The Business

Title: The Business (Intermediate)
Author: John Allison with Paul Emmerson
Publisher: Macmillan
Components: Textbook and DVD-ROM
Reviewed by: Lara Promnitz-Hayashi
Review date: November 2007
Summary: A good textbook for high Intermediate to Advanced level Business English students, with a very useful and easy to use DVD ROM.

The BusinessI must admit that my first impression looking at the cover The Business (a Business English textbook claiming to target Intermediate level) wasn't one of "oooompf". It looks rather boring, to be honest, and I was a little apprehensive to open it. Inside, though, was an improvement.

The textbook contains 8 units, which are then broken down into 6 modules each. These modules target different areas and are broken down into:

  1. About Business- information and useful language needed in the unit.
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Grammar- divided into two parts. The first is revision and the second contains practice activities for reinforcement.
  4. Speaking- including listening as well as oral tasks
  5. Writing- providing practice for writing important business documents, as well as examples.
  6. Case Study- giving opportunities to use vocabulary, phrases and skills studied in the unit.

In addition there are 8 reviews for consolidation, along with additional grammar activities and summaries at the back of the textbook. There are also additional materials, which can be used for pair/group work. There are full transcripts for all the audio recordings and there are wordlists for each unit providing pronunciation keys and definitions. The wordlists are colour-coded whereby words in black are words students need to understand, words in grey are words students may not know and words in red are useful words to be learnt and used. I found the wordlists very useful as they were detailed compared to the average textbook, which just lists the vocabulary alphabetically at the end of the text.

Another good point about this textbook was the DVD-rom, which accompanied it. The DVD-rom contains all the Audio Recordings; Video, with situations and communication showing the skills students need with exercises for practice; Business Documents, for reinforcement along with tests; Grammar Reference, with rules and examples; Tests- 4 tests for every 2 units; and an Interactive Workbook. Students can also download the answers for the textbook activities. In addition, it contains files with text needed for business documents and there are downloadable MP3 files of all the audio recordings so students can listen anywhere, anytime.

The textbook was set out clearly and is easy to follow. I found it useful, as the content is modern and relevant to business English students. The DVD-rom is easy to navigate and has so many useful features. I found that a bonus.

The only negative aspect of The Business is that when you open the textbook there is so much text. My Intermediate students panicked and struggled with the text content. There were some easier sections, but overall I would recommend it for very high Intermediate to Advanced students only. ESL Reviews & ArticlesLara Promnitz-Hayashi has been teaching Business English for 3 years and has taught English for about 10 years overall in Japan. She is currently doing an MA in Applied Linguistics.