Great improvements! I've already known this book in its old form 'cos I found it in the library of my former university, but when I read the description and saw that they added cds, I said to me "hey, let's buy it!" It will be the companion of "Progressing from intermediate..."by the same publisher as my stuff for improving the language in the next 3 or 4 months! I've always appreciated the approach of the Mizutani on japanese, so I know that at the same time I can improve my knowledge of kanji, vocabulary, grammar ad so on. The old version was simply articles with word list, thing that was not so intersting. In this version there are several not too long pieces of writing followed by words (with their reading in kana) and execises, one about understanding of the content and the other of listening (text are recorded on cd). Second page of each topic is a new addition with speaking practice (and additional short dialogue on cd too) and an exercice about sintax. In between, every 10 short pieces or so, you'll find an authentic article with word list for reviewing and further practice! And at the end there are english translations of main texts for support as well as of the words and alongside the dialogues. Ideal to be used from the lower intermediate stage, I think. Good book anyway!