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New Framework Elementary and Pre-Intermediate

A flexible, modern, and relevant course pack perfect for young adult learners
Reviewed for Teflnet by Lydia Schrandt

If you ask any English language teacher what they find most frustrating about their textbook, many of the complaints would probably be the same: it’s outdated, the language isn’t natural, it doesn’t have enough material, etc. This new edition of the Framework course has updated content and artwork that give the material a fresh and relevant feel, while giving students communicative activities through which to acquire language they’ll need in the everyday world.

New Framework is a multi-level course with each book divided into 12 units and designed to fill 120 classroom hours. Each unit covers 8 areas (Language Focus, Vocabulary, Reading, Speaking, Listening, Writing, Pronunciation, and Takeaway English), and each culminates in a speaking or writing activity that draws on various elements from the lesson. Each unit also contains a natural chunk of language (The Real Thing) introduced through listening activities and connected to the language focus of the chapter. The course builds on itself, recycling vocabulary and grammar points from previous chapters. While the book claims to be geared towards both adult and young adult learners, I find it more appropriate for the latter- though it would be great for university aged learners as well.

The New Framework course pack includes a teacher’s book that gives step-by-step directions on how to teach each unit, as well as answer keys for all the activities and scripts for the dialogues. In addition, even the most experienced teachers will benefit from the occasional tips for mixed-ability classes, real beginners, and making the most of each activity. The book also comes with a class audio CD with a majority of the audio in a British English accent, though a variety of other accents are occasionally presented. In addition, New Framework offers an accompanying website with transcripts, word lists, and CALL web quests that are perfect for groupwork in a large class.

One of my favorite things about New Framework is its modern feel. Instead of using stock pictures that look like they were taken in the `80s, like most textbooks I’ve encountered, New Framework actually looks like it was made for today’s teenagers. The pages are filled with pop cultural icons and information that is both interesting and relevant to modern English learners.

Another nice feature of the course is its flexibility. While it is designed for a 120-hour course, the review units or DVD activities could be easily omitted, bringing the time down to 100 hours. My worst nightmare in the classroom is trying to fill in extra time when I finish early. New Framework includes a photocopiable Teacher’s Resource book containing a 15-30 minute activity for each unit and a DVD, providing the teacher with well over 120 hours of material! With this course you can pick and choose what and how much to cover and never worry about running out of materials.

While the amount of material and flexibility are both great features, the Student’s Book can feel a bit cluttered and overwhelming, with a bit too much crammed onto every page in an array of different styles and fonts. This could be intimidating and confusing, especially for beginning English learners.

In conclusion, New Framework is a refreshingly contemporary textbook that would appeal to young adult learners. You’ll never run out of things to teach while working through this book, as there are plenty of communicative and fun activities to practice the language they’ll need outside the classroom!

Reviewed by Lydia Schrandt for TEFL.NET May 2009


  • Tom says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. I’m currently teaching a pre-intermediate class with this book and so far it has been awesomely awful.

    Mostly boring subjects, pointless vocabulary, absolutely vital grammar dealt with in the most cursory way or not taught at all, lazy communication exercises, patronizing ‘the real stuff’ ‘natural’ English sections and the whole package feels like there was very little thought put into it at all. I daren’t try the DVD, I’m getting bogged down enough in expanding the grammar exercises into something worthwhile while still trying to justify to my students their purchase of the book.

  • Alex Case says:

    I can only suggest contacting the local agent of Richmond Publishing

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TEFL.NET : TEFL Book Reviews : Level A : New Framework Elementary and Pre-Intermediate