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Z. Eglite (Riga, Latvia)
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Introducing Second Language Acquisition (Cambridge Introductions to Language and Linguistics)
Introducing Second Language Acquisition (Cambridge Introductions to Language and Linguistics)
by Muriel Saville-Troike
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life-saver for students of applied linguistics, 2 April 2010
This book was lent to me by my tutor as an introductory textbook in the field of language acquisition. In fact I found it to be a real life-saver! The book is very well structured. It can be read from cover to cover, but is also useful as a reference for finding information on the main authors (Chomsky et al), ideas, concepts (e.g. inter-language) in the field.

I wish I could have it on my book-shelf! :)


How Languages are Learned (Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers)
How Languages are Learned (Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers)
by Patsy M. Lightbown
Edition: Paperback
Price: 19.80

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very general overview, 2 April 2010
A good read, but I felt like it touches upon important names and subjects just in passing. For teachers-to-be and students of linguistics I would rather recommend Introducing Second Language Acquisition by Saville-Troike, which I found better structured, explaining clearly the concepts and terminology of the field, as well as giving photos and short bios of the main authors in the field.


Improve your IELTS Writing Skills: Study Skills
Improve your IELTS Writing Skills: Study Skills
by Sam McCarter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.96

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good resource but not perfect for self-study, 2 April 2010
The strong point about the book is lots of exercises it contains: phrases for starting your sentences with and for linking your ideas. Lots of useful vocabulary and drills on grammar structure. It's like a workbook.

Nevertheless, as the front cover says "Improve your IELTS", and the back cover says "complete preparation course" I hoped to find something more. First, as the writing part of IELTS exam is to be written in handwriting, I expected to find advice on writing by hand: an advice on whether to write with a pen or a pencil. Then, how to improve my handwriting to be readable. It is well known that illegible handwriting can affect your score. And it is also a fact that the learners of English of different ages and around the world have very different ideas of a good handwriting. Some of the exercises are printed in "Bradley Hand" font type - is this meant to be an example of neat handwriting? It would be great if the book gave some examples of really bad handwriting and even more samples of acceptable handwriting styles.

Another thing that could be improved in future editions is giving good examples, good models to learn from. The book gives 20 samples, from which 13 samples ... are weak (they are given not so high score of 5 or 6). There are five samples with score 7 and only two samples with score 8. There is no perfect sample with score 9! Ambitious students who do IELTS for entering the best universities often need at least band 7 in each part, so samples with band 5 and 6 are useless for them. Those who would like to be IELTS teachers and examiners need to get score 9. How can one get an idea of an ideal to strive for, if no perfect model is given? I would learn much more if I could study and analyse perfect model answers. Good ratio would be 10 samples scored 9, and another 10 samples with lower scores. Furthermore, it would be useful if the structures or words that are inaccurate were highlighted in the lower scored samples.

I believe that the book can be useful as an additional resource for students in classroom. But for self-study and as a stand alone resource it needs improving.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2012 12:18 AM BST


Translations (Faber Paperbacks)
Translations (Faber Paperbacks)
by Brian Friel
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Liked but was left uncertain, 29 Mar 2010
Moving, funny and multi-layered.

Amazing technique of creating an impression of two languages being spoken with the words of one language only. Amazing skill in conjuring up the dialogue of lovers, loaded with emotion, searching for common language where there is none. Or is there?... That place in the play I liked the best.

One star minus to myself for not understanding the ending: ok, Owen repents, but does it solve it all? What about Maire, the most resolute of all, which way she is about to go? Yolland, the sweetest of all - why does Friel kill him? Manus, the most honest, why must he escape? The prophesy in the end of the play by a drunk funny man living in the world of his dreams - is that the final truth???


Objective IELTS Advanced Self Study Student's Book with CD ROM
Objective IELTS Advanced Self Study Student's Book with CD ROM
by Annette Capel
Edition: Paperback
Price: 23.66

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great self-study book for learners with self-discipline, 5 Mar 2009
I studied with this book as well as CDs that are to be bought separately Objective IELTS Advanced Audio CDs: Advanced for my IELTS exam, and achieved overall band score of 8: 9 for Reading, 8,5 for Listening, 7 for Speaking and 6,5 for Writing.

Therefore from my personal experience I can say that this set (book and CDs) is excellent for those who already are in upper-intermediate level and are prepared to make use of this book for achieving high score. I did not dream I could get 9 in one of the sections! Actually, after working with this book doing the actual exam seemed extremely easy.

My lowest mark was for writing, but there the book can not be blamed. This is just the week point of self-study method - you need a teacher to tell you what you are doing wrong.


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