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Book Review
December 2000

Title: Grammar In Context - Book One
Editor: Sandra N. Elbaum
Publisher: Heinle & Heinle

Grammar In Context, Book One is the first part of a three-part grammar series for adult students of English as a Second Language. It's designed for the high beginning to low advanced instructional levels. Grammar in Context is organized as follows:

  1. Lesson Focus,overview and brief explanation of the grammar points covered.
  2. Pre-Reading Questions, to stimulate students' interest in the topic.
  3. Introductory Readings,uses high-interest readings to illustrate new grammar points about American life with stories of famous people and events. The stories are written in a simple level to target the grammar,
  4. Grammar Boxes & Language Notes. Special attention is given to common trouble spots with the use of simple language and examples.
    Exercises. There is a great variety of exercise types to reduce boredom.
  5. Expansion Activities. These activities, grouped at the end of each lesson, allow students to use the points covered in more ways. This includes pair work, group discussions, writing poetry, famous quotes and sayings.
  6. Editing Advice. Covered issues presented showing students common errors and ways to correct them.
  7. Summary. Overall review of all of the grammar presented in the chapter,
  8. Test/Review, allows teacher and students to evaluate the mastery of the concepts covered.
  9. Appendices, provide useful information in list or chart form. They're cross-referenced throughout the text.
Some of the topics for the high-interest reading are:
Facts About Americans Disneyland
Jobs of the Future Smoking
A Healthy Diet The Drug Problem
Medicine Halloween
Christmas in the U.S. An American Wedding
The Fourth of July Agent Orange
Student Life Names
An Apartment Lease Home Schooling
Illegal Aliens Football and Soccer
Job Resumé and Cover Letter  
Reviewed by: Janet Coulter,
ESL Instructor GCCC Finney County Community Learning Center
Garden City, Kansas

Title: Transitions, An Interactive Reading, Writing and Grammar - Second Edition, Linda Bates, University of California-Davis, Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Intended Skill Areas/Level: Intermediate to low advanced ESL students. In our system, it is best suited for grades 11 and upwards, or Adult Non-tradtional Students
The format is for the student with advanced Reading Skills. However, it can be easily translated by a multi-lengual instructor well versed in the use and understanding of other languages and their cultures.

This book is divided into three parts, including eleven chapters, plus Appendixes and a Glossary.

This text is excellent for use by the advanced student of any language, learning to write in English for translation into any other language. This text allows these advanced learners of English to utilize the transitions of literature to enhance his or her writings and the ability to then enhance the intricacies of both languages of either their new English or the languages of their ancestors.

I find that no single language is the best for writing of literature in any form of prose. The expression of one's thoughts can have different meanings from one language to another. This text allows the user to move between languages to express any group of expressions for the reader'' complete understanding, in whatever language desired.

This text would have been of great use to me in years past. I will use the ideas and techniques from this text for my advanced ESL Adult students in the future.

Reviewed by:
Donald E. Blackman, USA Retired, DA
Garden City Community College
Finney County Community Learning Center
Garden City, Kansas