Total English Intermediate
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  • Total English Intermediate
  • Antonia Clare and J.J. Wilson
  • Published by: Pearson Education Ltd
  • Level: Intermediate
  • First Published in: 2006

Total English Intermediate is a course book that teaches important language and grammar points through specific themes and visual material such as photographs and illustrations. By working with this coursebook students will work on lessons which focus on all four language skills in order to prepare them for the upper intermediate level.

REVIEW BY Katie Collum Book EXPERT
Review posted: 29/10/2013
Have you used this book?

Intermediate level English is a delicate medium; many times English textbooks can be found at fault for making lessons too easy or too advanced and often it’s difficult to achieve that graceful balance which is perfect for the intermediate student. Total English Intermediate is just one of many intermediate text books hoping to achieve that balance and, quite simply, does a wonderful job. In my opinion, there are more pros than cons to using Total English Intermediate, but perhaps you, the ESL teacher or student, can better judge for yourself whether that elusive middle has been successfully obtained.

"Intermediate level English is a delicate medium; many times English textbooks can be found at fault for making lessons too easy or too advanced."

The textbook is divided into ten units, each featuring two lessons. Each part broaches a different topic: for example, Unit 1 focuses on friends while Unit 7 looks at education, and every unit works hard to present their theme in an exhaustive yet engaging manner. This book is reasonably thorough in that each chapter moves systematically through every component of language learning, whether it is grammar, listening, vocabulary, or reading. and, of course, there are plenty of exercises to go along with each lesson –meaning English learners will be able to truly drive home their newly acquired knowledge with some excellent reading, writing, and speaking drills.

Something else to take note of about Total English Intermediate is that it is a book which loves using visual stimulation to teach a lesson. This is to say, that a lot of the exercises revolve around the pictures displayed alongside them. The exercises and lessons choose to directly refer to these illustrations and photographs by asking questions about them or using them to express a certain theme. For instance, in one example: a picture shows people enjoying a television program together to support the concept of mutual hobbies. Many people are visual learners – meaning they need a graphic, real-life example to help them understand a concept. Total English Intermediate is perfectly geared towards that type of ESL student.

As you can see, this is a book which seems to have it all, but the one exception or downside to using this book is that it doesn’t seem appropriate for self-teaching. Total English may be enormously effective in a classroom where students use the text to interact with one another and there is a teacher close by to expound on the grammar and vocabulary, but a student trying to tackle this text alone might not be quite so successful.

Total English Intermediate is definitely one of my top picks for teachers searching for a good intermediate textbook. This book is fun, thorough, and engaging – a combination which can be difficult to find in a single English textbook. And this is precisely what a teacher wants: to be able to help their students learn through appealing text. In Total English Intermediate, participation and learning is made fun and easily palatable – what more could an ESL teacher or student ask for?



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