Tim Falla and Paul A Davies, OUP;
The second edition of this five-level course for teenagers contains mostly new content. There are ten units. The book contains many one-page spreads, each packed with exercises and activities. Many of the topics are interesting, such as Kasper Hauser, the Eiffel Tower hoax and time capsules. The Vocabulary Builder section at the back is especially useful, and the book is supported by an app which provides further vocabulary practice. The ‘can do’ statements provided for each section are sometimes rather general. The book’s main strength is the provision of a lot of solid exam support material at B2 level. Worth investigation.
Jeremy Harmer and Jane Revell, Helbling;
This is the latest book in a six-level course for adult learners. Each of the twelve units contains three lessons. The book is full of stimulating material, especially on art and music. Some topic areas are familiar, such as stress and junk food. There are four two-page short stories at the back. I love the ground-breaking inclusion of QR codes in the workbook; students with a smartphone or tablet can scan them and go directly to a website. Many tasks are for self-study, such as Make a Video. One activity, where students draw a painting, is perhaps too ambitious. Engaging.