New Interchange - ESL Book Reviews

Interchange is one of the best selling English language series in the world. Written by Jack C. Richards, this series contains 4 levels, and helps students improve reading, writing, grammar, listening, and even speaking. It was originally called New Interchange, but the "New" was dropped with the Third Edition, so now it is simply Interchange. The book is published by Cambridge University Press, and you can see the book details on their website.

The books are designed to be used in a classroom with the help of a teacher. For this reason, they
are very popular course books for English programs. Even beginner teachers can open New Interchange and begin teaching English.

It is an integrated skills program, and the value comes from their ability to teach all the English skills.

While the grammar explanations are limit
ed, they do provide a number of good examples and the opportunity to practice with exercises. The workbooks are excellent resources for extra practice as well.

Each unit co
ntains a reading exercise found at the end. These readings follow the content of the unit, and are followed by comprehension questions. The comprehension questions vary, but mainly include fill in the blank, matching, or short answer. There is also usually a discussion section where students can work in pairs to extend the lesson.

Each unit has one writing assignment that ca
n be administered by the teacher. It is based on the unit topic, and normally takes about 1 hour of class time.

There are sev
eral listening exercises throughout the book, often more than one per unit. It is necessary to have the audio CDs to perform the listening exercises.

Apart from the 4
skills, the Interchange series also has a variety of sections throughout the books.

This is opening of the unit, and it contains discussion questions about the theme. The Snapshots are a good way to introduce the theme and the unit, and htey are very communicative.

The Conversation section is a model conversation using the target grammar. The class CD has th
e audio script.

Word Power

The Word Power section is for vocabulary, a
nd it usually has words related to the theme. For example, in the unit on professions, there is a list of jobs. The books don't simply include a list, but some type of vocabulary exercise for the student to gain a better understanding of the words.

Interchange Activities
These are perhaps the best part of the book.
In the back, ther are 16 activities corresponding tothe 16 units. Each exercise is a communicative activity that really gets the student speaking. In many ways they are task-based using techniques such as information gap. There are lots of interviews, surveys, and missing information games.

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