Michael Swan and Catherine Walter (Oxford University Press 2011)
This book is aimed at intermediate and upper intermediate students seeking to improve their knowledge of English Grammar and is based on British English. Both authors will be well known to teachers for their wide range of publications, such as Practical English Usage by Michael Swan (Oxford University Press 2005).
There are two versions of the book – one with and the other without a CD ROM that aims to improve pronunciation. The 22 sections each contain a presentation page setting out a point of grammar followed by several short units with explanations and exercises, and then more practice pages and a revision test. No answers are provided so the book is not suitable for self-study without the support of a teacher. (A version with answers is also available.)
Some units are offered at two levels. The first titled ‘Revise the Basics’ aims to revise elementary points of grammar whereas the second contains more advanced materials. In addition to the grammar sections, there are seven appendices covering topics such as irregular verbs and word order and the book includes a comprehensive index.
Even as a paperback the book is too large to slip into a jacket pocket, so it is appropriate for student use in the classroom or at home.
This is a thoroughly modern grammar book, clearly presented, with helpful use of colour and a website offering further diagnostic and revision tests. Teachers without access to a colour photocopier should be aware of the danger of losing some of this clarity, as well as the requirement to have authorisation from the publishers to take copies.
Freelance – Stirling