Review: Hip Hip Hooray!Colourful books that cover a good balance of skills and are suitable for a variety of ages and levels
Pearson Longman has just released the second edition of their Hip Hip Hooray! series. The series has six different levels with a Student Book, Workbook, Phonics Book, Teacher’s Edition, Class Audio CDs, Activity cards, Picture cards, Poster pack and Active Teach for IWB.
The Student Books are colorful and very easy to use. The very first page is an Evaluation Sheet where students can receive a written comment and rating as they progress through the sections in the book. There is a simple Contents page, followed by a more detailed Syllabus page. The Syllabus sets out each unit clearly with the grammar and vocabulary covered for each. This makes planning or review much easier. There is an alphabetized Wordlist at the back of the book with corresponding page numbers, which is extremely useful, and the higher level texts also have a Verb List.
Each unit covers the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking. All of the stories, songs and readings are included on the CD which accompanies the Student Book. Other listening activities require the Class CDs. In the lower levels each unit has a story, song, writing, listening and speaking activities, whereas the higher levels have reading exercises rather than songs. The units are nicely divided so that students are doing different activities regularly and don’t get bored. The last activity is something fun, e.g. a game or role play, and there is a test at the end of each unit, with a Review after every 2 units for reinforcement. Each level also has a Workbook available and is directly related to the student book. All listening is available on the accompanying CD.
When reviewing this text, I used it with my primary aged students and also with my own 4 children. My students liked the fact that the story starts and then there are activities before the story continues, because it kept them interested. They also liked the fact that the speed on the CDs was appropriate. Too often the CD speed is too fast, but these were just right. Both my students and my children unanimously found the books easy to follow and liked that there were a number of interesting activities. They also liked that some pictures were animated, whereas other pictures were real.
The only pitfall they all agreed on is the Story pictures. As the books go up in level the pictures seem to change according to age rather than level. The pictures in the level 1 Story are very cute little animals which are appealing only for very young students. My older students who are just starting to learn English didn’t like the story pictures at all as they felt they were too old for them, and the boys were embarrassed. My own six year old son preferred the Level 5 pictures, which are directed at much older students. Unfortunately, the texts also don’t seem to take into account the fact that age and levels don’t always go together. Having said that, my students, my children and I do like the books and will continue to use them.
July 2010 | Filed under Young Learners
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