Analysis of Teaching Material- NEW HEADWAY ADVANCED
The material chosen for analysis is the New Headway Advanced Student’s Course Book published and released in 2004 and written by Liz Soars, John Soars. The New Headway claims to the best-selling series that combines the best of traditional methods with current teaching techniques. It is renowned and valued for a reliable methodology that works at every level. Headway goes on to assert that no course offers more in terms of levels, components, and support. The long-awaited, totally new edition of the Advanced level of New Headway, provides a real challenge and stimulus for Advanced learners. (Oxford University Press, 2004) The New Headway Advanced Student’s Book is targeted for Advanced learners who are not at the stage of expanding their knowledge of English into the realms of social and cultural differences within the English speaking world.
The New Headway Advanced Student’s book is set out into 12 units of work. Each unit topic is titled in a way that it shows its relevance and relation to everyday life and scenarios. Starting off with “Our land is your land” and moving on to “Never lost for words” and so on. However each unit does have specific aims of language that it is teaching the students such as its specific language focus for the unit, the vocabulary that is to be used, reading and listening activities, as well as a speaking component. And finishing off each unit with a “Last word” where they discuss a variety of things ranging from the differences in American and British Englishes, to how to sound more emotional with the choice of words used. In the case of Unit one for example, students are to read and listen to a conversation in American English and to turn it into British English making the necessary word substitutions. At the end of each unit students are to do a writing exercise which ranges from writing a letter to writing a film or book review. In each instance, the student is required to choose the appropriate writing style and use the appropriate vocabulary.
The New Headway Advanced Student’s Book (Soars 2004)is aimed at students who have a sound level of developed language skills and knowledge that which to further enhance their communication approximating as much as possible to a native speaker. For this reason Soars has created a work book that incorporates real life and cultural specific units that have a particular angle towards American culture. Throughout the work book there is an emphasis towards group work, specifically working in pairs. This seems to be an ideal method for students to learn, interact and practice their language. Long & Porter argue in favour of group work stating that “In all probability, one of the main reasons for low achievement by many classroom SL learners is simply that they do not have enough time to practice the new language. This is especially serious in large EFL classes in which students need to develop aural-oral skills, but it is also relevant to the ESL context.” (Long & Porter, 1985, p208) So through group work, Headway gives students plenty of reading and comprehension to work through. Headway is atoll primarily suited for adult learners. Because of the different tasks that are put forward through the book, the individual works independently and uses his or her initiative to go through the exercises. Ozman found that “A study by psychologist David Kolb on the question "How adults learn? " shows that when the adults undertake to learn something through their own initiative, they start with a concrete experience. Then they make observations about the experience, reflect on it and diagnose what new knowledge or skill they need to acquire in order to perform more effectively. Then, with the help of material and human resources, they formulate abstract concepts and generalizations which they deduce what to do next. Finally, they test their concepts and generalizations in new situations, which refers...
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