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What's the BEST course book you've used? 
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:38 am
Posts: 128
Location: Italy
Post What's the BEST course book you've used?
The best course book I've used is English File. It's a four level (elementary to upper intermediate) course for late teens and adults. It's very easy to use for both students and teachers. The language is authentic and useful, and there's plenty of humour and fun. The layout is attractive too. The teaching notes are clear and succinct, with plenty of extra ideas for expanding the lessons. The teacher's book also includes some excellent photocopiable communication activities to accompany each lesson.

For some reason, OUP more recently published "New English File". I don't know why they chose that title - it's a completely different series of books (not bad either, but not quite as inspired), and the orginal "English File" is still in print.


Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:12 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
I haven't used that many textbooks and therefore don't really have a favorite. However, I'll tell you what I like about certain textbooks and what i don't like about some.

1. appropriate pictures or images - they help convey the meaning

2. use of color that creates continuity - using the same color for the same activities and not too dark if it's the background

3. not crowded/easy to read - I've seen some books that were soo colorful and image heavy that it was hard to read

I understand that those are layout issues only, but those are generally the first things that i think about when flipping through textbooks.

Next, I'd look at the content and examples used to convey the language. The example dialogs and example sentences used need to be something the students can relate too.

Last, I like course books that have a lot of extras in the teacher's book: review printouts, quizzes, unit tests, extra listening resources, additional game or activity ideas adapted to each section ...

If I can think of some other points, I'll let you know. I think I'll also get the English File books and see what they're all about.

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:57 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Shanghai
For adults, I have tried a fair few text books, and I like the New Interchange series.
They cover all the different parts of English learning in smaller modules. They are not photo heavy, but have enough colour in the book to make them comfortable to look at and not too daunting.

They have conversation, vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, listening and discussion sections. There is a teachers manual with a few good ideas in it as well, and every chapter has a supplementary activity that isn't bad.

I have taught a few different versions, and find them easy to teach, and the students haven't had too many complaints either.

Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:46 pm

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:20 am
Posts: 25
Location: Croatia
I like Kid's Box (Camridge) for younger ones, and Adventures (Oxford UP) for older students!

Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:06 pm

Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:16 am
Posts: 181
Location: Brazil
When I opened a small english school in a small town, one of the things I had to think through was how to offer the course at a much lower price than the going rate.... (I ended up at less than 25% the going rate). All of the courses in neighboring cities required the purchase of expensive textbooks. Some were nice, many were not worth the price, though.

I made a supplement textbook. It usually had two pages for each class. We used the books for about 5 to 7 minutes of class time only. The first page was a presentation and example of the target language and the second page was a worksheet of exercises to reinforce what was learned.

I used the book as a parallel to the classroom learning, not as a foundation. I prefer teaching that way.

Mister Young's English Class
Minas Gerais, Brasil

Sun May 29, 2011 10:28 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 10
I adapt American Headway for my one-on-one adult beginner lessons. My boss won't give me any teacher's books so I just work with the free sample student book and make photocopies. American English File moves too fast for this kind of thing.

Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:00 pm

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:03 am
Posts: 71
Location: Athens, Greece
I love the English Files series too. I wish I had written it myself.
Especially the first two books.
I have also taught The New English Files and I think that the Intermediate and Upper Intermediate books are better than those of the English Files.
They also have a CD that enables students to practise on the computer.
I have seen there is also an Advanced Book which I have been told is excellent too.

For kids I like Longman's Wonderland series for beginners. The books are illustrated with images from Walt Disney films. Lovely series.

After this series I use The Treasure Hunt book 2 and 3 Oxford UP series. Very good as well. Each unit has a page with a text and another page with grammar and vocabulary exercises. Concise and effective. There is also a very good Workbook available.

After Treasure Hunt 3 I do Longmans Gold for FCE and then Oxford UP Masterclass for Proficiency, a solid book giving very good training in all skills.

Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:58 am
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