When designing the Advanced English collection, we had in mind a student whose goal is to match up to native speakers in knowledge of the language. For those who do not need that level of proficiency, a bilingual collection may appear to be of greater use, and easier to memorize. The Advanced English collection puts the main emphasis on practical aspects of using the language. This is reflected, for example, by:
- substantial preponderance of pronunciation over spelling (a larger number of items on spelling appear near the end of the collection),
- representing the knowledge about grammar in the form of examples rather than theoretical questions,
- inclusion of ready-made phrases useful in daily conversation, etc.
As far as thematic coverage is concerned, sciences and business are by far the most extensively represented. Entire vocabulary lists required for FCE, TOEFL and GRE examinations of English are included. The number of items on slang, idioms, proverbs and quotations is greater than the corresponding figure representative to educated native speakers. British and American English are equally wide in their representation in the collection. However, in active use, we gave preference to words, phrases or pronunciation patterns that are simpler or easier to remember. This might have given American English a slight advantage in the frequency of its appearance in the answer part of items. Last but not least, the sound was recorded by a native American (Margaret Newcomer).
For people working in some specialized disciplines, the extent and quality of coverage of the specialized vocabulary will certainly not be sufficient. This must be made up for by specific collections tailored to individual needs, usually created by the student himself or herself.