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AMEP Research Centre

Shopping Words

Shopping Words.
by Jo Duffy and Jane Graham  
Published by NSW AMES, 2006

This resource is attractively presented with clear photographic images covering topics such as the greengrocer, butcher, supermarket, department Store and hardware store. An alphabet section in both the book and CD covers upper and lower case letters, font types and letter formation. The food section is very appealing because it is more comprehensive and “Australian” than other materials and the hardware topic was very well received by students! The resource is a useful addition to materials for CSWE 1 students and may be OK with Pre CSWE with careful instruction and or supervision.

Some positive attributes of this program are that the alphabet section is very useful for review and the vocabulary introduces useful words such as punnet and bunch as well as the more prosaic words usually taught for these topics. The spelling dictation following the vocabulary exercises was a good follow up activity. The cooking instructions were well illustrated and relevant for this level. However, the letter formation, which could be a good exercise, is quite challenging for literacy students and the workbook exercises could be useful for pre CSWE but would also need to be completed under supervision.

The drawbacks of the material were; operationally some instructions and audio responses were slow compared with other programs by some other publishers. There is also a skill development problem with pages 7 and 11 of the workbook which present jumbled spelling of words such as watermelon, nuts, Bok Choy, garlic etc. without previously modelling this vocabulary, which is inappropriate for this level of language learning. The logistics of the CD also requires students to go back three steps to find the model for the spelling exercise. The dialogue exercises are good but could not be used as a stand alone activity without pre teaching in class and there is also an assumption of pre knowledge of money and weights which may be inappropriate for the target students.
Despite these criticisms, the material is very useful as a teacher resource particularly to illustrate vocabulary and for dialogue practice. The listening for spelling and attractive pictures on the CD will also be enjoyed by students. However because of the omissions mentioned, and the fact that it progresses a little too rapidly I don’t think it is suitable for individual study at pre or low CSWE1 level. The students in level 1 may find this  workbook and kit more suitable for their ability.

Reviewed by Linda Finger, RMIT Brunswick Northern AMEP Vic