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Reviews in brief - June 2017

Solutions 2nd Edition Pre-Intermediate,
Tim Falla, Paul A Davies OUP; 9780194552875

This is the second edition of a five-level English course for teenagers. The ten units cover the grammar, vocabulary and language skills typical at A2/B1 level. Additional strands focus on culture and ‘everyday English’. The variety of topics covered is impressive and ranges from cyber-crime to body language.

I like the inclusion of lyrics from an Arctic Monkeys song, but am less convinced that fox-hunting is an ideal discussion topic. There is a strong focus on exam preparation. One highlight is the accompanying vocabulary review app. The advanced level of Solutions was reviewed here in June 2016

Teaching grammar: From Rules to Reasons,
Danny Norrington-Davies Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd; 9781911028222

This 195-page book claims to provide an ‘alternative view’ of grammar to those in coursebooks. Section one explores grammar, arguing convincingly that we should examine the ‘reasons’ behind the rules as these are wider than rules themselves, which are often vague. Two intriguing concepts are offered: ‘replication tasks’, where students reconstruct texts similar to those they have previously analysed, and ‘transposition tasks’, where content is re-created in a different medium. A newspaper article is re-formulated as an interview, for instance. Section two contains eighteen practical lessons. Finally, section three explores implications for teaching. This innovative book is theoretical and practical; fascinating.

Reviews by Pete Sharma for Bournemouth English Book Centre: www.bebc.co.uk