Language Leader Intermediate

Authors: David Cotton, David Falvey, Simon Kent, David Alberry (Teacher’s Book); John Hughes (Workbook) Publisher: Pearson Longman Components: Course book and CD-ROM, Class CD, Teacher’s Book and Test Master CD-ROM, Workbook and Audio CD Summary: Motivational, inspirational, comprehensive, concise and relevant to today. Review: If the title Language Leader sounds familiar then it’s probably because […]
Reviewed for Teflnet by Dave Allen

Authors: David Cotton, David Falvey, Simon Kent, David Alberry (Teacher’s Book); John Hughes (Workbook)
Publisher
: Pearson Longman
Components
: Course book and CD-ROM, Class CD, Teacher’s Book and Test Master CD-ROM, Workbook and Audio CD
Summary
: Motivational, inspirational, comprehensive, concise and relevant to today.

Review:
If the title Language Leader sounds familiar then it’s probably because you are familiar with its predecessor, the successful business English textbook series, Market Leader. Written by the same authors, the language leader series is a General English textbook series.

The intermediate and upper-intermediate coursebooks are divided into 12 units with 5 lessons per unit. This makes the course a pretty weighty number and one which will fill most courses more than adequately. The first 3 lessons in each unit focus on the usual systems and skills work as most mainstream textbooks – with a good balance between reading and listening input texts, and some good longer listening texts too. Speaking activities include various info-gaps located at the back. Vocabulary and grammar is thoroughly developed throughout the units with the extra practice and reference sections at the back serving as useful extra class consolidation and self-study material. The organisation of vocabulary in these sections is a nice feature, and as it’s already so well-organised it is difficult for even the most scatter-brained learners to avoid the concept of grouping words to aid memorization!

The ‘Scenario’ tasks follow in each unit and are one of the best features. These real-life tasks feature in many business texts and are great for getting students to recycle language learnt in the previous lessons and for developing skills of problem-solving and decision-making using English. The tasks are balanced between individual, pair and group work and make up a full lesson if developed thoroughly. Input is presented in reading or listening texts and followed by a language focus before the main task. This is good for most teachers as it follows the well-known presentation then production procedure, and adds extra meat to the syllabus (as well as meeting CEF criteria).

What is best about Language Leader Intermediate (and the whole series, actually) is the choice of topics and the presentation of these in the books. The topics center around global issues and modern day themes which impact on all of our lives. There is a different country represented on almost every page in glorious and vivid colour, which makes this text a dream to teach from and an inspiration for adult language learners, both young and old.

The focus on writing throughout the book is something which reflects the changes in English teaching today and is likely to have beneficial impact on learners ability to not only improve their general communicative ability, but also to prepare them better for exams such as IELTS and other Cambridge examinations. The focus on study skills is also a note-worthy addition, providing explicit practice of learner strategies and skills which can help push learners up through the levels.

Another point of praise must be made to the CD-ROM, which is free with the coursebook and provides a wealth of extra practice and self-study material and tons of recycling of class input.

The workbook provides extra practice and fits neatly with the exercises in the coursebook. It is not a stand alone book, and is probably not necessary for many courses as the exercises in the coursebook and on the CD-ROM make a pretty dense course as it is.

The Teachers book is well-written and provides clear, accessible lesson plans for the everyday teacher to rock straight into when prep-time is short. The photocopiable activities at the back of this book are useful for giving further speaking practice and getting classrooms up-and-moving. These are very focused on the vocabulary learnt in the lessons and as such are good supplementary, but not stand-alone, activities.

Overall, this series leaves little negative to be said about it. It’s motivational, inspirational, comprehensive, concise and relevant to today. I am planning to use it in most of my general language classes, although the more academic bits of writing and note-taking will most likely be skipped for the housewife classes. All general English classes can be brightened up with this text series, from short summer courses to much longer courses. With Language Leader in hand, there is pretty much little else to prepare for – a very wise choice indeed.

Reviewed for Teflnet by Dave Allen
September 2008 | Filed under Level B

2 Comments on “Language Leader Intermediate”

  1. maría Says:

    I´ve been using Market Leader (all levels) for a few years and I have to say it´s been very useful for me and my students. Our target is “speaking”…giving opinion about business situations and “listening”. Now after reading this comment I´ll try to use “Language Leader”.

  2. Annette Says:

    I have just started using Language Leader and my impression of the book is very good. However, I am missing a vocabulary list per unit, in the book or online, can someone help?

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