Email English, 2nd Edition

Reviewed by Ellisa Cole-Goldsmith, Illinois Institute of TechnologyReview

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Author: Paul Emmerson Email English - Cover
Publisher: Macmillan Education
Publication Year: 2013

Has anyone ever encounter class materials like this: “Shall I ring you after 6? No half 5 is better. Right. Very well…”? How can it be that there are so many great texts out there but none of them fit perfectly into the US business environment? After years of teaching business writing, I am still looking for that perfect American English text that will work in my graduate school classroom. Until that day comes, I have to continue to make the best of the plethora of UK and Canadian materials that are out there. I had high hopes for the new Email English and have to admit that there are many strong points to the text. 

This updated edition is filled with more than 32 short, 2-page chapters that meet every objective in business writing. The examples are modern, appropriate for the high-intermediate classroom and realistic for students just entering the workplace. The language is generally perfect for the American English workplace, which is something to really appreciate about this text. The author does a thorough job of comparing formal and informal writing styles in many aspects of business (making requests, stating apologies, making plans, etc). Jolly good!

As an additional bonus in this text, there are two additional sections: information on building a social profile and a phrase bank. Both are clearly written and are a real asset for anyone starting a business career.

The only real negative to this book is that it does not have any explanatory text. If you want to flip your classroom, which so many of us do these days, then you want your students to be able to read and learn the information before class and then spend the class time practicing and working through the challenges in the material. This isn’t really possible with Email English. So, although the text gives you great examples and activities that are largely American English-based, it lacks any text that your students can study or review on their own.  

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ITBE Link - Fall 2014 - Volume 42 Number 3

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