A critical review of the book: "The Road Ahead" by Bill Gates
(ISBN 0-582-40211-5)
02 July 2007

First impressions:

Pleasant story, precisely written. I found the story technically very interesting. Due to the longer first and second chapters I felt that this book required considerable concentration and would be better designated for intermediate to upper intermediate students, rather than the pre-intermediate indicated on the rear cover. However, the actual text had short sentences and occasionally short compound sentences, which made the actual reading and understanding easier. As I moved on to the later, shorter chapters, I think the level of pre-intermediate - intermediate was correct.

There wasn't a CD with the book.

The exercises:

I think there is a major problem here! It was only when I got to the end of the book that I saw the exercises! I think they should be placed at the beginning of the book - or at least the "Before you read" exercises should be. Perhaps this requires some thought as to actual positions.

Using the book:

This book is highly suitable for students on a technical course. It combines technical language with an interesting story which all students can relate to. I would let the students read the book freely in their own time, while the individual chapters could be used as a classroom exercise or group discussion.

Final comments:

The pocket book size was handy and the story was most enjoyable. I liked the author's pragmatic vision of where technology was heading, and the easy, positive, philosophical attitude he had to changes in our lives caused by technology.

Lawrence Harris
Technical English Language Services.

© Lawrence Harris/TELS

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