Saturday, 24 October 2009

English Result Intermediate

English Result – Intermediate
Students Book ISBN - 978-0-19-430480-1
Teacher's Book with DVD Pack 978-0-19-430242-5
Mark Hancock and Annie McDonald
Also available
Student's Book with DVD Pack 978-0-19-412956-5
Workbook with Answer Booklet and MultiROM Pack 978-0-19-430500-6
Workbook with MultiROM Pack 978-0-19-430496-2
Class Audio CDs (2) 978-0-19-430512-9
Teacher's Pack 978-0-19-430041-4

Elementary, Pre-intermediate, and Intermediate levels are already available. Upper-intermediate available 2010.

I have the intermediate student’s and teacher’s books to review.
Description and Overview
English Result is a four-level adult course with what looks like excellent teacher support and resources. I see this book as General English as opposed to Business English.
First Impression is of clear contents pages, the book opens so that you can see the contents of six chapters at one time. There are 12 chapters. This two page structure is repeated throughout the book. I really liked this style because you go from the warmer to the ‘Put it all together section’ without having to turn the page which means the content is easily accessed and more importantly referred back to during the lesson. The pages are full of colour and very attractively illustrated, this will certainly appeal to the younger learner. For the teacher’s book I really love how the content of the student’s book is repeated in the teacher’s book with the comments and lesson ideas alongside. Does this mean that I no longer have to take two books to the lesson? If so that is a real boon for a teacher like me who is moving around constantly between lessons when carrying the student’s book and the teacher’s book along with the CD player etc becomes very tiring . The chapters contain practical outcomes which are said to take students from how?- to can do in every lesson.
New Teacher Resource Packs (available 2010) include photocopiable activities for every unit.
New Student's Book and DVD Packs (available 2010) include a DVD of culture-rich material
Extras are available on

Who is the book written for?
It is written for adults and young adult learners and focuses on increasing motivation of the learner by inciting curiosity, challenging the student and allowing space for personalization of the content. The idea of this and the other properties in the book is to attract student’s attention thereby increasing their motivation.

Structure of the book
The book is divided into twelve chapters and the contents pages show the Grammar, Vocabulary and pronunciation topics related to each chapter. Each chapter also has an essential review section.
Each chapter has a strong theme and also contains a writing section where the topic is strongly related to the theme of the chapter. At the end of the book there are Pairwork, Irregular verbs, Audio scripts, Grammar Bank and Pronunciation sections.
What do I especially like?
The layout is an excellent feature especially of the teacher’s book, and I really like the way the instructions for each task are place next to a copy of the task. In some books it is very hard to relate the teacher instructions or task answers to the exercise as the numbering systems are not always this clear. This is the best teacher’s book I have ever seen I think.
The review sections are also good features and I appreciate the additional material available on the website. Very few groups are, in my experience, either all at the same level or progress at the same speed, and it is great to have the chance to give the quicker students an extra task related to the topic in hand, without having to design the task yourself on the spot or find something out of the bottom of your bag.

Would I use it for my students?
Yes I would for sure, the next time I am asked to recommend something for a general English class this book will be the first one I will think of.
Unfortunately, it would not have much relevance for my current crop of Economics students but I am sure I will find a use for this book in the future.

New Inside out

New Inside Out – is the revised version of the original Inside Out course.
by Sue Kay and Vaughan Jones, with Peter Maggs and Catherine Smith
Published by Macmillian

Beginner, Elementary, Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, and Upper intermediate are now available.

Future releases: Advanced levels

Upper intermediate
Student’s book ISBN 978-0-230-00914-1
Workbook 978-0230-00923-3

New Inside Out includes the features from the original series - including the personalized speaking tasks - and has been extended with a lot of new features.
For example:
Useful phrases – a language bank of functional English, Vocabulary Extra pages.
Grammar sections – providing support needed for teaching grammar effectively.
New multimedia CD-ROM included with every Student’s Book. The workbook also has its own audio CD which covers the listening elements in the workbook.

Who is the book written for?
I have the Upper-intermediate to review, this book is written for adult students at the B2 level. In my opinion this is an excellent book for a higher level general English or conversation course. Perhaps also as a pre Cambridge FCE course. The workbook mirrors the topics in the student’s book and provides a good extension of the topics.

Structure of the book

The book contains 12 chapters covering a wide variety of general English topics, ranging from the historic story of the American Gold Rush to the pop queen Madonna, touching on the way some useful general topics such as charity, weddings and eating out. After each three chapters, there is a very useful review section.

What do I especially like?

I really like the illustrations; they are modern, colourful and interesting, including Obama and the very topical Secret DVD. I think they would interest and attract younger students who seem to expect more colourful books.

Would I use it for my students?

Yes, I think I would, if I had the correct type of group. Most of my students are older and more interested in Business English or English for Specific Purposes, so at the moment I do not have a suitable group.

East of the Sun

East of the sun- Julia Gregson ISBN 978-1-4091-251-9

East of the Sun Julia Gregson’s second novel is a wonderfully engrossing novel, telling the story of three young British women who leave cold cheerless England in search of a new life freedom and hopefully love in 1920s India. Gregson writes characters you can care about and this is what makes her writing such a pleasure to read.
In this book it is 1928, the three women are Rose, a beautiful but na├»ve bride-to-be, who is anxious about leaving her family, in particular her father who is ill, and also not sure about marrying a man she hardly knows. Victoria, her bridesmaid, she is a buxom but beautiful girl, who couldn’t be happier to get away from her overbearing mother to whom she will always be a disappointment. Victoria is determined to find herself a new future and a husband in India. Finally Viva, their totally inexperienced chaperone, is in search of the India of her childhood, trying to lay ghosts from the past and make a new life for herself. In order to pay her way she also take charge of a young man recently expelled from school who becomes an very significant figure in her future life.
They are each totally unprepared for the reality of the voyage and for the difference of life in India, even though Viva lived there as a small child. Reading this novel, written about the last days of the Raj is a wonderfully exotic experience as you read you can almost smell the spices and feel the summer heat.

The Water Horse

The Water House– Julia Gregson ISBN 0-75286-580-3

Julia Gregson’s first novel is the story of Catherine Carreg who comes from a beautifully described small Welsh village, it is set against the background of the Crimean War and sheds wonderful light on the position of a nurse in Florence Nightingale’s days. In fact Florence Nightingale herself is an important character in this novel which shows a side of this heroine of medicine which I had never even thought of before having been brought up to accept the accuracy of the historical accounts of her methods. However, this impression does have a ring of truth and perhaps draws back the curtain a little on a period of history.
Catherine was a wild child, a tomboy, who had been allowed to ride her ponies as she wished and who had developed a relationship with Deio who was the son of a cattle drover. Her life of freedom was about to change for ever and she decides to escape to London where via a position in a rest home for sick governesses in Harley Street, she eventually meets Florence Nightingale.
The war in the Crimea breaks out and reports of the conditions for the soldiers shock people, including Miss Nightingale who sets up an organization to send women of many classes out to Scutari . Catherine volunteers as a nurse and despite those around her, she manages to get to Scutari where the conditions are too horrible to believe. It is a living nightmare. Her idealistic notions are swept away as she battles first to actually be allowed to help and then to try to relieve the suffering of the dying men. Growing up quickly and painfully, and learning the hard lessons of war.
It is at this point that Deio comes back into her life and the love story begins again. …………….
The characters are very well drawn, and the writing is very skillful and quite unusual for this type of story. It is very hard to put down once you have started to read it. Julia Gregson writes a fabulous historical novel and I will look out for her future books.

The Water Horse on Amazon