Reviews: Books

Resenha do livro “Phrasal Verbs”

Although most Brazilians might be aware of the fact that using English phrasal verbs in an everyday conversation or in a piece of writing makes language more natural, the thing is that many of them have trouble in this area. In order to cope, they struggle with lists of phrasal verbs found in grammar books or the bits found in course books or turn to specialized dictionaries.

Intended to be comprehensive, there is now something new in the Brazilian ELT market being added to those resources: Phrasal Verbs – Como falar inglĂȘs como um americano! written by Jonathan T. Hogan, originally from New York, and JosĂ© Roberto A. Igreja, who defines himself as ‘passionate’ about English language, has just come out.

Published by Disal Editora, with a foreword by well-known Professor Dr. John Milton, from the University of São Paulo, the book presents 450 phrasal verbs in a quite practical way. Actually, not only does the book present two- and three-word verbs but also nouns and adjectives derived from them (a dropout, a grown-up, a letdown, (an) outstanding (professor), (pages of computer) printout, (to experience) a setback, (a complete) rip-off and some frequent collocations (to be up to someone, to go down in history, to make up one’s mind).

Inserted in the middle, there are ten sets of exercises as a way of making effective use of the expressions and consolidating them. Users can also count on the key to the exercises, which is excellent for self-study. Presented in alphabetical order – which makes it easy to look them up – the phrasal verbs are followed by examples in meaningful context. Translation into Portuguese is also provided. The past tense, past participle and -ing forms of the verbs come in parentheses in front of each one. Also, an interesting feature of the book is the ‘how to express 130 essential ideas in English using phrasal verbs’ section, arranged in alphabetical order in Portuguese. There are few illustrations, though.

The book is recommended for students of English at large, from the pre-intermediate level on, for teachers of English or teachers-to-be, or any person who wishes to make his spoken or written language production more natural. It can be beneficial to students who are preparing for proficiency exams too. In a nutshell, ‘Phrasal Verbs’ is for those seeking a practical book on the topic.

O autor da resenha
JosĂ© Olavo de Amorim, Head of the English Language Department, ColĂ©gio Bandeirantes, SĂŁo Paulo – SP.

ReferĂȘncia: “Phrasal Verbs” – Jonathan T. Hogan e JosĂ© Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora.

Reviews: Books

Resenha do livro “American Idioms!”

American Idioms! is a selection of around 300 expressions which features a pleasant presentation, a valuable set of exercises and learner-friendly characteristics. It also lends itself to a variety of teacher-friendly possibilities for dealing with vocabulary. Teachers and students alike will get in touch with (p. 49) some truly useful expressions in American English that will help make their English sound more natural.

Although Joe Bailey Noble III and José Roberto A. Igreja do not actually mention which corpus they used for determining frequency, the expressions they have chosen are especially useful for Brazilian learners. By selecting expressions that mean something altogether different from the meanings of each of the words they are composed of, the authors draw attention to important metaphorical aspects of English. Clearly presented in alphabetical order, each American English expression has a definition in English and translation into Brazilian Portuguese plus at least two examples of the expression in use, which are also translated. There is a quick reference Portuguese-English glossary at the back that makes it easy for students to find an expression starting from L1.

The Practice Set exercises, conveniently found in the middle of the book, provide an excellent way for learners to “dip into” the expressions. They begin with idiom recognition then move on to definition in English. From there learners progress to applying the use of the expression and actually selecting the best alternative meaning for the idiom. The Practice Sets may be used in a self-study mode by starting from the exercises and going back to the book to look up the expressions in each set. In this way, learners and teachers may focus study and practice on a variety of idioms without necessarily having to follow an alphabetical order. And of course, there is an answer key to make sure (p.107) learners are on the right track.

Teachers have an added advantage of choosing a particular verb and focusing on the idioms associated with it as a vocabulary-teaching objective. The cartoons are well selected and also make for an interesting source for teachers. They are sprinkled throughout the book and are good for understanding the metaphoric meanings involved. This practical guide to idiomatic expressions is a nice little tool to help learners who have trouble making heads or tails (p. 106) of the complexity of idiomatic expressions have a good time (p.58) doing so.

O autor da resenha
Nancy Lake is the Coordinator of Teacher Training for the CEL-LEP group.

ReferĂȘncia: “American Idioms!” – Joe Bailey Noble III e  JosĂ© Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora.

Reviews: Books

Resenha do livro “How do you say in English?”

Aposto que, pelo menos uma vez na vida, vocĂȘ nĂŁo encontrou uma resposta satisfatĂłria para a pergunta How do you say … in English? SĂł uma vez? Sejamos realistas, foram dezenas, talvez centenas de ocasiĂ”es em que vocĂȘ ficou sem resposta, nĂŁo Ă© mesmo? Pois bem, o mais recente livro de JosĂ© Roberto A. Igreja, que acaba de ser lançado pela Disal Editora, veio solucionar esse problema para professores e alunos de inglĂȘs. Em How do you say … in English?, vocĂȘ encontra mais de 500 expressĂ”es coloquiais do portuguĂȘs contemporĂąneo e seus equivalentes em inglĂȘs.

É evidente que dominar a estrutura gramatical de uma lĂ­ngua estrangeira nĂŁo Ă© suficiente para se expressar de maneira natural neste idioma. Empregar corretamente expressĂ”es coloquiais, frases fixas e combinaçÔes comuns de palavras (collocations), provĂ©rbios e ditados Ă© fundamental para que o discurso tenha naturalidade e aquele “sabor” especial que todos procuram. Embora algumas expressĂ”es tenham equivalĂȘncia literal, a tradução ao pĂ© da letra pode, na maioria das vezes, criar situaçÔes embaraçosas. How do you say … in English? aborda expressĂ”es e coloquialismos de ambos os tipos.

Ao consultar esta obra, alĂ©m, Ă© claro, de solucionar dĂșvidas pontuais, vocĂȘ amplia seu conhecimento de vocabulĂĄrio e de expressĂ”es coloquiais, passa a se expressar com mais naturalidade e a compreender diĂĄlogos informais, enfim, encontra respostas que nĂŁo sĂŁo normalmente apresentadas em dicionĂĄrios convencionais.
AlĂ©m disso, o livro oferece exemplos contextualizados, dicas valiosas e informaçÔes culturais que facilitam a compreensĂŁo e a aplicação destas expressĂ”es. “Foi a gota d’água”, “dar o fora em alguĂ©m”, “pular a cerca”, “desculpa esfarrapada”, “dar ĂĄgua na boca”, “abusar da sorte”, “alma gĂȘmea” e “leĂŁo-de-chĂĄcara” sĂŁo apenas alguns exemplos deste lançamento da Disal Editora. Recomendo How do you say … in English? para todos os que lidam com o idioma inglĂȘs, em especial para os professores que jĂĄ se cansaram das “saias justas”.

O autor da resenha
Ulisses Wehby de Carvalho Ă© IntĂ©rprete de ConferĂȘncias e autor dos livros O InglĂȘs na Marca do PĂȘnalti (Disal Editora), Guia Tecla SAP – Armadilhas de Tradução, Guia Tecla SAP – Falsos Cognatos e Aprenda InglĂȘs com humor – Micos que vocĂȘ nĂŁo pode pagar (Disal Editora). Ulisses Ă© tambĂ©m o idealizador e responsĂĄvel pelo blog www.teclasap.com.br

ReferĂȘncia: “How do you say … in English?” – JosĂ© Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora.