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The book of the month: December / January 2017


Mindset for IELTS
Student’s book 2
Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 978-1-316-64026-5

This comprehensive multi-level course is for students preparing for the Ielts exam. Book two is for students with a target score of 6.5.

The 208-page student’s book contains eight units, covering topics like education, media, business and travel.

Each unit is organised by language skill, and one outstanding feature of Mindset is that teachers can choose to teach the material by topic or by skill. They can further customise a course by selecting from a range of online modules including academic and language-specific material.

The coverage of learning strategies is impressive, with useful tips provided for each skill. I particularly like the mind-map templates for brainstorming ideas before writing.

Users will certainly gain plenty of relevant exam practice.

A well-designed flexible corpus-based course; highly recommended.

Reviews in brief

Focus on Reading Oxford Key Concepts for the language classroom,
Esther Geva and Gloria Ramírez.
OUP, ISBN: 978-0-19-400312-4

Like other books in this innovative series, Focus on Reading links research and practice, concentrating specifically on learners aged 5–18. It provides various theoretical frameworks, explores their pedagogical implications and, finally, establishes ‘what we know now.’ Five chapters analyse what is involved in reading comprehension, considering a range of issues such as how reading in L1 facilitates reading in L2, authentic versus graded reading material and the challenges of academic texts. I enjoyed learning about the characteristics of online reading and ‘assistive technologies’, and the transition between ‘learning to read’ and ‘reading to learn’. The 10-page glossary is helpful. Fascinating.

In company 3.0 Investment Student’s Book Pack, Ed Pegg,
Macmillan ISBN: 978-1-786-32886-1

This updated book is packed with practical exercises that systematically address common areas of pronunciation over sixty two-page units. These areas are sounds, stress, intonation, speed, tone and accents. The final reference section is especially helpful and includes a guide for speakers of specific languages to help them decide which pronunciation areas to work on. A clear south-of-England model is provided for students to practise, and a variety of accents to listen to. With over four hours of audio material available online, I think this comprehensive and accessible book for B1–B2 students works best for self-study. Worth investigation.

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