English Alive: Grammar, Function, and Setting: Gail Fingado
Heinle and Heinle Publishers | ISBN: 0838429106 | 1991-01 | PDF (ocr) | 365 pages | 3.52 Mb
Fingado and Jerome have updated and improved their popular grammar textbook, making it more user friendly. The new edition has a cleaner layout, updated topics, two new review chapters, and two new chapters on the present unreal conditional and the passive voice. As the authors state in the introduction, this textbook combines the "three major elements needed to communicate in a language" (p. viii). Those elements, as suggested by the title, are grammar and its various functions in numerous settings. English Alive successfully incorporates these elements into meaningful activities which encourage students to use grammar and language in context.
The text is intended for beginning-level adult students who have had minimal exposure to English grammar. The first 25 chapters, including three review units, focus on specific grammar points. Most of the tenses (continuous, future, past, and perfective) are covered in addition to modals, infinitives, gerunds, comparative/superlative forms, conditionals, and some passives. This is enough material for a semester or year-long course, depending on the level of the students.
Each chapter uses an interesting content focus to introduce one or two related grammatical structures along with numerous activities. These topics range from crime and culture to manners and marriage. Most chapters begin with a dialogue (tapes of these dialogues are available from the publisher) followed by comprehension questions. This provides students with a contextual framework in which to place the grammatical structure being studied. Throughout the rest of the chapter, each grammatical point is carefully explained and numerous activities provided for practice. Most of these activities are controlled fill-in-the blank exercises supplemented by a dialogue, role play, or short reading passage. Each chapter concludes with synthesizing activities which range in type from interviews and writing assignments to questions for open discussion. $$$The remaining 10 chapters are devoted to function and what Fingado and Jerome call setting. Functions covered include invitations, giving directions, making suggestions, and requests and favors. The last 6 chapters integrate the previously studied grammar points into settings, which are usually labeled situational frameworks. These include traveling, eating in restaurants, visiting a friend, going to the doctor, using the telephone, and shopping for clothes.
Fingado and Jerome have taken on an ambitious task and provided teachers with a unique beginning-level grammar textbook. Instructors looking for an integrated-approach text should be pleased with this new edition. Teachers will appreciate the new layout and clear presentations; students will enjoy learning contextualized grammar through the entertaining artwork and activities. Steven L. Shaw, University of Washington
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