Speak English Like an American
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  • Speak English Like an American
  • Amy Gillett
  • Published by: Language Success Press
  • Level: Advanced
  • First Published in: 2004

This course book and audio CD are designed to help both native and foreign speakers attain a more "American" accent. The book comes with audio activities, quizzes and dialogues focusing on common idiomatic expression. Perfect for upper intermediate to advanced English students.

REVIEW BY Angelica Mae Batuto Book EXPERT
Review posted: 29/10/2013
Have you used this book?

As part of my self-teaching habit to improve my English proficiency, I read Speak English Like an American, written by Amy Gillett. A lot of people highly recommend this book especially for those who are confident with the English language, but want to improve their fluency by mastering some common English idioms. It consists of 175 pages and it is filled with amusing cartoons to illustrate idiomatic expressions. It comprises 25 lessons that revolve around the story of a typical American family – the Johnson family.

Readers will join the family as they go along with their daily lives. As you flip through each page, you encounter some of the most common English expressions and idioms. This book is highly entertaining as it comes with lively dialogues. Each lesson consists of an illustration, a dialogue, idiom lessons and a practice exercise. In addition, every lesson has a different setting and focus. For example, in Lesson 1, the setting is the workplace and the focus is about Bob (the father) and his day at work. It is delivered in an engaging manner, with the idioms emphasized in bold format. After the conversation, the highlighted idioms are alphabetically arranged and defined. Definitions of the idioms come with a clear description, synonyms, usage notes and real sentence examples.

"The book consists of 175 pages and it is filled with amusing cartoons to illustrate idiomatic expressions. It comprises 25 lessons that revolve around the story of a typical American family – the Johnson family."

Following the idiom lessons is the practice test. The book is filled with dozens of practice exercises which are useful for readers when testing their idiom comprehension. There are crossword puzzles, multiple choice activities, fill-in-the-blank tests and a lot more. The answer key is also found at the end of the book.

While reading the book, I liked how idioms were presented to readers. The book introduces each idiom through a story which isquite uncommon for a typical English textbook. For non-native English speakers like me, idioms can be very tricky but the author explained that they’re very important if you want to understand conversational English. Idioms make the English language lively, colorful, and sound more natural.

The CD was also useful as I could listen to how the idioms are pronounced. The speakers speak at a good pace and tone and the words are clearly pronounced. You will be surprised at how many colloquial expressions and idioms you can grasp by simply listening to them. In fact, the idioms used are those which are the most common in casual situations. Non-native English speakers usually sound ‘artificial’ and ‘forced’ when speaking in English. However, once they listen to the CD and familiarize themselves with the usage of idioms, they will sound friendly and less foreign.

The biggest selling point about this book is that it is written in a very simple and easy-to-understand manner. The dialogues are short but full of idiomatic expressions – a great piece of material for international students, immigrants, ESL tutors and teachers. Also, the pen-and-ink cartoons provide a touch of humor.

In a nutshell, this was a very useful book for me – I highly recommend it. The content delivers its purpose which is – to ‘speak English like a native speaker’. Some idioms will most likely be familiar to intermediate students but there are plenty of new expressions to learn which will help students acquire more knowledge about “casual English”. I enjoyed reading the book and I believe others will also have the same experience. Speak English Like an American is an excellent book. It is not only great for self-study but for classroom use as well.



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