Where teachers meet and learn

English File Third Edition: Intermediate Plus: Student’s Book with DVD-ROM

Book Review: ETAS Journal Volume 32 Number 1 Winter 2014

Christina Latham-Koenig, Clive Oxenden, and Mike Boyle

Oxford University Press (2014)

ISBN 978-0-19-455831-0

168 pages, paperback

This course from OUP aims to help learners make the jump from Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate (B1/B2) by providing motivating but challenging consolidation and extension of knowledge of high-frequency words and phrases and basic grammar, presented in the form of engaging material to encourage students to communicate. The can-do approach and short input sections give the learners the feeling that they can enjoy using their language without getting bogged down in over-exploited, laboured texts and exercises.

I particularly like the colourful, engaging, and cleverly used graphics and the modern topics which deal with real, everyday life such as doing internships and binge TV viewing as well as practical English (for travellers, students, visitors, and so on). Younger learners will be able to relate to these topics and older ones will learn something new. Often, coursebooks present issues which are too intellectual or academic for the average learner, which can alienate them. The tongue-in-cheek, playful humour will appeal to teachers as well as learners.

There are lots of extras in the Teachers Book, Work Book, and usual channels to practise grammar and vocabulary in more depth, but students will appreciate the audio recordings of reading texts as well as the videos in the Practical English sections, allowing them to consolidate learning in their own time and at their own pace. All in all, this course encourages the learners to take control of their learning and enjoy it at the same time.

If you are looking for a General English course at B1+/B2 level, which will appeal to ages 17-75, you should take a look at this one. It is based on British culture but exploits themes which learners all over the modern world can relate to. You can even learn how to write a LinkedIn profile, which is surely more relevant to the majority of today’s learners than writing an essay on ‘Reading a good book versus watching TV’.

Helena Lustenberger