Vol. 8. No. 3 R-4 December 2004
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In English Starter

Student's Book
Peter Viney and Karen Viney
Oxford: Oxford University Press
Pp. iii+224
ISBN 0-19-434050-3

In English Starter Practice Book
Peter Viney and Karen Viney
Oxford: Oxford University P
ress Pp. iii+96
ISBN 0-19-437744-X

In English Starter Teacher's Book
Peter Viney and Karen Viney
Oxford: Oxford University Press
Pp. ii+172
ISBN 0-19-434052-X

In English Starter Class Cassette
ISBN 0-19-434053-8

In English Starter Student's Book

This student's book introduces students at the novice level or starter level to English language, focusing on linguistic knowledge and real-world knowledge through 'bottom-up' processing. According to Nunan (1991), " . . . bottom-up processing strategies focus learners on the individual components of spoken and written messages, that is the phonemes, graphemes, individual words, and grammatical elements which need to be comprehended in order to understand these messages" (p. 4). A variety of well selected materials, activities, exercises are offered into sections as follows: a) 30 study units; b) 30 extensional units; c) 21 communication activities; d) transcripts; and e) grammar. It is a practical and functional text, and it allows the students at this level to effectively engage in five key English language skills: reading, listening, writing, speaking, and grammar.

In English Starter Practice Book

In English Starter Practice Book is offered to students with a 3-in-1 practice pack which contains a Grammar Practice Book, a Vocabulary Practice Book, and an Audio CD.

In The Grammar Practice Book, students are introduced to basic principles pertaining to sentences, questions, answers, sounds, consonants, irregular verbs, regular verbs, and other forms of grammar such as articles, nouns, adjectives, and prepositions through a variety of well selected exercises. It enables the students at this level to practice and to be familiar with the usage of these basic principles of English grammar. Grammar tables and answer keys are also provided. [-1-]

Audio CD

In this audio disk, the students are introduced to 98 audio exercises to practice their speaking and listening. These audio exercises capture the grammar concepts in each unit of the Grammar Practice Book. The CD is well organized and easy to follow in order to practice speaking and listening.

The Vocabulary Book

Students are introduced to vocabulary building through activities including Word games, Words to remember, Picture dictionary, Everyday English, Test yourself, and Reading for pleasure. The students learn, reflect, and test themselves with new vocabulary. This vocabulary practice book is an effective learning tool and it is well presented in terms topics, games, activities, exercises, and visual aids. It challenges and motivates the students to engage in practicing their knowledge of English vocabulary.

Cassette tapes

Cassette tapes in each unit cover conversational passages, activities, and exercises in the In English Starter Student's Book. The students are offered a broader exposure to a variety of accents and inflections of English than that of their teacher. It is beneficial to the students to practice their listening skill and appreciate the diversity in accents of English speakers.

In English Starter Teacher's Book

The teacher's book is well organized, with a clear step-by-step explanation to the teachers about pedagogical approaches to each unit. Suggestions and recommendations on selecting teaching strategies and what to focus on in activities and exercises are also provided. Pitfalls in each unit are among the best features that this teacher's book offers, as teachers can anticipate and prepare for otherwise unexpected situations that may occur in the classroom and act accordingly.

Overall, the components of In English Starter Level (In English Starter Student's Book, In English Starter Practice Book, In English Starter teacher's Book, In English Starter Class Cassette) by Peter Viney and Karen Viney seem to be well integrated and thoughtfully presented. The collection is one of the finest selections to be used in the language classrooms. The components of this series complement one another well. It can be used not only in English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms, but it also can be used in English as an International Language (EIL) classrooms. Students at the starter levels are presented with an academically sound, effectively organized, diverse collection of teaching and learning materials, with the visual aids that are colorful, trendy, attractive, and modern. Moreover, popular culture is also presented through cultural materials that are well selected and well disseminated.


Nunan, D. (1991). Language teaching methodology: a textbook for teachers. UK: Prentice Hall.

Thinan Sangpanasthada
Brock University

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