Book review:


By Ian Badger

This book, published by Collins in their "English for business" series, is a very welcome collection of materials concetrating on, as indicated in the title, listening. The CD containing the MP3 audio files is included with the book, and is suitable for learners of business English at the CEF B1-C2 level.

There are 20 units in the book divided into five sections: 1) Everyday business communication, 2) Everyday business matters and 5) Cultural considerations. In the back of the book are the mini-dictionary, answer key to the exercises and the transcripts for all of the listening material. "Listening" is suitable for classroom use, in-company language courses as well as self-study.

The recordings include both native and non-native speakers ensuring exposure to a wide variety of accents and special listening "challenges." The speakers are real people talking about life and work, so they speak naturally about relevant topics which most people can easily relate to.

There are many different kinds of exercises that go along with the recordings. The exercises help learners focus on general comprehension, certain aspects of pronunciation and more specific vocabulary usage.

Throughout the book are boxes to ensure understanding: "The Cobuild Check" highlights expressions used in connection with different topics. The "Clear usage" box highlights specific problem areas like difficult grammar or usage that is not standard and there is also a special box for "useful vocabulary and phrases." A lot of background information is provided to help understand the context of the recordings. Finally, at the end of each unti there are ideas on doing further study on the subject, including the link you can use to go to the Collins website where there are additional recordings to listen to.

In my opinion, "Listening" is one book every business English teacher should use. It can be used as the basis for a listening course or to supplement other materials in business English or communication courses.

Reviewed by Tanya Weindler