Wanted: impartial advice on coursebooks for 1-1s

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Wanted: impartial advice on coursebooks for 1-1s

Unread postby Verbena » 02 Aug 2010, 18:04

Hello,
I have recently got my Celta, and I'm setting up private classes (for Spanish adults, all levels) starting in September. I really need some advice on coursebooks from experienced teachers. I need to buy a complete set of student and teachers' books to plan lessons, and am dithering about which to go for. As I'm self-employed, this is going to be a considerable expense, so obviously I don't want to make the wrong choice. I don't plan to stick inflexibly to any coursebooks, but feel it is important to have them as a starting point for planning lessons and courses. I'd like something where the grammar and language points are clearly set out (both from the teacher's and student's viewpoint), and where the topics are, at least potentially, stimulating.

During the Celta, we used a range of books including Macmillan Straightforward English, Inside Out, and one or two others that I forget. I like Macmillan SE, but this would involve buying the Workbooks, as well as the Teachers' and Students' book, in order to get the CD with the listening exercises on. At well over £20 per book, with 3 books per level and 6 levels...well you can do the math, as they say.

I've had a couple of students mention 'English File' favourably - any views on this, or any other suggestions gratefully received. Also, if anyone knows anywhere I could get a complete secondhand set of coursebooks, I'd be grateful.
Thanks
Verbena
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Re: Wanted: impartial advice on coursebooks for 1-1s

Unread postby Verbena » 08 Sep 2010, 12:54

Well... one month and one week has gone by since I posted this, and not a single person is prepared to offer an opinion on any coursebook. I was only looking for an couple of honest opinions, based on experience, not an essay!
I'm not very impressed, especially as this was a first post to this site, from a new teacher.
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Re: Wanted: impartial advice on coursebooks for 1-1s

Unread postby Briona » 08 Sep 2010, 14:41

Verbena wrote:Well... one month and one week has gone by since I posted this, and not a single person is prepared to offer an opinion on any coursebook. I was only looking for an couple of honest opinions, based on experience, not an essay!
I'm not very impressed, especially as this was a first post to this site, from a new teacher.

It's easy for posts to be missed on forums – I certainly hadn't seen this one before today (though I was teaching in Vietnam at the time and had little internet access). In future you could always 'bump' your post up to get it back to the top of the forum.

On my CELTA course I used Language to Go (pre-intermediate) and Natural English (upper-intermediate). I felt that the teacher's book for Language to Go was much more user-friendly than the one for Natural English. It was the reverse with the students' books – the topics in Language to Go were really random, and not especially relevant to my students' lives (pre-nups anyone?!) whereas the Natural English course seemed to be better tailored to real life.

Since then, I have used My World (quite aside from the fact that they are beyond boring, the books are full of errors, with the teacher's book frequently giving incorrect answers!), New Headway, New English File and Just Right. Personally I quite like the Just Right series (written by Jeremy Harmer). Bear in mind that I was only teaching Elementary and Intermediate students. There is nothing to say that you have to use the same series with everyone though – you are free to pick and choose.

Note that I'm a fairly new teacher with no experience of teaching 1-2-1s. Hopefully someone more experienced will be able to give you some further insight.

Briona
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Re: Wanted: impartial advice on coursebooks for 1-1s

Unread postby wordlefan » 08 Sep 2010, 18:06

For supplementary materials check out free websites such as EnglishClub.com. The Grammar section is full of pages you can print out. You could also check out subscriptions sites like ESL-Library for interesting topics.
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Re: Wanted: impartial advice on coursebooks for 1-1s

Unread postby Verbena » 10 Sep 2010, 12:13

Thanks a lot for these replies, that's all I was looking for...
I'm now dithering between New English File and New Headway...slightly leaning towards New English File, as the topics look fresh and relevant, though I like the way New Headway tells the students clearly what grammar/language they are doing for every topic.
Seeing as each book is going to cost me €40 or so, obviously I'm anxious not to make the wrong choice!
Thanks
Verbena
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Re: Wanted: impartial advice on coursebooks for 1-1s

Unread postby Briona » 10 Sep 2010, 13:58

Verbena wrote:Thanks a lot for these replies, that's all I was looking for...
I'm now dithering between New English File and New Headway...slightly leaning towards New English File, as the topics look fresh and relevant, though I like the way New Headway tells the students clearly what grammar/language they are doing for every topic.
Seeing as each book is going to cost me €40 or so, obviously I'm anxious not to make the wrong choice!
Thanks

Personally I think both those series are pretty good. It's quite challenging to teach something neither you or the student have any interest in though so if you prefer the content in one, I'd be inclined to choose that.

I don't know if you're aware that they both have online content as well (see links below). Note that the content is interactive so you would need to have a computer if using it in class.

http://www.oup.com/elt/global/products/headway/
http://www.oup.com/elt/global/products/englishfile/

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