Language Leader ElementaryPublisher: Pearson Longman Components: Coursebook and CD-ROM, Class CD, Teacher’s Book and Test Master CD-ROM, Workbook and Audio CD Authors: Ian Lebeau and Gareth Rees (Course book and Class CD), John Waterman (Teacher’s Book), D’Arcy Adrian-Vallance (Workbook) Summary: The book has a truly global feel to it, and this is possibly its most unique selling […]
Publisher: Pearson Longman
Components: Coursebook and CD-ROM, Class CD, Teacher’s Book and Test Master CD-ROM, Workbook and Audio CD
Authors: Ian Lebeau and Gareth Rees (Course book and Class CD), John Waterman (Teacher’s Book), D’Arcy Adrian-Vallance (Workbook)
Summary: The book has a truly global feel to it, and this is possibly its most unique selling point as a general English coursebook.
The elementary and pre-intermediate Language Leader coursebooks are shorter than the upper levels with each unit consisting of 2 input lessons, 1 ‘scenario’ task-based lesson and 1 study and writing skills lesson.
A lesson in the textbook takes probably an average of 90 minutes for strong groups, plus additional homework tasks. For most of my classes, which range anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes, I’m finding it difficult to create a well-rounded lesson from the materials. The units do have good continuation though so it is easy to move through the text bit-by-bit rather than lesson-by-lesson.
As with the higher levels, the ‘scenario’ tasks are great and get students interacting with the language and each other in mock ‘real-life’ tasks. These develop pair and group-work skills. At this level the language focus sections are needed to give students enough input to do the tasks successfully.
The study and writing skills sections help to foster good learning habits and skills for improving language ability. The writing focus at this level is essential to prepare students for exams, such as IELTS, and to provide a basis for improving their writing at ever increasing levels. The tasks are relevant to needs such as writing emails, formal and informal letters, and the fact that the sections are at the end of each unit mean teachers and students are less likely to skip over them (as opposed to other leading books where these sections are often tucked away at the back of the book).
The workbook is a valuable addition to the course giving students lots of controlled practice and essential graded input, which comes both in written texts and oral texts on the accompanying CD. The dictation exercises are also great learning devices and are found regularly in the workbooks, and there are useful pronunciation sections as well as study skills and writing work. The workbooks are the same length as the ones for the upper levels, reflecting the need for more controlled practice and graded input at lower levels – this makes the workbook much more of a essential element of the lower level courses.
The teacher’s book gives plenty of suggestions for homework as well as useful information on typical learner problems and variations depending on class sizes. There is also a test-master CD which seems useful for grouping and assessing students at different stages of a course (although I haven’t had the opportunity to use this yet myself). Similarly, the companion website is well-regarded by other teachers I have spoken to, citing the easy-to-use activities available in PDF format.
The most appealing things about the elementary Language Leader coursebook are the variety of topics and the pictures which show life around the world. The pictures serve to brighten the textbook and bring it to life; they also stimulate interest and can be used to develop conversations between students. Having so many fascinating examples of people, places and issues which connect us all highlights the importance of learning to communicate across borders. The book has a truly global feel to it, and this is possibly its most unique selling point as a general English coursebook.
September 2008 | Filed under Level A
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