Books, Literacy

Language Power

Freestyle learning can be awesome and engaging but it often goes off-track, making progress difficult to track. In order to organise it systematically, it is best to follow along with a quality workbook. This ensures that the material is appropriate for the students age and proficiency, avoiding boredom or frustration at the extremes. If you are in doubt about the student’s performance level, skim through a workbook and have a “pop quiz”. Rather than learning new material, this assessment will compare their “mental work bank” with a variety of themes, intensities and areas of focus. While some students tend to rush through the books-trying to get to the end-this limits the amount of material that can be retained. As such, it is best to pair the books with a qualified tutor, someone who is familiar with both the curriculum and learning trajectory.


Nelson Canada is the leading educational publisher, providing quality texts for over a hundred years. While each edition is geared towards a specific objective, they constitute one part of a greater mosaic. In other words, the books work well with each other, providing complimentary activities and lessons. When guided by an expert tutor, the material comes alive and becomes easier to engage. While they also offer digital options, it is preferable to get the hardcopy, allowing the student to keep a reference of their progress. Furthermore, the graphics are easier to interact with in the analog version, allowing the student to write notes over the paragraphs, diagrams, and other educational aids. The material is broken down by subject and grade, covering concepts within a prescribed niche. If you are worried about your child’s specific level, please feel free to reach out to us and we will arrange a complimentary assessment. 

Language Power Now

The series was edited by Dr. Ruth McQuirter Scott, who is an education professor at Brock University (St. Catherines). While the material corresponds to the Ontario Ministry standards, much of it is enrichment, providing additional background for topics discussed in class. This allows the student to develop their writing and critical thinking, resulting in higher marks in both the long and short term. The graphics are vibrant and instructive, allowing the student to understand “exactly” what is expected of them. 

In terms of popularity, Language Power is among the highest rated options in the country. This is demonstrated not only by their high sales volumes but also the quality of the buyer reviews. While the feedback is overwhelmingly positive, some parents found it difficult to explain some of the more advanced topics. This problem can be remedied through tutoring, matching the child up with an expert who knows exactly what they are doing. They may be current public school teachers, retired professors or professional writers. 

The series is both intuitive and immersive, forcing the student to use material in addition to being able to recall it. This can include written responses, grammar exercises or content editing. While there are spaces for written answers, it is preferable to write it on a scrap sheet of paper prior to editing. While it may seem fun to jump ahead, this should  be limited to a casual glance only. Reason being, disrupting the chronology can cause confusion, making it difficult to learn subsequent material. This is one of the reasons why it is best to follow a detailed learning plan, allowing the child to be supported from all angles. 

The Best Approach

Some parents may worry that the literary editions avoid grammar drills, forcing the student to “learn by doing”. Rather than learning the rules-and then writing-students emulate correct writing and learn the technical aspects later on. Imagine that a young child was speaking with a newcomer, specifically someone from a non-English country. If that person were to make obvious grammar mistakes then the child would pick up that something wasn’t quite right. In other words, students can sense the grammar correctness (intuitively) before deciphering the rules and conventions. The immersion method is great at encouraging students to “learn by doing”, even if they make some mistakes. In fact, mistakes are both expected and encouraged, a sign that serious effort is being made. In other words, it is better for a student to try for a “harder” word-and make a mistake-rather than master a basic set of vocabulary. 

As stated previously, get a notebook and have the student print out questions, forcing their brain to retain the information. Evidence (and antecode) suggest that printing is much more effective (at promoting memory) than typing on a keyboard. While Duolingo is insufficient on its own, it works well in conjunction with Language Power and quality language tutoring. Your Inspiration tutor will assign your child homework on a regular basis, comprising both oral and written tasks. This will facilitate your child’s self esteem, giving them a voice and the ability to speak proudly.

Language Power is among the best Canadian workbooks available, allowing students to develop their writing, speaking and critical thinking. Your child will develop the skills needed to compete in an increasingly competitive world.



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