English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 27.1
EA Journal Volume 27 No 1 81 Language study follows, including expressions to learn, new words to use and a language check. It is worth noting that the grammar point is not covered extensively and is more like a review and consolidation than an actual teaching point. However, there is extended grammar help and practice at the back of the book and you are directed to the exact page, which makes it easy to access. This is helpful, as students at this level may need their grammar and structures reinforced with practice exercises before they are expected to successfully produce the required language in a meaningful way. Depending on the level and needs of the class, I feel that a teacher would probably need to provide additional practice of the grammar point, using the Workbook or another source. Finally, the last two sections of each chapter incorporate another listening exercise and a production activity. The activity always involves working with a partner and is a specific, topic-related task that can be completed orally (or occasionally in writing), using the expressions, vocabulary and structures addressed in the chapter. This final task really brings together the different elements of the chapter, and a good deal of time should be dedicated to it – however, due to its position and layout (end of the chapter, tucked into the lower right hand corner), teachers might be inclined to skim over it or not leave themselves enough time to complete it thoroughly. Stronger graphics could have been used to highlight its importance. The chapters in Highly Recommended 2 are only two pages each and could in fact be covered quite quickly. However, the Workbook allows for additional structure practice, vocabulary practice and reading comprehension tasks. As there is no reading comprehension in the Student’s Book, its inclusion the Workbook gives the teacher the option of incorporating reading into the course or setting it as homework, as required. Usually I find that workbooks are not an integral part of a series and tend to be used only when the teacher has exhausted the resources in the textbook, but in this case the Workbook is a worthy companion and would be used regularly. The Teacher’s Book, on the other hand, seems an unnecessary purchase. It contains notes on how to teach each chapter with additional ideas for revising the previous chapter, but these notes simply state the obvious and would only really be useful to a very inexperienced teacher who needed some assistance interpreting and using the material. It also contains answers to the listening exercises, but these are easily found by examining the listening scripts provided in the back of the Student’s Book. Overall the layout of the book is very appealing and the content is practical and theme-appropriate. The contents chart at the beginning of the book clearly lays out the different communicative areas and related situations/functions and structures, making it easy for teachers to focus on areas most relevant to their students’ needs.
English Australia Journal 27.2