Review written by Thomas Simon
If you are looking for a new business coursebook for low level learners then you are in luck as English for Business Life provides an attractive, mature & professional approach.
The Elementary (appropriate for a solid false beginner level) & Pre-Intermediate courses each consist of a coursebook & separate cd, a self-study guide with cd & a trainer's manual. The coursebook consists of:
- 36 units Elementary & Pre-Intermediate levels
- a glossary of business terms
- a grammar/language index
- a word list
- tapescripts of all listening activities
- answers in a detachable booklet
The layout of the books is attractive & business-like. There are colour photos throughout & all sections are clearly signposted. The authors give three approaches to using the material; fast track - 40 hours, standard track - 60 hours & comprehensive track - 90 hours, clearly of appeal to the corporate client.
Within each unit there are sections of key dialogues, study points, listening, guided practice, application & language notes. The practice sessions make heavy use of the generally under-used flow chart. The reading skill is given a back seat, there being hardly any reading texts in any of the material, but this would however be the easiest of the skills to supplement. Attention to pronunciation also seems to have been ignored.
The self-study guide follows the same topic units, replicating the language to give further consolidation. The cd not only provides repetition practice but also guided listening skills development.
I was impressed with the amount of language covered, all within the business context, for these low levels. The series now also has Intermediate & Upper Intermediate course packages. English Business Life is a very welcome series to the business English market & one that will that will be popular with both the business student & the teacher. Another one for the shelf.