Inspiration 1 and 2

Judy Garton-Sprenger, Philip Prowse (Macmillan Education 2011)
ISBN 978-0-230-40847-0 (SB1); 978-0-230-41238-5 (TB1+CDs)
ISBN 978-0-230-40848-7 (SB2); 978-0-230-41242-2 (TB2+CDs)
These books are for CEFR A1-A2 & A2-B1 level students, taking teenagers from beginner to intermediate level. Inspiration 1 focuses more on day-to-day vocabulary, expressions and situations, using techniques such as repetition and drilling, emphasizing pronunciation. Inspiration 2 goes further in the descriptions of more mature topics, making students think or get their emotions involved.
Both Students’ Books contain a variety of attractive, imaginative and authentic topics with colorful photo-stories that teenagers can relate to (Lady Gaga, Harry Potter, etc.)
They follow the same format:

• They start by a welcome section
• They are divided into 8 units which contain language workouts (Grammar Boxes highlighting the target language), extensions, extras (e.g. added ‘your choice’ activities, more revisions and extensions) and a cultural section
• Each pair of units is introduced by a double page spread preview and concluded by a self-assessment in the review section
• Finally, there is a language file reference (including extra grammar exercise, full paradigms and explanations), a word list (key vocabulary organized in lexical sets), a pronunciation guide and irregular verbs.

The activities promote learner independence (i.e. language workout boxes can be done at any time to suit anyone’s need) and evolve with the students, reflecting their changing needs and interests. The extensions, included in the lesson activities, allow stronger students of mixed-ability classes to go further.

The New Inspiration series is clearly designed for teenagers, with bright colours on each page and teenagers featured in many photographs. The four-level course adds some exciting new characteristics perfect for motivating and challenging teenage students. They have more opportunities to express their own opinions, using modern vocabulary and expressions with texts and tasks that engage both their thoughts and emotions.

Although this might feel, at times, too engaging for more conventional students, every learner can independently choose their own aspiration to learn through the four skills, and a clear framework for grammatical and lexical progress.

However, obstacles can occur due to the online learning as the learner will require reliable internet access and will also need to have good IT skills. At times, it also feels that it is a prerequisite for the learner to have a certain level of vocabulary and grammar to follow some material.

The Student’s Books 1 & 2 are supplemented by their corresponding Workbooks, Teacher’s Books with photocopiable material, class and test audio CDs. There is also an interactive classroom and teacher website (www.macmillanenglish.com/inspiration), and finally, free access to Inspiration Practice Online (www.macmillanpracticeonline.com/newinspiration) for one year from activation of your IPO.

New Inspiration 1 (& 2) Practice Online contains over 130 (& 140) interactive resources designed to practice grammar, vocabulary syllabus, pronunciation and listening comprehension, as well as exam practice and games. The course also includes new reading resources and video activities complementing the language and skills covered in the student’s book, offering students flexible extra practice. Students can work on their English, whether at work, in class or on the move.

 

Nathalie Giret
PDA ITESOL Tutor, Aberdeen
(February 2012)