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The Practiced Business Writer - An ESL / EFL Handbook - Review

The Bottom Line

The Practiced Business Writer - An ESL / EFL Handbook by Veronica G. Sardegna and Joane M. Slutsky is an excellent guide to improving business English writing skills. Advanced level English learners who feel comfortable in an academic setting will surely benefit greatly from the use of this handbook. This handbook is not intended for lower level English learners, or classes working on basic English as a Second or Foreign language skills. Learners who are do not feel comfortable with academic explanations may also feel intimidated by the density of the handbook.

 

Pros

  • Systematic approach taking students from basics to more advanced subjects
  • Focused and ample exercise materials
  • Detailed explanations in answer keys
  • Use of codified structure for learners who profit from meta-structures
  • Advanced level materials that will help non-native-speakers write in polished business English

Cons

  • Use of codified structure for learners who have difficulty following meta-structures
  • Suitable as self-study only for advanced level English learners
  • Exercises emphasize only error correction

Description

  • The handbook in seven chapters takes learners from the basics of avoiding grammatical mistakes to organizational skills.
  • Each chapter is subdivided into sections dealing with one common, specific writing issue or mistake.
  • Each section is followed with sentence level exercises to practice. The answer key provides detailed explanations.
  • Each chapter ends with paragraph level review exercises.
  • The handbook includes a CD-Rom with additional exercises for each chapter provides plenty of error correction practice.
  • The handbook is highly organized with correction symbols and how-to-correct codes.

Guide Review - The Practiced Business Writer - An ESL / EFL Handbook - Review

The Practiced Business Writer - An ESL / EFL Handbook by Veronica G. Sardegna and Joane M. Slutsky provides a thorough self-study business English writing manual for high intermediate to advanced level English learners. Veronica G. Sardegna and Joane M. Slutsky revised and expanded the handbook they first created for non-native-speaking students pursuing a degree in accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The handbook takes a very systematic approach to business English writing instruction. The organization of the handbook in seven chapters is extremely well thought-out. Beginning with avoiding basic grammatical mistakes, the handbook takes learners through increasingly complex structures, as well as stylistic considerations. The handbook concludes with organizational writing skills.

Each chapter contains sections that first define the area of focus, then provide rules, problems and corrections of specific errors. Finally, each section ends in targeted error correction exercises which also includes an answer key explaining each error in detail. A CD-Rom supplies additional practice material for each of the chapters. Correction symbols and how-to-correct codes are used throughout the handbook to assist students navigate each chapter.

The Practiced Business Writer is highly analytical and, as such, will help any highly-motivated self-study learner dig deep into their own writing habits to improve. This approach is certainly instructive for students capable of understanding detailed grammatical explanations. However, the handbook is not intended for anything lower than a high-intermediate to advanced level ESL / EFL learner or class. The handbook demands a good deal of disciplined study in order to take advantage of its codified instructional approach. On the other hand, the writing tools provided through this organizational approach are clear and well-documented throughout the handbook.

Although The Practiced Business Writer is a self-study manual, I would personally recommend using the book in conjunction with a formal English for Business Purposes course. Advanced level learners will certainly be capable of using this handbook on their own, however, intermediate level English learners will profit from additional assistance.