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The Face2Face advanced coursebook from Cambridge University Press is a C1 level resource that is designed to develop an understanding of authentic

language and provide the strategies and skills for independent learning. The students book contains 30 lessons in 10 thematically linked units and also includes review sections, as well as a focus on writing. In addition, each unit is preceded by a preview section, allowing students to test themselves on aspects of grammar that are presented in the following unit. Supplementary activities, audio scripts, and a really clear language summary section of vocabulary and grammar crossreference the material nicely. The language content is clearly shown at the beginning of each unit and correlates with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF). Although the complexity of the language means that the advanced book does not have the practical feel of lower level coursebooks, the content is very communicative and provides plenty of opportunities for learner interaction and discussion. Each unit of Face2Face is nicely structured and arranged into five sections that give plenty of comprehensible input and practice. As a result, the first sections in each unit present new language in context and offer reinforcement through achievable practice activities. Subsequent parts give further consolidation and exposure to authentic reading and listening texts, as well as the opportunity to develop speaking and writing skills. The overall layout of Face2Face is fine although some students felt that the content could have been spaced better and should have included more pictures to create further interest and context. This would probably offer a helpful point of entry into topics and articles, activate schema and promote more prediction and discussion before reading and listening activities. Another minor issue is the

general lack of space provided for writing and the completion of cloze (gapfill) activities. The topics covered in the advanced book are interesting and fairly uptodate though the coursebook writers have generally steered away from a focus on current events and transient celebrity. As a result, most of the topics are based on the experiences and insights of normal people and this should ensure that the content does not lose relevance or become dated too quickly. The reading material in Face2Face is particularly good and this provides a challenging but achievable. and motivating source of input for students. Most of the articles included in the students book are taken from the British press and adapted from authentic sources such as the Times, the Guardian and the Independent, and there are also a variety of different genres covered in the workbooks reading and writing portfolio. The portfolio enables learners to see the structure and prototypical features of an array of different text types such as articles from websites and magazines, formal and informal letters and emails, proposals, presentations, as well as instructions and extracts from novels and book reviews. The reading sections offer good practice and enable students to identify the content and develop a detailed understanding of a wide range of texts. This correlates nicely with CEF goals and helps the development of subskills such as contextual inferencing, interpretation of attitude and awareness of text structure. In a sense, the inclusion of additional online content would have perhaps given the coursebook a more uptodate feel though this does not preclude teachers from integrating more through supplementary reading and activities from the internet. Overall though the reading material offers a balance of comprehension activities and the possibility for personal response to the text. The workbooks reading and writing portfolio also displays a clear model of different text types and a nice link between receptive and productive skills. The texts are accompanied by practice activities that are designed to help students notice and use important language such as cohesive devices and transition signals, as well as providing thinking time to develop ideas and notes before the final writing activity. Moreover, this prompts and encourages process writing, allows students to look back recursively at the reading content, and use a wider range of vocabulary to express themselves

with clarity and precision. This exposure to different genres is also a feature of the listening content in Face2Face and the teachers book has a useful series of supplementary worksheets in the Help with Listening section. These supplementary activities give valuable practice but also focus on aspects of discourse such as referencing previous ideas, signposting new or additional information and the structure of narrative. Furthermore the listening material also highlights active listening strategies and backchanelling, use of ellipsis, as well as ways of offering opinions and disagreeing politely. The listening content is extremely useful, contains a wide range of idiomatic expressions and colloquial language and develops students ability to follow authentic, extended speech and interaction, and identify implicit attitudes and relationships between speakers. Students also felt that the use of songs from artists like Snow Patrol and Rob Thomas were an enjoyable way of learning, offered variety and gave them the chance to interpret meaning. The receptive content and contextual presentation in the advanced book sets up a nice backdrop for introducing new grammar and vocabulary input, and more importantly, the language is at a significantly higher level. As a result, students generally felt that they were learning new things and progressing beyond the predominantly tensebased grammar of earlier coursebooks. This seemed to be a motivating factor and a clearly perceived move past the plateau of the intermediate levels. The grammar content is fairly similar to other advanced coursebooks but it is useful, and is presented in clear contexts through the reading and listening material. New language is often highlighted to help learners notice emerging patterns and the Help with Grammar sections included in each unit generally offer a guided discovery approach to learning. The Language Summaries at the back of the book facilitate quick reference and clarification of function and form, though this is sometimes balanced with a more deductive approach to elucidate more complex structures and avoid possible confusion. Grammar is reinforced through the usual array of practice activities and this helps to focus on accuracy as well as fluency through the additional pair and group work activities at the back of the book.

In the same way, the book highlights useful vocabulary and contains a series of conversational strategies such as offering tactful responses, justifying and conceding things, persuading, paraphrasing ideas and arguments, and presenting information. These are exemplified in the Real World sections in each unit and provide useful lexis for functional and situational use. The content is based on the Cambridge International Corpus (CIC) and as a consequence, the students see a multiplicity of authentic and natural English. The vocabulary is often presented at the start of each unit and this enables students to check the meaning of new language, identifies possible pre teaching options and also develops themerelated discussions and learner interaction before the subsequent reading and listening input. Again, the advanced level of the coursebook is reflected by the inclusion of aspects of vocabulary such as idiomatic and metaphorical language, affixation and connotation. The teachers book is excellent and gives helpful guidance, ideas and additional worksheets and materials. In addition, CEF competences are clearly shown and crossreferenced to the students book. The coursebook is also well supported by a CDROM with oneclick grammar reference, as well as over two hundred interactive review activities for language practice and instant feedback. The disc has a record and playback option and students can save and arrange their work in the My Activities file. Furthermore, there are useful video and listening exercises based on the themes of earlier lessons, as well as direct access to the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary for quick definitions and independent learning. Another nice feature is that students can review and check their understanding of grammar and vocabulary in the My Test and Progress sections. This enables them to choose the number of

questions in each activity, set time limits for each test and evaluate their own progress. The CDROM also contains an interactive phonemic chart which allows students to click on sounds and listen to further examples, though this seems more relevant for lower levels and is a touch redundant for more advanced learners. Generally though, the CDROM is an attractive and effective multimedia resource for independent learning and also offers possibilities for additional IWB activities in class. Coursebooks always attract criticism and of course at times its totally justified, but the teachers and students I have spoken to have been genuinely enthusiastic and positive about the advanced coursebook and CDROM. The materials are communicative, have a good balance of skills and language work, and also contribute a series of lessons that do not require too much preparation from teachers. Some aspects of the layout could have been spaced better and sometimes theres just too much there, but the content can always be selected to reflect the needs of different learners and classes. In the end though, coursebooks are essentially just raw materials, its the teacher that brings them to life, and the Face2Face series provides a helpful set of adaptable resources for both teachers and advanced learners of English.