Elevator International 2A visually appealing course, comprehensive for students and teachers alike.
This new Pre-Intermediate book from Richmond is visually impressive and up to date. The bright pages draw the student and teacher in and there are a range of practice activities, both receptive and productive throughout the 3 double-spread sections that make up each unit. Sounds good? I thought so!
The course is traditional in its PPP approach, and the “Elevator” theme is expanded with each unit having 1st and 2nd ‘Floors’ offering language presentations and guided practice through mainly receptive tasks. The 3rd ‘Floor’ offers a task-based activity more freely practising the language learnt. After every 2 Units there is a Revision stage, useful for summarising the grammar and vocabulary covered and re-focusing students.
All the key language points that you would expect the see at Pre-Intermediate level are covered, and the grammar presentations are clear and concise in the Student’s Book itself. There is further practice through the workbook and the Language Lift Supplement, thereby offering a comprehensive course. The Teacher’s book is great, both for newer teachers and the more experienced alike. It guides the teacher through the lesson, and offers much more than the expected answers to the class questions- there are lists of vocabulary to be pre-taught, grammar guidance (including notes on common areas of difficulty for students), extension activity ideas, and the teacher is clearly directed to the workbook and Resource book follow-on exercises.
The audio texts are appropriate and increase in difficulty throughout the course without ever being too challenging, and the transcripts are included at the back of the Student’s Book- something that I personally find a useful addition for students. On the subject of listening exercises, one thing that I particularly liked about the Coursebook was the quantity of listening opportunities that occurred throughout each unit, and how they were incorporated into the lesson content in a natural way, offering good continuity for the class.
The resource book is great. Communicative activities, songs and tests are a welcome addition and will save the teacher a lot of preparation time. It has my vote!
Too good to be true? Well, let me discuss some of the downsides.
I felt the Language Lift, although an excellent idea, was in places too wordy and complicated for students of Pre-Intermediate level. This could be intimidating for students to be presented with at the start of their course.
Despite my previous enthusiasm about the Resource book, I would add that the language being covered isn’t always directly related to what was presented in the Coursebook. For example, part of the theme of Unit 1 is home and furniture, practised through the present simple and continuous. However, the resource book activity practises furniture shopping on a budget (negotiating the prices of each item) followed by prepositions of place to arrange the furniture in the home… but this language hasn’t yet been introduced in the Coursebook. I’d suggest the course writer is perhaps a little ambitious in the material for the first couple of Units, but after that the course settles down and proceeds in a steadier manner, with the additional activities corresponding more closely to the main course structure.
It’s worth noting that the workbook has the answer key at the back. Different teachers have differing opinions about the validity of this, depending on how you plan to use the workbook in class and/or at home. However, it complements the Coursebook well and is a highly useful addition, saving the teacher from having to find more exercises with which to supplement the main material.
Despite these minor criticisms, I am impressed by the book. I think it would provide a good General English course for teenagers and younger adults, being interesting without trying to be too ‘cool’. It is certainly very comprehensive, and the different components for the most part complement each other and provide complete practice of the language being covered.
May 2010 | Filed under Level B
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