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SK London

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A Handbook of Spoken Grammar (Delta Language Practice)
A Handbook of Spoken Grammar (Delta Language Practice)
by Ken Paterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 18.36

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That rarity - a truly useful new EFL book, 18 Jan 2012
As an EFL teacher, once you've seen and used a certain number of TEFL books, there is a slight tendency to feel that there is nothing new under the sun. Having used the Handbook of Spoken Grammar several times with a good intermediate level class, I can confidently say that it offers something new, refreshing and very innovative in both its approach and the practical value it delivers to students and teachers. As well as being suitable for self-study, the book can also be used in class to help students speak far more naturally by learning and practising a carefully thought through series of key natural language structures that are in general use by native speakers. It is also worth pointing out that this book is not about ephemeral trendy speech that can sound ridiculous when used by learners of a foreign language, but is focused on durable language that we all use in coversation every day.
The book also passes my usability test. You can pick it up and use it with ease, without the need to wrestle with the layout, organisation and instructions for each unit.
Well worth the money.

Motorola Defy + Sim-Free Smartphone
Motorola Defy + Sim-Free Smartphone
Offered by save4shop
Price: 129.99

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sound, Unpretentious Smartphone, 28 Oct 2011
I have had a Motorola Defy + (or'Motorola Defy Plus') for about 10 days. This is a slightly updated version of the original Motorola Defy. Previously I was a Blackberry user and this is my first Android phone and first phone without a physical keyboard.
In a nutshell, I am extremely happy so far, as this is a very compact, light, easy to use, stable and reliable device.
The on-screen keyboard works really well, it only took me a few hours to get used to it. Initially I used the built-in Swype keyboard option, but later tried the standard Android keyboard and found the latter to work perfectly well for me. Portrait mode works best for me (quicker around the smaller spaces between letters) and I can type more quickly and comfortably than on my old Blackberry! Even on an unsteady crowded London Underground train it is easy to churn out messages and navigate around the phone. I wasn't expecting that - it has been a pleasant surprise.
The Android software is great and very intuitive to use, even for a beginner like me. Lots of apps, including plenty of free or advertising powered ones and the list is growing all the time. Even NatWest has just launched a version of their mobile app for Android - something I was expecting to have to do without when ditching my Blackberry.
The device itself is well-made and in my opinion the perfect size for a phone. I nearly went for a device with a bigger 4.3 inch screen, but having looked at those mega-phones in shops, I decided that it might be a bit like putting a table-tennis bat in your pocket when out and about. A phone should be discreet and easy to stash in a front pocket. The Defy + fits the bill perfectly and the screen is big enough and easy to see in all lighting conditions.
I was anticipating all sorts of hassle in getting all my contacts, calendars, pictures and music etc. onto the phone; it's always a big deal upgrading these things, but I can honestly say the whole process was pretty much hassle free. Yes it took time, but everything worked as it should, with no unexplainable hiccups.
Battery life seems to be par for the course for a modern smartphone. I've been using it pretty heavily every day - downloading and installing new apps, surfing the web, listening to music, using the camera, GPS etc. for several hours quite intensively every day. By the end of the day, the battery is down to 20 - 30% and has never packed up during the day. Basically, you'll need to recharge this thing every night, but it should never let you down during the course of a full-on 12 - 18 hour day. However, if you forget to recharge it overnight, you'll be lucky to make it to lunch on day 2. I've knocked a star off for the battery life, but I doubt there are any better alternatives out there. Obviously, if you are a light user it will probably last far longer on a charge.
Reception, sound quality and all the basic stuff works perfectly.
Oh, the icing on the cake? The Defy + is semi-ruggedised (although it doesn't look like an ugly rubber-clad industrial tool!), which means it should stand up to a fair bit of moisture, dust and general knocking about; all this for less than 250 for an unlocked phone which you can then team up with a SIM-only tariff of your choice. I think it is a bargain, especially compared to some of the pricier alternatives out there. Buy one, you won't regret it.

Quick January 2012 update to my original review - I have now had the phone for 3 months. No problems to report whatsoever, it remains highly dependable and extremely useful. Can't imagine life without it now!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2011 10:34 PM GMT

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