|Book of the Month|
|Big Grammar Book
101 Worksheets for English Lessons
Author: Matt Purland
This is almost as it says on the cover - a book full of worksheets for students who need to practice grammar. We say 'almost' because some of the exercises, useful as they are, are not strictly grammar. For example worksheets 1-3 are about writing the alphabet - very useful for beginner students, especially those EFL students who use a different type of script, but not really grammar. Nor, come to that, is the next exercise, which is 'Completing forms'. On the other hand, in another way the book is exactly as it says on the cover, because the contents are worksheets, worksheets and more worksheets. There are no explanations and no teaching, no pictures and no games, crosswords or other types of exercise. In short, this is a book of 101 worksheets - although these include some vocabulary and other material (ordinal numbers for example). One very useful attribute of the book is that the contents are public domain, so a teacher can print out the worksheets for a class without worrying about copyright. Also, the book is apparently laid out with this in mind, so everything is black and white text which should not confuse even the most simple-minded printer.
The book is 116 pages long in the text version. There is also a Kindle version available at a considerably lower price, though the text version is probably better for those who plan on using it for photocopying. Apart from the start and finish the book is worksheets throughout. The start is an introduction to the book, and also - reasonably enough, given the low price of the Kindle version - a promotion for the author's website; englishbanana.com. (No, we don't know about the 'banana' part either.) The back part of the book is taken up with the answers, which go on for several pages. There is no appendix, and one is not really necessary.
The book is divided into four parts, and an individual student will probably find only one part of the book useful at any given time. This is because there is quite a learning curve between the parts. We go from learning to write the letter 'a' in worksheet #1 of the first part all the way to homophones and zero conditionals by worksheet #86 in the fourth, (though the 'worksheets' for the conditional appear rather to be lists of examples). The other worksheets are mostly the standard format of gap fills, re-writing sentences or changing words into the proper grammatical form. All standard stuff, and again no bad thing if the worksheets are being used to prepare students for ESOL exams which use these forms of test.
Who is this book for? Though the author says that individual students can use this book, the word 'lessons' in the title tells us that the book is primarily aimed at teachers who teach different levels of EFL students, or as a resource for teachers at an EFL school. Therefore, if you are a teacher looking for worksheets which will keep a class busy practising a particular type of grammar for around 45 minutes (including discussion of the answers)then this book does the job exactly.
Verdict: Does what the title says, and no more
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