This is one of the books in the Advanced level series of Macmillan’s extensive Improve your Skills range, which helps students develop their skills for a number of international exams. The books can be used for self-study or with a class, and the units focus on developing particular skills, which are then related to an exam practice exercise.
Mastery of the skill in the first part of the unit helps a long way towards accomplishing the final task.
In the course of its 12 units, Reading for Advanced teaches reading for gist, distinguishing main ideas from supporting details, understanding attitude and opinion, understanding implication and deducing the meaning of unfamiliar words, together with a host of other important reading skills that most teachers would acknowledge that their students need to acquire – sometimes without having a very firm grasp of how that acquisition can best be accomplished.
By breaking the learning of each skill down into small manageable chunks and enabling the students to practise on small discrete sections of text first, the book both demonstrates the finer points of how the language works and prepares the students well for the greater challenge of doing the exam practice task which ends each chapter.
These tasks have been carefully chosen to provide an opportunity for the target skill to be used, demonstrating clearly how acquisition of that skill has an immediate pay-off in enhancing the student’s ability to answer the exam question correctly.
The answer key provides full explanations as to why the answers are correct, something that is particularly useful with gapped-text exercises, where even native speakers often struggle to decide which missing paragraph goes where – and why.
At the same time as teaching the various reading skills, this book also exposes the students to vocabulary on a range of topics which they are likely to encounter in the exam. There are also Skills tip boxes, giving useful information about the exam and ideas and strategies for approaching the exam reading tasks.