Innovation in ELT
Brookemead Associates Ltd
Educational Publishers
London, UK - San Francisco, USA

Reviews of QSE Intermediate by:

Review by English Teaching Professional Magazine

The leading practical magazine for ELT, EFL, ESL and ESOL English language teachers worldwide, May 28th 2007

Quick Smart English

by Ken Wilson and Mary Tomalin Brookemead ELT 2006 Intermediate Level SB + CD 1-905248-04-0 WB 1-905248-05-9 TB 1-905248-16-4

"One of the first things you notice when you pick up a copy of Quick Smart English Intermediate Student's Book is how thick the cover feels. This is because it has flaps front and back providing space for a very handy 'Language bank'.

This is a list of functional expressions divided into sections (Ways of asking for advice, Ways of comparing and contrasting, etc) which students can quickly refer to whenever they need to. These are particularly useful when students are doing speaking activities, and support for speaking is one of the major strengths of this book.

The other skills are comprehensively covered, too, but it is the help which this course gives with speaking that is so impressive. Some of the topics are fairly controversial and the material won't be suitable for all classes, but it is refreshing to find a coursebook tackling contemporary issues that young adult students really want to talk about, such as animal rights, drugs, war, obesity, hunting, the right to carry guns, and the price of celebrity. It also includes crosscurricular themes, such as science, economics and law. Plenty of opportunities are provided for students to react to the texts in the books and to formulate and express their own opinions.

The course is intended as a rapid revision course for students at the Common European Framework B1-B2 level and should prove popular with students and teachers alike. An advanced level is also available for students at B2-C1 level. I haven't used this yet, but it looks just as exciting as the intermediate level, if not more so!"

Louisa Judge, Toulouse, France

English Teaching Professional, May 2007

Review by IH (International House) Journal

"Quick Smart English Intermediate … a smartly designed series aiming at quickly preparing for various tests at B1/B2 levels. The book … provides a huge amount of language material to choose from, depending which exam your students plan to take."

Review - QSE Intermediate

"What should appeal to both the teachers and students is the fact that the majority of the photos don't just illustrate the topic; there is a story behind them. This must be much more stimulating for the discussion both in the Preview and the Talk about it parts."

"The course is generally aiming to teach English through researching various subjects. The section on CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) is the best example. Not only fluency in speaking has been promoted here; regular writing practice is gradually introduced in each unit. What the teacher will surely appreciate are the model answers for each task."

"[The QSE Intermediate] … teacher's book gives extensive comments as to how to use each part of the unit, as well as providing lots of background information dealing with cross cultural aspects and Internet references."

"The Teacher's Book is definitely a treasure for the teacher, especially those new to the job, as it guides you through the way the exercises are to be done analyzing reasons for this communicative approach and providing various alternative ideas. It has plenty of photocopiable material: additional grammar pages, FCE exam practice and quick tests for each unit."

IH (International House) Journal, May 2007

Review by
The independent resource site for teachers of English worldwide

Quick Smart English Intermediate

"The book is designed to give instruction and practice in all four language skills and, according to the information on the cover, can be used as preparation for GCSE and ISE Examinations. It is also compatible with ESOL curricula and exams."

"The look and size of the book is very good. It is slightly smaller than A4 which makes it very user friendly. The thick outer cover will ensure it wears well. The inside cover has a language bank on it as a quick language guide which corresponds to the different chapters. The units are numbered from 0-18 and there are also three extended reading units. Each unit consists of four sides, with each one of the four language skills covered. The units are all made up in a similar fashion and colour photographs are used to add interest. New words in each unit are presented in different colours as a memory aid. The topics covered are up-to-date and some are quite controversial, covering areas such as obesity in unit 11, crime in unit 16 and hunting in unit 13. There is a good glossary at the back of the student's book. The CDs are attached to the inside cover of the student's book in individual plastic covers and so can always be carried with the book. On the outside of the CDs the number of the unit is marked along with the listening content for that unit."

"I have used a number of books for teaching English including Headway, English File, Language To Go, Cambridge English Course and Opportunities. I would say that the over all construction of this book; its structure, the way the units are built up is quite similar to the other books I have used. One of the differences in this book is the way that the speaking section of each unit has been divided up to give practice in conversation and discussion. The pictures are also used differently, as they do not take over the book but are varied and can be used as an aid to talking. I think the topics used in this book are more controversial than those used in other similar books and I also think QSE seems to flow better than some books which have a new unit each two page spread, which can have a sort of stop, start feel to them. It also differs from short courses like Language To Go in that there is a lot more material in each unit in QSE."

"I will now look at each of the components in more detail."

The Student's Book

"I like the layout of the units and the topics covered I think they are interesting and enjoyable for young adult students as they are relevant to everyday life. Having said that, there are a couple like the physics section in unit 6 and the chemistry in unit 7 that I think have limited interest (though they make up only a very small part of those units). I also think the "word bank" is a good idea, as is highlighting new words that are to be studied and learnt in each unit. I like the way photographs have been used as they don't dominate the page but are good for generating discussion. The reading texts are good and many are taken from authentic sources."

"One of the things that I think would be a useful addition is a space on the glossary page for students to be able to write down pronunciation and the meaning of a word or phrase in their mother tongue. As I have already mentioned, a few of the topics might have limited interest and it is always difficult to generate discussion if the group as a whole is unfamiliar with or uninterested in a topic. There is nothing dealing with word and sentence stress- something which I feel is just as important to being able to understand something as knowing the meaning of the words."

The Workbook

"The grammar information boxes are good as a quick summary and the roleplay cards are useful as they give practice in the art of debate as well as everyday conversation. I think that two sides for each unit is perhaps a little short and a section to practice questions would be useful as I find this is one area that gives students a lot of problems."

The CDs

"The grammar information boxes are good as a quick summary and the roleplay cards are useful as they give practice in the art of debate as well as everyday conversation. I think that two sides for each unit is perhaps a little short and a section to practice questions would be useful as I find this is one area that gives students a lot of problems."

"On the whole I think QSE is a sound, interesting teaching tool with an easy to follow format that does not need a lot of extra material from other sources to supplement it. Particularly good are the speaking topics and roleplay cards."

Reviewed by Belinda Molnar,, June 2009

Review by EL Gazette

"Quick Smart English provides a thorough functional, grammatical and lexical syllabus. Quick Smart English succeeds in its aim to be different; the CLIL syllabus in particular is worth a look."

EL Gazette, May 2007