Focus on IELTS Foundation Level
Pearson Longman, 2006
International English Language Testing service (IELTS) test, for many students,
remains the gateway to academic study in the UK and Australia. The test is
skills based and requires a sound knowledge of language as used in either a
general or academic context.
Focus on IELTS Foundation is an addition
the to wide range of publications designed to help learners prepare for the
academic version of the exam, which involves academic reading and writing
modules, though many of the materials and tasks would also assist those aiming
for the general version. The Foundation Level is designed as a preliminary to a
full IELTS course, and provides a balance of skills development and graded
language practice taking the learner to a mid to upper intermediate level.
The book begins
with a useful overview of the test, providing an awareness of the exam, which
is maintained throughout the book through ‘exam link boxes’. Subsequent units
are based on themes ranging from careers and family values to communications
and architecture Each unit includes a graded text, varied skills development
tasks and ‘key structures’ and ‘ quick check’ boxes to highlight grammar points.
The ‘key language practice bank’ provides extra support and practice in both
grammar and vocabulary.
At first glance, this is a solid exam
preparation course, however there are some features worthy of note. Vocabulary
is particularly well dealt with, concentrating on lexis from the Academic Word
List, which is then integrated into writing and speaking tasks. The reading and
listening texts are well selected, being challenging but not daunting and
introducing an appropriate amount of vocabulary. Writing, often the most
difficult academic skill for learners to develop is sensibly presented through
guided tasks and model answers. Each unit also contains a section on ‘DIY’
learning strategies, designed to encourage self-study. The book is attractively
designed, well laid out and user friendly.
Level Coursebook comes as part of a package that also includes a teacher’s book
and audio CDs or cassettes. A separate ‘Focus on Skills’ book is also available
at the same level.
Judging by the
coursebook alone, a sensible choice for any learner beginning to prepare for an
important international examination.