens among others, and small ads for people wishing to exchange letters in English or swap picture-postcards. Along with the entertainment and useful information and instruction, there were glossaries and grammar notes.

Here, then, is one complete issue (from 1911) which we are sure you will find altogether invaluable. Click on the scans to enlarge.

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