New First Certificate Language Practice Grammar and Vocabulary

Michael Vince (Macmillan 2009)
ISBN: 978-0-2307-2709-0 (without key)

This book is aimed at consolidating grammar and building vocabulary, and targets higher level students, predominantly students at intermediate level and above.

Each unit deals with a different grammar point with some very useful examples of the grammar followed by practice exercises for the students to complete. The exercises take a number of different forms, e.g. multiple choice/gapfill/matching. There are helpful sections at the end of each unit, called Key points, providing clarification and highlighting important information on context and also cross referencing with other units. In addition, there are consolidation sections reviewing three units at a time – these are useful as a guide/check for student and teacher, or could even be used for assessment purposes.

Following the grammar units there are 21 units dedicated to vocabulary, which are mainly topic based with some focus on collocation and affixation. Again these could make excellent extension activities for the classroom, or as a homework exercise.

The book is well designed with a clear layout and there are no strong colours that cause any issues when photocopying. There are very occasional cartoons used throughout the book and always linked to context.

The most obvious drawback with the book is that this version doesn’t have a key, which could result in increased preparatory time for teachers if they wanted to use the exercises as part of their lesson. Students wanting to the book as a self-study tool could be advised to purchase the edition with the key. Also, the CD-ROM proved difficult to access and didn’t provide any guidance on the operating system required for the CD.
Colette Mimnagh
INTO Scotland,
Glasgow Caledonian University