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Review ~ Grammar Practice (Third Edition)

A pretty good series of grammar practice books that would be useful for students as a self-study tool or for teachers as an extra resource for grammar practice activities.
Reviewed for TEFL.net by Carla Wilson

Grammar Practice (Third Edition) is a grammar practice book series of four levels for elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate and upper-intermediate students. Each book is divided into two main sections: grammar and vocabulary. The grammar section is further dividedĀ into sections covering tenses, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs and comparison, nouns, pronouns and determiners, sentence and text structure and so on. The vocabulary section is divided into sections on prepositions, word formation, phrasal verbs and so on. Individual units cover points such as singular and plural nouns, order of adjectives, possibility and prefixes.

Each unit has a short explanation of the grammar point in level-appropriate language followed by several activities to practise using the grammar. The exercises are mostly “fill the gap”, “circle the correct answer” and transformation type activities.

This third edition has some new features including the vocabulary section in each book, a revised syllabus linked to the Council of Europe Framework, regular Check sections to review previous sections, and appendices covering areas such as spelling rules,irregular verbs and lists of common phrasal verbs.

The four books are linked to Council of Europe Framework (CEF) levels and Cambridge exams. The elementary book is suitable for Cambridge KET and CEF to A2. Pre-intermediate is suitable for Cambridge PET and CEF to B1. Intermediate is suitable for CEF towards B2. Upper intermediate is suitable for Cambridge FCE and CEF B2+.

This book is ideal as a self-study book for students and a reference book for teachers. It would also make a good homework book or a suitable classbook for grammar lessons. It could perhaps be used as part of a conversation class, for example to consolidate a grammar point practised during the class. It could even be the base text for a grammar-based speaking class, if the teacher generally has their own games and activities to practise grammar targets. The book could then be used either as preparation homework or review homework.

The lower level books would benefit from more pictures. The elementary and upper-intermediate books look very similar in terms of page layout, and while an upper intermediate student is probably not going to be daunted by the layout, an elementary student might be.

Many of the exercises provide too much information, so students have to change one small part of each sentence without much need to read the sentences. More pictures would have overcome this problem by providing only a visual hint. The student would then have had to produce the whole sentence rather than just having to transform a small part of it. Some exercises include a personalisation element where students have to make sentences that are true about themselves but these are too few. For this reason I don’t think the books really achieves their aim of making “the leap from practice to production more easily”.

The CD Roms seemed quite user-friendly. I did have some difficulty with initially loading the CD-Rom. I am not very good with computers so someone more computer literate may have fewer problems. I couldn’t get some activities to work such as clicking on words to put them in order to make a sentence. The activities I could do however were quite fun, and I think for students who have computer access it is more fun to do exercises that way than in a book. The CD Roms have an extra practice exercise for each unit as well as section checks and a final test. Overall I think this is a pretty good series of grammar practice books that would be useful for students as a self-study tool or for teachers as an extra resource for grammar practice activities.

Reviewed for TEFL.net by Carla Wilson
May 2008 | Filed under Grammar
Carla Wilson is a director at David English House in Hiroshima, Japan.

2 Comments on “Review ~ Grammar Practice (Third Edition)”

  1. Eliana Gentile Says:

    I`m a teacher of English in Argentina and I`m dealing with SOME-ANY-NO-NONE with adults and I need some grammar theory and exercises on this topic. could you please send me some?

  2. NATIA Says:

    IT IS A VERY GOOD BOOK

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