For some time, we had felt the need for a grammar book that had full and clear explanations of each point and that had lots of examples so students could practise what they were learning. We wanted a sequential program, with assessment tools, and one that had grammar exercises that contained adult material at an appropriate reading level. Finally we wanted grammar exercises that were relevant to Canadian students. We had found that many of our students didn't know much about their country, so we devised practice exercises that give information about Canada, as well as practice in English grammar.
We also wanted a text that could be used either for independent learning or as a teaching tool. In the series, there is sufficient explanation of each point that students, with some training, will be able to work on their own and to mark their own work. However, there are also a number of exercises where the student is instructed to give the work to the teacher to mark. This will allow the teacher to pick up on whether students are really grasping the concepts or are just copying the answers from the Answer Key.
Another important feature of the series is that students are required to write their own sentences. We have all had students who are quite skilled at filling in the blanks, but who haven't really mastered a particular grammatical concept. However, when students have to write their own sentences, this really shows whether they can use what they have been learning about grammar.
The mix of students that we are finding in our classes these days led us to develop a tool which we hope will be useful for both English Canadians and for 'bridging' students whose first language is not English and who may be new to the country.
There are review exercises at the end of each section and students are required to get at least 80% correct before being allowed to take the unit tests at the end of each unit. If they can't get 80%, they haven't learned the material and will require some extra help. Because the teaching material is clearly presented, and because there are several practice exercises for each point, reviewing the problem areas with a teacher should enable the student to master the particular section that is giving trouble.