Another book that tries to teach some of the 100,000 words that make up the vocabulary of the average English university graduate. This one has the advantage that is is by Jeremy Harmer, one of the most respected writers in EFL. The book is expensive for a vocabulary book, but you get 230 pages and literally hundreds of exercises to do.
The book is divided into two parts. Part A is about words – how to find them in the dictionary, how they are formed, and how you can cope when you do not have the vocabulary to say what you mean. However, this part is only 25 pages long, and then the book moves into part B which is the part that teaches the vocabulary.
As you will often find with vocabulary books, this part is divided into different sections (‘vocabulary that real people use in the real world’). Among these sections are things like ‘education’ ‘shops’ and ‘sports’. The vocabulary is presented in different forms – there are newspaper articles, tables which the students have to complete, dialogues – even some poetry. Exercises include gap-fills, group activities and discussions. There are a number of drawings and greyscale pictures in the book, but these are a part of the exercises, rather than decoration. (For instance you see people doing different jobs, and you have to say what they are.)
The last 26 pages of the book are an answer key to the exercises. These seem to be very well thought out and will certainly improve a student’s vocabulary. Many of the exercises will also help with a student’s overall understanding of English, so in this way perhaps the book is really More than Words. The only disappointment is that the publishers’ website seems to have abandoned this book. The address of the Longman site is given in the book, but though we searched the site, we couldn’t find it anywhere.