Fluent English Author: Barbara Raifsnider
Introduction from the author
Fluent English is a high intermediate-/advanced-level course in English as a second or foreign language. It is designed to meet the needs of the intermediate-level student in vocabulary, grammar, listening comprehension, idiomatic usage, and pronunciation. It offers a great deal of practice in each of these areas, through both written exercises and recorded materials. The language used in this course is realistic and practical, and the situations in each of its twenty lessons offer a cultural context that will be recognizable and relevant to most intermediate-level students of English.
The course is divided into twenty lessons covering a range of topics from small talk and social situations, to telephones and business meetings, to computers, politics, and the Internet. Each lesson offers essential vocabulary related to its topic, as well as important phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions that are typically challenging to the intermediate-level student. The lessons are divided into ten sections, each of which focuses on a different English language skill:
- Say It Clearly! The first section of each lesson is a recorded pronunciation and intonation warm-up. These sections focus on aspects of pronunciation and intonation that are typically challenging for intermediate students of English — consonant clusters, linking, reduced English, challenging sounds, etc.
- English at Work. The second section of each lesson features English in realistic contexts, ranging from dialogues to recorded messages to readings. The English at Work section is the cornerstone of each lesson, where the important grammatical structures and vocabulary are demonstrated. These sections are all recorded, giving the student an opportunity to hear and model native speakers.
- Build Your Vocabulary. The vocabulary section of each lesson includes certain vocabulary from the English at Work section as well as other general vocabulary related to the topic of the lesson. Each word or expression is defined in simple English, and an example is given to show realistic usage.
- English under the Hood. Each lesson focuses on three important grammatical structures. Explanations are complete and straightforward, and plenty of examples are given to demonstrate each construction in context. Each grammatical point is also followed by a practice drill, giving the student a chance to practice and check comprehension.
- Phrasal Verbs. Each lesson includes a list of important and common phrasal verbs centered either on a common base verb, such as take or get, or a particular theme.
- Each phrasal verb is clearly defined, and examples of usage follow each definition.
- Real English. Important idiomatic expressions related to the topic or theme of each lesson is included in the Real English section. This section is in the form of a short paragraph, where idiomatic expressions are used in context. The student should be able to understand the meaning of each expression from context, but each idiom is also defined in an appendix at the back of the book.
- Bring it All Together. Each lesson also includes five comprehensive review exercises. The first exercise focuses on the vocabulary from the lesson, the next three focus on the grammar and structure, and the last one focuses on the phrasal verbs introduced in that lesson.
- Listen Up! Each lesson includes a recorded listening comprehension exercise. The student is directed to listen to a short article or dialogue on a topic related to the lesson, and then to answer questions written in the book. The Listen Up sections are designed to use both vocabulary and idiomatic expressions related to the theme of the lesson.
- Why Do They Do That? Each lesson includes a culture note that explains an aspect of American culture related to the lesson's topic. These aspects of culture range from table manners to home ownership to driving habits to proper behavior while being pulled over for speeding. The culture notes are designed to be both interesting and relevant to the student's experiences.
- Answer Key. Each lesson also includes a key to all exercises.
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