Concepts and Meanings



An integrated course for upper-intermediate students

Zanichelli Editore, Bologna, 1989


Concepts and Meanings is an intermediate/advanced English language course for students aged 15-18 who are attending the last three years of secondary school. The course was specially written to meet the requirements of those students who wish to acquire a knowledge of the English language at an intermediate/advanced level.

The selection and grading of the grammatical and syntactical structures was partly made according to the communicative functions presented and, partly, according to the difficulties that the average students meet when they pass to a thorough and more complex study of the English language – for example, the use of the gerund, the omission of the relative pronouns, the phrasal verbs, have + object + past participle, etc.

The themes and the topics contained in the units regard the students’ real problems and the situations that they meet daily, - relationships, love, health, environmental and energy issues, a multi-cultural society, after school, my parents and I, for example.

The course contains authentic oral and written linguistic material which is immediately used by the students for communicative aims in about 380 language activities of different kinds and difficulties. A large number of these is dedicated to reading and writing activities.

Concepts and Meanings is made up of 20 learning units. Each unit opens with a picture that visually introduces the unit theme. Then the unit is developed and is divided into four sections (Communication Activities, Language Practice, Language Development, Grammar Notes). 

In each learning unit, among the activities in the section Language Development, there is a poem which is nearly always a contemporary one, and is always linked in some way to the theme of the unit. The fundamental characteristic of these poems is that, in many cases, they are accompanied by short paragraphs specially written by the poets and addressed to the students who use Concept and Meanings.


Concepts and Meanings is accompanied by:

• a detailed Teacher’s Guide which allows the teachers to fully exploit the possibilities offered by the course;

• a series of audio cassettes containing the recording of the listening comprehension activities and the poems.