Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6

The New Headway Intermediate Book Evaluation English Language Essay

PRINT
REFERENCE THIS

Published: 23rd March, 2015

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our
professional essay writers.

The purpose of the second part of this essay is to evaluate New Headway intermediate students
book, one of the course books used at many of the foreign language institutes around the world.
The evaluation will be based on an external and an internal evaluation of the book. The external
evaluation will give us a brief overview of the materials from the outside (also known as factual
information) and the internal evaluation will give us a closer and more detailed look at Units 1
and 2.

The new headway course book is meant to be suitable for adults undertaking a general English
course. It is the third edition, which means that the book is very popular and published many
times.

Liz and John Soars are the authors of this book. There is a note at the back of the book which
states: Liz and John Soares are internationally renowned authors and highly experienced teachers
and teacher trainers. This statement indicates that the authors are recognised in an international
basis.

The publisher is the oxford university press; A widely known publisher which has published
thousands of books. There is a website link in the front and in the back of the book which you
can access it online. The one link contains exercises you can do online and the other one has
different English Books it has published so far.

This single course book costs 22.00, without the supplementary materials. If you want to buy
the whole package, you have to buy each material individually. However, the whole package
includes: class CDS/cassettes, a workbook (with or without key), the students workbook
CD/cassette and a DVD/Video with student's activity book. There is also a teacher's book in print
and locally available. Thus, the student edition will not be difficult to work with. However, if
you go online at Amazon, you will see that if you want to buy together the teacher's book, the
workbook and the class audio cds, costs 68. It is very expensive for someone who cannot afford
it economically and he will be dissuaded from selecting it. In my opinion I would not buy the
single book for only 22 pounds as I would definitely need a workbook for supplementary
exercises. However, it is not included in the package and it costs 12.50. Also the course book
does not provide any audio material in the back as many do. I think that it is essential to provide
this extra material in order to use the textbook more successfully in self-time study.

The front cover is colourful with nice pictures, but in my opinion it is not very inspiring and
attractive for learners. If you would take off the title I will take it as a science or a maths book.

When opening the contents page, language is presented and organised into teachable units. The
contents page illustrates the general organisation of the material, which is based on topics. Under
each unit there is an established topic. Meanwhile, the importance of form is also made obvious
by the prominent placement of grammar in the second column. It is now clear that the content is
sequenced on the basis of the grammar complexity. It starts from a more simple grammar form
and then progress to a more complex grammar form.

The contents are divided broadly into language input and skills development. Under language
input there is grammar, vocabulary and everyday English. Under skills development there is:
reading, speaking, listening and writing.

We can now continue to the next stage of the evaluation by performing a more deep investigation
into the materials. I am going to examine Unit 1 and 2 in order to perform an effective internal
inspection of the materials.

Both units start with a presentation of the grammar which will be the focus of the unit and
provides an engaging start. Looking the units as a whole all the language skills including
grammar, vocabulary, reading, listening and speaking are all covered.

Usually after the 'test your grammar' part which engages you into the main focus of the units,
there is a text. It is good that the unit starts with this way because it is helping them to remember
thing they have done previously but also is going to introduce them of what grammar is going to
follow.

In unit 1 the grammar is very simple. It starts with auxiliary verbs, naming the tenses, questions
and negatives, and short answers. Tenses and auxiliary verbs are integrated into a quiz which
they have to complete and then listen to it in order to check their answers. Then there is the
grammar spot and then there is a practice section where they have to practice negatives and
pronunciation. Then follows some exercises on short answers where they have to notice
differences between the two conversations. This is followed again by a grammar spot and then a
practice activity based on short answers. It is obvious that it gives more emphasis on grammar.
However, then follows an information gap speaking activity. In the next page follows a reading
and a speaking activity where the students have to read a passage on the wonders of the modern
world and answer some questions based on the text and then discuss some other questions.
Further down there is a freer listening and speaking section which consists of listening about
wonders of the modern world and a discussion based on inventions. Then, follows a vocabulary
section with different exercises based on what it is new in a word. This part includes some
spelling and pronunciation exercises. Additionally there is a reference to page 159 where you can
find all the phonetic symbols. At the end of the vocabulary section there is a writing exercise in
page 103 based on correcting mistakes and finally there is the section every day English where
students practice social expressions through exercises.

Unit 2 starts with a short "Test your grammar" exercise which is to guide students into the focus
of the unit and provide an engaging start. Following this is a picture presentation of different
people having fun and here students have to talk about what makes them happy. Then there is a
textual representation incorporating pictures and a written text on the theme of what makes
people happy, which talks about Sidney fisk and below some comprehension questions focusing
on conceptual aspects of the target language. The target language has been embedded in the
written text .The object is that learners are given some exercises where they have to opportunity
to practice how the present tense is used and why. These rules are reinforced in a "grammar spot"
section under the passage and in the grammar reference in the back of the book where learners
can look for help. This is followed by a listening and speaking controlled practice activities, the
first two focusing on present tenses. Both of these exercises use information and examples from
the presentation of grammar. Then students listen and read a conversation which is based on
'simple or continuous' and they have to practice similar conversations with the one they have
listened to including different jobs. This is followed by grammar practice activities, where in the
first one they have to indicate whether the sentences are correct or not and in the second to
complete the sentences with present simple or present continuous. Then, the reading and
speaking section is about '' I am a clown doctor''. The unit here includes some pre-reading
activities; mainly questions which are said to motivate learners. Then learners have to read the
text and answer some questions. Following this is a grammar spot exercise which focuses on
present passive. Students have to complete sentences from the text and then if they want they can
go and see the rules on how and when to use present passive on the grammar reference part.
Some more exercises follow. The one is related to the text and in the other one you have to
format some questions in order to complete the interview. Then there is an activity where
students have to discuss some questions in groups. Exercises on vocabulary and listening are in
the next page, based on sports. There are pictures of different people doing different sports and a
warm-up activity in which learners have to make a list of as many sports and leisure activities
they can think of. They can use the pictures for help. When they finish, there is an exercise
where they have to match some sports with the verbs do, play or go. Then follows an activity in
which they have to complete a chart using activities from the list they have made before.
Meanwhile they have the opportunity to use a dictionary to look up any words they need. Then
they listen to different people talking about a sport activity they enjoy and take notes. In a freer
activity they can ask their partners some questions based on sports. For writing they have to
write letters and emails. The unit finishes by everyday English which is based on numbers. They
will learn about money, fractions, decimals and percentages, dates and phone numbers. Then
they will listen to some conversation and write the numbers they hear.

In my opinion it would take me 18-20 hours to teach both units in this course book.

New Headway Intermediate is attractively laid out, with glossy pages and plenty use of colour
and photographs which inspires the student. The strong visual element is likely to attract
students. However, the cover does not really remind you of an English book, but the inside is
different. I think that the new headway intermediate book is well organised into units and sub-
sections and it is easy to follow. There are headings or labels for each section and exercises and
activities are always introduced with clear instructions. The book clearly arranges the contents,
and cross references indicate where learners can find further grammatical information,
typescripts, pair work activities, irregular verbs, verb patterns and phonetic symbols in the back.
Still, it does not include any revision or recycling sections and this is a disadvantage because
students will not have the opportunity for self study in order to check the skills they have learnt. I
would provide them with some revision activities with every 2 or 3 units so that they will do
revisions and refresh their skills. However, I find the way that the materials are sequenced
logical, because intermediate learners need to work their grammar. Some people may find this as
a limitation but I believe that it is a good for intermediate learners that the content is based on the
complexity of grammar. Moreover, there is a varied mix of activities, like grammar, vocabulary,
listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, and functional English, but it lacks on
pronunciation activities. Even if it provides phonetic symbols in the back of the book it does not
include material for pronunciation work, and it is essential for this level of students to practice
their pronunciation. The material for vocabulary is adequate in terms of quantity and range

It offers a good balance of work on all skills and they are adequately covered .Also, there are
some points where there are materials for integrated skills. I think that there are not enough
activities associated to the text in each unit. In unit 1 and 2, they have to read the passage and
then answer some comprehension questions. There are not exercises or suitable texts that will
help students to improve their reading skills (scanning, skimming, intensive reading, and
extensive reading). As homework I would give students extra reading exercises to do in order to
practice their reading skills. The other skill that lacks in practice in the unit is the listening skill. I
believe that again the book does not provide learners the opportunity to expand and practice their
listening skills. The exercises provided for listening does not help students to expand their
listening skills, and thus I would give them different listening activities to do within a lessons in
order to practice their listening. Grammar, writing and vocabulary are well covered. Speaking
activities can equip them for real-life conversations.

The topics are motivating for the adult learners and suitable for their language level. It covers a
variety of interests and it gives them the opportunity to expand their awareness on some topics
and enrich their experiences. Other groups of people are also presented in the topics.
On the whole, New Headway Intermediate course book is perceived as a well designed and a
well written book which supports English language learning. It is also used in many schools
which teach English as a foreign language. It is suitable for learners, and regarding the
disadvantages mentioned above they can become overcome through supplementary activities.