6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Instructor's view: nice layout, modular, abundant practice exercises,
This review is from: Understanding and Using English Grammar, 4th Edition (Book & Audio CD) (Paperback)
UUEG "Blue Betty" 4th edition was used for the Grammar-Writing-3 classes in the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) at Portland State University in winter quarter 2010. Approx 80-100 international students are enrolled in Grammar-Writing-3; average class size = 15-20 Ss.
Some teachers used only the book. Some used the book + the audio CD + the UUEG network software that PSU bought from Prentice Hall.
The book design = clean and straightforward, using only blue and black ink, with concise presentation of the rule followed by abundant practice exercises. 530 pages contain many well-laid-out tables. My favorite = the tidy irregular-past verb tables, which fit on 2 pages. Appendices in the back of the book are chock-full of extra but closely related grammar that can be very handy for delivering a quick answer in class, without getting digressed.
I used the audio CD for in-class listening practice (e.g., simulated radio broadcasts). There is a CD listening item for every chapter in the book. (Nice for breaking up a long grammar-intensive day.)
Since I don't like to spend class time on drills, but repetition is essential for reinforcing knowledge of structures, I assigned the book-matched computer drills as homework. Ss report that they enjoy repeating difficult items privately on the computer; and knowing that they can practice privately can calm their anxiety that the class is moving too fast.
However, supplemental computer work is not necessary. There are so many practice exercises in the textbook that the old pencil-and-paper method can provide just as much homework drill.
The other nice thing about the UUEG 4th edition book layout = the chapters (and matching supplements) are both brief and cleanly modularized. There is more than enough content for a full semester; but if you teach in a 10-week quarter (like me) it is easy to pick-and-choose just the right amount for your session length.
---Caveat for self-learners: UUEG-4th ed. is designed to be used in a classroom setting with a qualified instructor.
---Caveat for classroom learners: the book has 530 pages divided into many chapters and appendices. Although the table of contents is well designed, it will be much easier to use the book if one can apply sticky page tabs to the first page of each chapter, for ready reference.