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Books of the month

April 22, 2009

Hello again,

This month’s books form a series published by Summertown , a publisher set up in 1998 to specialise in ELT. The series is called 50 ways to improve your English…without too much effort. There are five books...

... aimed at business English students and the topics covered are: business English; telephoning and teleconferencing; ; presentations; business English using the Internet ; and intercultural awareness.

I am recommending them because they are really helpful self-study books and students often ask us to suggest materials they can use on own, after their course or in tandem with it. So many books are based on the student’s book/teacher’s book model that those for genuine self study are few and far between.

I think the format is really helpful in that it chops the topics up into manageable chunks . So if we look at 50 ways to improve your business English we find the contents are easy to navigate allowing the learner to choose the areas s/he wishes to work on. For example, students wishing to improve their performance in meetings can turn directly to that section and then work on specific tips, such as using a clear agenda, learning key words, making themselves heard, summarizing and building a safety net. Thus they can set themselves specific targets in pursuit of the wider objective. And all the items are manageable so that learners don’t feel overwhelmed. Thus a section on vocabulary for meetings encourages the student by saying: There are about fifteen common meeting words and phrases you need. You should know them. They are useful in both formal and informal meetings.
Each book also gives a list of materials for further study.

All in all, then, this is a useful series that can enhance students’ learning skills and strategies without overlapping with work in progress in the classroom.

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