Gold Advanced by Sally Burgess and Amanda Thomas (Pearson)
This exam preparation coursebook is a fast-paced, comprehensive choice for teachers preparing their students for the Cambridge Advanced exam. Having used it over and over again to teach my own students, it is one of my favourites, even though I have noticed it has a couple of minor flaws. On the whole, however, I would say it is a very good option to use in the classroom. Here are the positive and negative aspects of this book from both the teacher and student’s perspective:
- The topics are relevant and interesting, allowing students to relate to them easily.
- It covers all the skills needed for the exam in a well-balanced manner.
- The pictures are colourful and up-to-date.
- The student coursebook has a very clear layout and concise instructions for exercises.
- The book gives relevant exam tips throughout. It also provides helpful models for each exam writing task, which include chunks of language students can use over and over again.
- There is a review at the end of each chapter, which is useful for revision and homework purposes.
- The teacher’s book provides some good supplementary activities for each unit, which can help make a serious exam class more fun!
- The grammar reference at the back of the student’s book can sometimes be limited in its explanations.
- In the student’s book, there are speaking exam practice tasks which include audio examples of candidates answering exam questions. However, the candidates often speak for much longer than they would be allowed to during the exam, and this lack of accuracy can cause confusion and frustration for students.
Overall, with some planning and preparation on the teacher’s side, I would say this book is a very good choice for use in the classroom.