Grammar – No Problem
Christine House and John Stevens, Disal Editora, 2005
Reviewed by Nancy Lake
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Grammar – No problem
Working with grammar in the classroom is always a challenge. Teachers have developed a variety of simple, concise explanations for some of the most difficult grammar points and truly work wonders with creative exercises and other forms of practice. Still, it would be useful to have a to-the-point grammar book that students could consult on their own at home in order to help them remember some of the points covered in class and some of the potential grammatical pitfalls they might encounter while working with a specific aspect of language.
Grammar – no problem is a concise, well organized grammar book that would be a welcome support to regular curriculum English classes and anyone who likes a quick but complete grammar reference. There are forty-eight individual units which cover essential grammar points in a very useful way, starting with a conversation which indicates where typical errors occur. Then form and use are focused on, and red exclamation marks show special facets that need to be noticed in order to guarantee accuracy. Finally, at the end of the first page of each two-page spread, there is an extremely useful “resumo” in Portuguese of the basic reminders one needs to have in mind when using the language studied. The second page of the spread then focuses on practicing the grammar point. This layout allows learners to consult the explanation while practicing in a controlled way so that they can work out some of the difficulties they might have. An added plus is that each explanation page has a footnote reference to other sections of the book where additional information is available.
There are several features which make the grammar book quite flexible. The index is in Portuguese and English which makes it easy to find the part of the book one wants to consult. The complete answer key allows for self-study as does the suggestion on how to study independently in the introduction. There is a glossary of grammatical terms with their translations to facilitate Brazilian learners, and the Portuguese explanation of the differences between American and British English plus the details of spelling are really handy for teachers and students. Grammar – no problem is certainly a tool to help make grammar teaching and learning “no problem”.
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Nancy Lake is the Coordinator of Teacher Training for the CEL-LEP group. E-mail: [email protected]