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Reviews - March 2016

Grammar and Vocabulary for First and First for Schools

Barbara Thomas, Louise Hashemi and Laura Matthews, Cambridge English;

978-1-1074-8106-0

This 255-page book covers the grammar and vocabulary for two Cambridge FCE exams. It is divided into two sections: grammar and vocabulary. The grammar section contains 24 units. Each item is presented in context through audio recordings, conveniently available online, followed by grammatical explanations and practice exercises. The twenty vocabulary units are theme-based, and the book draws on the Cambridge English Corpus. The ‘error warnings’, drawn from the Cambridge Learner Corpus, are useful. There is a concise summary of the exams, and plenty of exam practice exercises. I love the two-page spread on learning and revising vocabulary. Impressive and thorough.

 

Business Result, Upper Intermediate

Michael Duckworth and Rebecca Turner, OUP;

978-0-1947-3940-5

Business Result first appeared in 2008 and now includes an interactive workbook and video material on DVD-Rom. The video clips include dramatised business scenarios, documentaries and interviews with real working people; they provide useful and interesting content. There are sixteen units. The one-page case studies are short and straightforward, and include input from the Cranfield School of Management through ‘Expert View’ sections which add authority to the course. The material can be done in a streamlined way by following a ‘fast-track’ option. Each page has a crisp, smart design. I especially like the units on decision-making, culture and appraisals. Recommended.