Just Grammar
Just Reading and Writing

Title: Just Grammar (Intermediate)
Just Reading and Writing (Intermediate)
Authors: Jeremy Harmer, Hester Lott
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Summary: A very successful attempt to combine learning process, pleasure, and development of an intelligent person.
Reviewed by: Darya Bashlakova
Review date: January 2005

To begin with I'd like to say that these books are of real help to those who work with adolescent and adult intermediate learners. They contain up-to-date texts that provoke a lot of response, marvellous illustrations (huge thanks to the cartoonist, your pictures were very vivid and funny, we sometimes couldn't help laughing), well-structured and logically-organized exercises (beginning with simple ones and leading to mixed activities). A lot of attention is paid to enriching the vocabulary of the students, rules are given in simple, clear words, and topics included are of interest for learners.

My students and I especially liked the Section Cs, which are very original, creative and stimulating. For me, as a representative of Russian culture, the story about Eugene Onegin was particularly interesting. These are the first books I have come across where there is a special focus on writing SMS text messages, on buying goods on-line, on distinguishing different genres, etc. There is a lot of educational potential in these books as well. The information about the Great Pyramid, the Titanic, Thomas More, the Roman Army, etc. helped not only to brush up grammar but also to enrich and broaden my students' outlook. Some extra data about life in Great Britain, samples of surveys, library rules and diagrams gave us a closer look at your culture and mentality.

I was really fond of trying out these books but if I were the author of these books I would add some more pre-reading activities that introduce each story to students, and some more communicative grammar exercises that prompt students to use grammar in speech. To sum up, I'd like to recommend these books to all teachers who would like to make their lessons more productive and compelling, and to help their students be more enthusiastic and eager to learn English in and out of the classroom (as these books can easily be used as self-study resources, too). I am confident these books will be of benefit for both teachers and learners.

TEFL.net ESL Reviews & ArticlesDarya Bashlakova