Review: A Year in the Life of an ESL Student by Edward J. Francis

Book shelf
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Edward J. Francis's book, A Year in the Life of an ESL Student: Idioms and Vocabulary You Can’t Live Without, is a fun and very relevant way to learn English idioms.

Each chapter is devoted to a different social situation and includes vocabulary, definitions, seven exercises, comprehension questions, discussion questions, and a chance to "give it a shot."

Oksana Pavilionis, a native Russian speaker, had been speaking English for six years and was thrilled to see a book focused on idioms.

It was exactly what she needed next.

"Idioms are especially important," Oksana said, "because in your native language, it doesn’t make any sense to put the words together. You have to learn idioms and memorize them."

Oksana’s bottom line? “I am totally positive about this book,” she said. “I want to have it.”


  • Focuses on idioms
  • Short exercises you can do every day
  • Fun variety of exercises to mix things up
  • Common social situations
  • Large size - easy to read


  • Large size - Hard to carry around
  • Situations are based on teens - an adult version would be grand
  • Would be even better with spiral binding to lay flat
  • A companion CD would be great