2 out of 4 stars
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The book entitled Idiom attack: Everyday Living by Peter N. Liptak, Matthew Douma and Jay Douma is about American idioms. The book is for Non-native English learners to help them understand and apply American idioms- both in oral and written discourse. As such, the book has classified different idioms into different scenarios like, “From beginning to end, in the morning, in the evening, etc.” Here are some observations upon reading the aforementioned book:
There is no grammatical and typographical errors, profane words, erotic scene and other inappropriate words found in the book, but there are some things that this book has to consider. First, no introduction has been made at the start of each chapter. Second, consider putting objectives of the chapter before proceeding to discussion part. These two points have something to do with the concepts of learning. A person is ready to learn when he/she is given a heads-up of what he/she is about to face. In this case, this book must provide an introduction/overview of the objectives for what he/she is about to read. Third, the instructions from the activities were vague or too general. Assessment is a very important part of learning. Giving too general instructions will hamper the readers ability to fully know what he lacks about the topic. Fourth, consider putting the answer keys right after the index section. Lastly, no reference list is found in this book.
What I like best in the book is that the discussion and explanation of each idiom is pretty simple and can be easily understood. For a reference book/ textbook, a well-written book doesn’t have to be too complex because the only reason why people read this book is for them to learn, and learning must be easy. For example, In the first chapter, this book provided examples in the discussion with some visual illustrations of it for better understanding. In that way, readers won’t have a difficult time to visualize and understand the material.
What I dislike most in the book is its exercises or activities. For one, the specificity of the instructions should be revised. In the first activity of the first chapter, the book only mentioned this instruction, “Fill in the blanks with the appropriate idioms.” Then, proceeded with actual test items. This in anyway, not a good way to start an activity. Topics like this are best learned when they are presented with examples. Although the book already has a lot of examples before the activity, it’s still different when a learner is faced with these test items. What I can suggest is giving sample items answered then, letting them answer the rest; or giving options to choose from. I also noticed that in the fill in the blank activities, the answers are given right after the activity. I have nothing against this way nor it is incorrect however, it seems really unorthodox for a textbook-like material because most of those put the answer keys just after the index section of the book.
Overall, I’d give the book 2 out of 4 stars. Although it is free from grammar and typographical errors, it lacks considerations on very important concepts of learning in a book, such as introduction, objectives, references, giving clear instructions to avoid confusion. These are relevant parts for a reader to fully utilize the book.
Idiom Attack Vol. 1 Everyday Living (Trad. Chinese Edition)
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