Should I choose New Concept III to improve my English?

by Ghoti
(Shang Hai, CN)

Thanks for reading my questions!

I am a greenhand from China. I am an English enthusiast and I found your website really useful and attractive when I first came here. I like it here. question is about my recent textbook
-New Concept English III.

Is it a good textbook to improve my English?

I've learned that the textbook above can be helpful with English writing skills, is that true?

I am trying hard to recite every essay I meet in it, however, you know, it's really boring. I stick with it and recite more every day, but this needs great perseverance.

I believe that it's more difficult for Chinese learners to improve their English compared with any other country in the world.

Any advice to my question? Thank you for your help!


Hi Ghoti,

My apologies for the extremely late reply. I started a new job and I haven't been able to work on the website very much over the past several months.

New Concept English III

It is a good textbook or not?

First, I have to tell you that I had not heard of this textbook before you asked me about it. This does not mean that it is not a good book, but it does mean that it is new and hasn't been around very long.

If you search for it in Google, you can actually find it at

From this I now understand what you are talking about. It is a collection of readings or paragraphs on different topics.

To answer your question, this book alone will not help you. It is just a book of paragraphs or stories.

What will help you learn is HOW you use it.

You mentioned that it is boring to recite these stories and I 100% agree with you. Just reading stories is boring. Where is the fun in that? Is that interesting or useful? NO.

So you need to think of activities that you can do USING these stories to help you improve.

Here is a bit of motivation to get you started:

1) Try to summarize in your own words (orally or in writing) what is being expressed or told.

2) Do you agree or disagree with what is being presented? Defend your position.

3) Record yourself reading the stories out loud and listen to yourself. Does it sound correct? Try to pronounce things clearly and slowly.

4) Try to write an email to a friend explaining the story.

5) Form your own questions for each exercise. Try to ask interesting questions that use different forms of grammar.

That should make things a bit more interesting for you. For me, a book really needs to be interesting and useful to get me to use it. There are so many great books out there, but the number one problem is that if students done USE them then students don't learn.

I think the key to learning is finding an activity that you really enjoy, and then doing it over a long period of time.

Best of luck with your English and do keep in touch Ghoti.


Comments for Should I choose New Concept III to improve my English?

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Jan 09, 2013
Not the easiest textbook...
by: He Baoluo

I am a South African, I speak Chinese and have taught English since I finished school in 2005. I also taught in Beijing for a year, going back soon to continue.

I have not looked at a huge amount of textbooks, but in using New Concept
, I didn't find it to be the best textbook for students or teachers.

The material is very heavy-going, and many of the things in it are outdated. We just don't speak like that anymore. The second problem is that it is too...British. I strongly believe that textbooks need to be more universal, not just in terms of pronunciation, but in terms of culture too.

That is not to say you cannot learn from these books. I would say it is a good book to learn grammar from, but maybe not for modern English vocabulary.

The New Interchange series are very good. Try those if you can get hold of them.

Another is the New Headway series of textbooks, the latest editions. They can be a bit long, and a few of the activities should be skipped (if you aren't hugely interested in western celebrities.

Another resource that you should see is the BBC English site - Google (or Baidu) it. The English has been simplified for ESL learners.

The content has audio, but the material can be appreciated for its good English - it is clear, content quality is excellent and it is the kind of general English you could learn and take to any part of the world.

Another fantastic source of material to learn English from is, the Jehovah's Witnesses site. The scope of their material is outstanding, and you can get it in English, as well as your home language, and work with both. There is audio. I felt it is a bit confusing to navigate the site, but it is a lot of stuff they are trying to put on it.

Why is it that all these textbooks start with "New"? I suppose Old Headway/Concept/Interchange would be slightly harder to sell.

Good luck with your English learning!

Apr 16, 2012
Making Learning English Interesting - Good Idea
by: Anonymous

hello, I am a beginner for English learning. The idea about making things interesting really means a lot. thank you.

THANK YOU! It means a lot to me that I am helping people and they appreciate the work I am doing. :) Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

All the best, - Diana

Click here to add your own comments

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