This language course, designed for advanced learners, provides 120 hours of classroom work, structured around all the language skills. The whole course consists of a student's book, a teacher's book, a workbook, a workbook cassette and a set of two class cassettes. It follows on from "Upper Intermediate Matters", though can be used after any upper intermediate course. It aims to give advanced learners a sense of direction by helping them take stock of what they already know, fill in any gaps and then move forward to what is clearly new and different. The course provides 120 hours of classroom work; 18 units divided into three sections, structured round all the language skills. The main input of each unit alternates between a reading and a listening activity. These include a lot of authentic material, written and spoken. For grammar, a diagnostic section checks students' existing knowledge of grammar and allows them to recap on and consolidate what has been learnt previously (answers and explanations in the key, which forms a reference section). There is also a development section which extends knowledge into new areas and communicative grammar activities are included. Particular attention is paid to vocabulary development: word formation, phrasal verbs, collocation, connotation, idioms; also strategies for learning new words. In speaking skills, particular attention is given to style and register. "Talking effectively" sections work on stress, intonation, and other speech devices that help students become more effective communicators. "About language" sections introduce students to eg euphemism, jargon, to help them pick up on the subtleties of English. Writing activities include types of writing required in advanced exams; much help is given with the process of writing, including the importance of revising. Reading activities include help in dealing with difficult texts, recognising genres, understanding irony in addition to the usual skills. The workbook, written by Scott Thornbury, contains original and authentic material, and has its own cassette for listening exercises, intended for students' independent use.
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