We all have heard the old adage “Never judge a book by its cover,” but let’s face it, we all make snap judgments about everything, everyone, all of the time. The way someone dresses, their hairstyle, mannerisms or the way they speak makes us think highly, or perhaps not so highly of that person. It is very important you make a lasting impression on people, and “Practical English Level 365 Volume 1 (Day 1 – Day 200),” by Kaakyire Akosomo Nyantakyi gives us the essential skills to communicate and write more effectively. Furthermore, it provides lessons for substantially increasing your vocabulary.

Mr. Nyantakyi stresses from the very beginning of his book one has to be consistent about studying the English language and work hard in order to see results. Homework is necessary and a fundamental aspect of knowledge acquisition. The famous phrase “No pain, no gain” is made clear in his book.

“Practical English” is not an in depth study of grammar, but rather a highly practical overview of grammar, punctuation and usage. It starts from basic sentence structures to verbs, nouns then moves on to punctuation, dialogue and more advanced writing skills. Many of the topics covered are those one encounters when writing, making “Practical English Level 365” extremely useful. Frequent and common errors are identified and discussed, clarifying the reasoning behind such rules. Examples are given of both incorrect and correct writing styles in a clear and non-judgmental fashion. In some sections, the formal and informal methods are demonstrated, both of which are correct, depending upon the context.

Reading the “Instructional Dialogue” examples followed by the “Workshop” wonderfully illustrates the techniques of writing. The reader is not just told, but also shown, how to use these skills. Moreover, the practice exercises are both realistic and designed to test your understanding of what you have read, insuring a higher level of retaining what you have learned. The book is paced so that each day you are given a different exercise to study with two reading and writing assignments. I envision the exercises to be an easy and intuitive way for people learning English, perhaps as a second language (ESL), to acquaint themselves with the basic fundamentals of grammar without feeling overwhelmed.

As an editor, I often find in other people’s work frequent misuse of certain words, punctuation, tense and sentence structure. Proper use of English was taught in grade school, but many people forgot or simply are in need of a refresher course. I would encourage anyone, at any skill level, to read each exercise as instructed, as “Practical English” can be used as a resource to enhance your writing skills. “Practical English Level 365 Volume 1 (Day 1-Day 200)” is easy to read, logically organized and the approach is just right! I highly recommend this book to students, adults and anyone who would like to review the nuances of the English language. Simply put, it is an invaluable tool to enhance the reader’s skill level.

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