35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Book Highly Recommended by a Chinese User, 7 Dec 2010
This is the best practical English book I've ever come across so far. I strongly recommend the book and its CD to everyone who has an aspiration to use the English language as natural as native English speakers. Both the textbook and the CD are considered as invaluable learning resources. I've used them to self-study real English for quite a while now. To date, I've built up many useful phrasal verbs and English expressions in my mind. I am able to apply them in my daily communications where applicable. I become more assertive when sharing ideas with English speakers. Certainly, my communications in English becomes more and more effective and efficient. I am really delighted with my noticeable improvement in the use of the English language.
I appreciate the careful selection of phrasal verbs/idioms/colloquiums, which covers almost every aspect of our real life situations, from `your shoe laces are undone' to `a major breakthrough in peace negotiations between country heads'. By imitating those examples, I can use the right word/phrase in the right context. I can articulate my views and get them across to a wide range of audiences.
I am really sorry to see the negative feedbacks on the CD. From my own perspective, I found the CD had been very useful and have never spotted any drawbacks from the dialogs - that may be because I am a Chinese and not sensitive to any odds in the English sounds. In fact, I appreciate the CD very much as it has given me the flexibility to pick up the knowledge whenever and wherever I would like to learn. I am a full time worker and usually spend at least two hours in commuting to and from work. I can no longer afford a large amount of my time in improving my English language as I really don't have much spare time on my hands. I've made the most out of my commuting time and used that to self-study the CD. As you can imagine, how overcrowded the London trains/tubes are, especially in the rush hours. Most of the time I don't have a seat allowing me read comfortably. I copied the whole CD into my ipod so that I could listen to the learning materials while braving the crowds.
No wonder, it was very difficult for me to grasp the meanings of the conversation in the first place - despite I understood every English word, when they came together as phrases that didn't make any sense to me at all!! That feeling was very similar to my real life experience when listening to native English speaker speaking. However, this didn't put me off learning from the CD. When listening to the CD, I visualized the context of each conversation and observed how people expressed their views and described a situation by using English idioms and phrasal verbs. When I got home, I would normally follow up the unfamiliar words I picked up on my journey. For example, when listening to the sentence `...you father said he could murder a hamburger so we went to `Jimmy's', I was very confused with the term `murder'. What was motivation to murder the hamburger? With this query, I then looked up the textbook for the definition. I've kept repeating listening to the audio clips, repeating referring back to the textbook, and repeating putting them into practice ... Gradually, these English expressions have sunk in for me and I can apply them into my daily communications freely and naturally. I have gained more confidence in my English communication. Indeed, most of phrasal verbs used in this review are derived from the book. You can check it out if you wish.