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13-16 Year Old Children's Lessons / Adult English Lessons / Standard Classes / Textbook Reviews

ESL Textbook Review – Communicate 1 and 2

In this article were going to take a look at the “communicate” series of textbooks written by David Paul and published by Macmillan Heinmann. There are two books in the series, “Communicate One” and “Communicate Two”. The books are aimed at beginners and lower intermediate students. A teacher’s book, workbook and audio recordings can be downloaded for free off of their website. Each book has 30 lessons. Each lesson could take up anywhere from 40 minutes to 70 minutes depending on which activities you choose to do.

Contents

Now that we have gotten the specifics out of the way let’s talk a little bit about these books. The books’ lessons are pretty basic. On the first 2 pages you start off having two short conversations that include the key point that you are trying to teach for that lesson. Basic warm-up questions and related “personalization” questions are also presented.On the next page you have some controlled practice where students have to look at various pictures and use the key point of the lesson to create sentences.The next page has another warm-up section which adds to the previous key points from the earlier conversations. After that you have another short conversation which expands on the previous conversations as well as a wordplay joke in each conversation.On the next page you have three different activities that you can do with the students or they can do among each other to practice the lesson’s key point.Then on the last page are some review exercises. On the review page there is an area titled “Personal Record”. This has 4 to 8 questions depending on the lesson that include the lesson’s key point and can also be used in everyday conversations.

[orbit_imagebox_1 animate=”animate_none” main_title=”What you need to know” sub_title=”Communicate 1 and 2″ type=”fontawesome” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-check-square-o” box_bg_color=”#ffffff” img_border_color=”#00bee9″ svg_type=”” main_title_color=”#00bee9″ icon_bg_color=”#00bee9″ icon_color=”#ffffff” attachment_id=”4495″]Type of Class: Conversation/Speaking Class
Student Age Range: from 15 and up
Price: $29.99
Author: David Paul
Publisher: Heinemann
Website: http://ltprofessionals.com/en/books/communicate[/orbit_imagebox_1]

The Good

The conversations themselves are generally good even though occasionally I do see some slightly “old” vocabulary such as “disco” instead of “club” but the strength of the conversations is that each lesson’s conversation introduces 10 different characters and gives them a story that evolves over the two textbooks. In this way a lot of my students often enjoy talking about the various trials and tribulations of the different characters. It’s a small detail but is something that I don’t see too often in other textbooks. The wordplay joke based conversation on the fourth page is a great idea that I often found myself skipping during the lesson because it takes too much time up. The real strength in this textbook is the fifth page that has all of the different activities and games that you can use to practice the key point of the lesson. Generally I found that all of the exercises were easy to set up and ended up being great practice for the students. In fact, even if I was using a different textbook I would often come back to “Communicate” activities and games to use with different textbooks.

The teachers books and workbooks are free and pretty useful. The teachers book provides photocopiable pages that you can use with your exercises and activities. The teachers book also has various warm-up activities and ideas for transitioning between the different parts in the textbook. Most of them are very sound and practical.

The Bad

There really isn’t too much bad about this textbook or the series. There really aren’t any grammar explanations.There are example sentences that you can use but if you are a new teacher and you’re not used to explaining different grammatical points this could be a little difficult. There aren’t any listening exercises nor are there many vocabulary specific exercises. This is mainly a communication focused textbook.

Conclusion

Would I recommend this textbook? Absolutely. This is one of my favorite textbooks that I’ve used over the years. It’s great for high schools, it’s great for adults, it’s great for any students that have a basic understanding of grammar and vocabulary but no experience actually using English in conversations. Even if the rest of the book was terrible (which it’s not) I would recommend this textbook simply for the exercises and activities.

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Randy League owns an English School in Japan and has been teaching English for 20 years. In his free time he trains MMA , plays video games and studies Japanese.

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