This text book gives the purchaser 24 months access to Macmillan Digital. It gives free online resources including planning templates, answers to exercises, proofreading checklists, exam revision exercises, and sample responses.
There are clear and practical strategies for dealing with the new study design throughout this text. Each section has a number of exercises which could easily be used as class exercises, group tasks, or set as individual homework or revision tasks. Each chapter gives students hints to improve their work and aim higher. It is an engaging and accessible resource for both the EAL and English study design. Where the two courses vary, there are clearly defined tasks for the two courses.
English/EAL: Steps to Success covers analytical, comparative and creative responses to texts, and analysing and presenting argument. While this text is aimed at Year 12 primarily, the information is equally relevant to Year 11 students. The text begins with some practical tips, hints and tasks for students preparing to begin their studies. This chapter contains a focus on organisation, study timetables and tasks to prepare for the formal study of the set course. There are some tips and hints we have found valuable to pass onto our current Year 11s before they begin again in 2017.
Each chapter gives the students a detailed explanation and information with study tips highlighted along the way. A series of exercises follows with links to the online resources. Each chapter ends with ‘Ten tips for successful…’. The chapter on the comparative task begins with ‘honing your skills’ with a series of seven exercises and seven links to the online resources. Students are then taken through the comparative analysis step by step from responding to a prompt through structures, planning and writing in a concise and easy to follow manner.
The chapter on ‘Analysing Arguments’ was the chapter I focused on in detail as the text arrived just as we were beginning revision. This chapter has a series of exercises with a focus on metalanguage and some excellent diagrams on structure, verbal and visual language. Rather than focusing on language techniques, this text steers students towards the intended impact and arguments of texts. There is a clear and straightforward template for the analysis task followed by sentence fragments and synonyms which my students found particularly helpful. The final chapters deal with exam preparation and tips for how to spend the time in the exam.
Overall, this text is an excellent resource for students of English. It would certainly be something I would recommend for either teacher resource material or book listed for students. It is affordable and full of exercises, tips and information which will help students of all abilities.
A sample chapter can be viewed at:
Reviewed by Tracey Schmidt, Mildura Senior College