|Book of the Month|
|The Complete Guide to Basic English|
Learn Beginner English Phrases and Vocabulary
This month's review is a two-in-one special. We are reviewing not only a particular book, but a Kindle digital edition of the book delivered instantly to a tablet reading device. So both the book and the overall reading experience will be assessed. Digital books are an ever-increasing segment of the market, and it is easy to see why. Once signed up to Kindle on the computer, downloading the book took a matter of seconds - rather than days or weeks of waiting for the book to turn up in the post office. Once downloaded, the book was immediately available on a linked tablet device (we used an android Samsung Galaxy for this review). The first impression was that the book seemed to fit easily onto the screen, and it was generally easy to navigate with hyperlinks and the slider at the bottom. Looking up words was easy as a quick tap brought up the tablet's built-in dictionary. One very annoying feature was that sometimes the hyperlink for particular chapter headings instead brought up an advertisement for the author's online English courses. (This may be an issue with this particular reader as the advertisement was on the previous page.)
This particular book is available only on Kindle. It is a short book, technically of 64 pages, but page numbers vary depending on your digital device. This book would also be very readable on a modern smartphone. While many paper versions of EFL textbooks cost up to $30, this little book is just $3. However, the saying is that 'You get what you pay for', so is this book worth the price? Well, for a start, some better proof-reading would have helped here. A disclaimer at the beginning which says 'This book is for entertainment purposed (sic) only' does not inspire confidence. This might be a typing error. However, the author later makes a plural with an apostrophe ('saying goodbye's') - a mistake one would expect of an elementary-level student rather than from someone teaching the subject. While there are a a good number of other such errors, the book overall does what the sub-title says. It provides basic phrases and vocabulary, and does so well and clearly. The book is somewhere between a phrasebook and a basic English guide. It mentions that occasionally the reader will need to use (for example) the past tense, but it does not teach this. Often though, the author has instead put a link to online material which gives further detail.
|Verdict: Good idea - but needs a professional editor
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