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Reviews - July 2016

Reviews - July 2016

Grammar Practice Intermediate

Herbert Puchta, Jeff Stranks and Peter Lewis-Jones, Helbling Languages;

978-3-8527-2427-0

This 88-page B1-level book for teen students takes a ‘fun’ approach to grammar, urging users to take regular grammar ‘workouts’. The full-colour drawings are gently humorous and help contextualise the language. The grammar points covered include phrasal verbs, time clauses, the third conditional and reported speech. Students can choose to study with the book or excellent CD-Rom, which contains animated cartoons featuring a mascot, Professor Grammar. Both contain clear grammar explanations, although I prefer to call ‘going to’ a future form rather than a future tense. The light-hearted approach should suit the target users. Enjoyable! 

Cultural Links – An exploration of the English-speaking world

Philippa Bowen and Margherita Cumino, Black Cat;

978-8-8530-0394-2

This 144-page book is divided into seven ‘files’ which contain facts about eight English-speaking countries, including Australia, Canada, South Africa and India. Each file contains information about geography, language, history, education and political systems. The second part of each file, called ‘global view’, examines issues like the environment and poverty. The range of topics covered is impressive, and includes the Troubles in Northern Ireland, slavery and Apartheid. The book includes language exercises and vocabulary activities. The content of the fact files should stimulate students to reflect on their own culture. The book will need regular updating to stay current.