|Virginija Rupainienė, Beata Baskakovienė, Sandra Shaw,
Romualda Liutkuvienė, Irma Šneiderienė
SUPER ENGLISH 4
We’re delighted to welcome you back to Super English and we’re sure that you and your students are going to enjoy our latest in the series – SUPER ENGLISH 4!
Your students are becoming young adults and their knowledge of the world and their interests are developing. In Super English 4, we have chosen topics which we hope will help them to develop and expand their English while learning more about travelling, culture, sport, literature and the media. They will learn how to avoid phishing and keep their personal information safe. They should become competent in taking out travel insurance, booking hotel accommodation and understanding the hotel * rating system. They will look in more depth at the problems associated with climate change and natural disasters. Many topics, including the History of the Cinema, the media, reading habits and astrology, could provide a good opportunity for project and research activities. We have also included information on some of the original member states of the European Union.
We have again provided a range of activities for you to use in whichever way you choose – as a fun activity at the end of a lesson, as homework or not at all.
In English there is a saying ‘Variety is the spice of life’ and this is what we try to provide in our Super English series – lots of listening, reading, writing and speaking practice but, most importantly, we hope to make learning English fun.
Good luck with your teaching.
The Super English Team
BACKGROUND TO THE COURSE. COURSEBOOK COMPONENTS
“Super English 4” is the fourth in a series of interactive English coursebooks which is specially designed for pupils of the eighth form, who started learning English in the second form. This coursebook ensures the fluent transition from the series of “Early School English“ coursebooks. It includes combination of the best traditional communicative methods with more recent approaches of interactive language learning strategies. “Super English 4” consists of a Student’s Book, an Activity Book with tests with graded tasks, a Teacher’s Book and a CD. The Student’s Book also contains English–Lithuanian, Lithuanian–English vocabularies with phonetic transcriptions and a table of irregular verbs. “Super English 4” consists of 32 units and offers extensive and wellintegrated practice of speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. 32 is the number of working weeks. It is recommended to have 4 English lessons a week. One unit contains 4 lessons providing systematic preparation for all the skills required for successful communication in both spoken and written form.
Units It’s Great to Know! following every eighth unit provide systematic review and consolidation of language items and grammar structures provided earlier. The Activity Book follows the same structure as the Student’s Book and consists of 32 units. It gives practice in vocabulary, grammar, communication, as well as provides additional practice in writing. The Tests allow teachers to keep a thorough and regular check on their pupils’ progress. It consists of 16 tests that test pupils’ knowledge on grammar and vocabulary as well. Teachers can be flexible and use the tasks from the Tests for extra practice, remedial work or as supplementary tasks for brighter pupils. The Teacher’s Book contains unit-by-unit lesson notes, a key to the Student’s Book and the Activity Book tasks and tapescripts. The CD contains all the recorded material from the Student’s Book and the Tests that are marked by a special sign.
The pupils’ communicative language competence is activated in the performance of various language activities, involving reception, production, interaction or mediation (here mediating activities in English only). Each of these types of activity is possible in relation to texts in oral or written form, or both. As processes, reception and production (oral and/or written) are obviously primary, since both are required for interaction. Receptive activities include silent reading and/or listening following the record. Productive activities have an important function in oral presentations, written works and reports and particular social value is attached to them. In interaction at least two pupils participate in an oral and/or written exchange in which production and reception alternate and may in fact overlap in oral communication. High importance is generally attributed to interaction in language use and learning in view of its central role in communication. “Super English 3” contributes to development of elementary mediation skills – when learners do interpretation or paraphrase, summary or record, which provides for a third party a (re)formulation of a context to which this third party does not have direct access.
PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE COURSE
“Super English 4” chooses up-to-date topics that appeal to young people. Heroes of one family representing different generations from a friendly community join the themes of the coursebook into one whole. Learning is based on communicative tasks. Many of them are designed so that pupils can work in pairs, simultaneously, in order to increase pupils’ talking time. For other kinds of activities, e.g. roleplays, discussions, questionnaires, and projects, pupils can work in groups which provide an opportunity for shy pupils to talk more and encourage cooperation. You will also find graded tasks that give full support for mixed level classes. Regular projects in the Student’s Book will enable both less successful and stronger pupils to use knowledge gained and to express themselves creatively.
Cross-curricular themes that you will find in the coursebook teach more English and encourage pupils to talk about a variety of topics in English. Pupils will find a lot of possibilities to apply and deepen their knowledge gained during History, Maths, Nature Studies, Arts and Music while working on up-to-date topics. They are also encouraged to learn autonomously by making use of the web addresses where they can find useful information.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE UNITS
Each unit is divided into four lessons. All the units start with Warm-up activities. They serve as pre-reading or pre-listening tasks by encouraging pupils to discuss or predict what they know about the topic. Pupils are also asked to give opinions or express reasons for their arguments. Reading or listening and reading tasks where pre- and post-reading/listening tasks are introduced in a form of questions, true and false statements, discussions or other exercises which encourage pupils to reproduce information from the text and master the new vocabulary which is always introduced in the FindLearnUse. There are different types of activities for a text analysis such as reading or listening for gist, understanding vocabulary from the context and summarizing text in their own words. Grammar section It’s Great To Know! presents grammar structures in a clear, comprehensible way. First of all, this section presents short dialogues containing grammar, stimulating inductive recognition and only after that introducing a grammar rule itself in a form of informative tables with highlighted grammar structures. Pupils can expand their knowledge of grammar through a variety of useful tasks that are given after that. Listening and speaking tasks are focused on communication too. Pupils are given the opportunity to develop competence in their listening and speaking skills through various exercises and activities. Writing activities usually marked by M.E.P. are always based on examples. Pupils can see grammar and lexical structures in a description. After that they have to plan how to write their own compositions step by step. The Have Fun! at the end of each unit provide a range of entertaining activities introducing English culture through songs, poems, chants, jokes, tongue-twisters, jumbled stories, riddles that also serve for learning purposes. You will also find little reminders of important days each month. The Activity Book can be done either in class or at home. It provides further practice of the language points introduced in the Student’s Book.
HOW TO COLLECT WORKS IN MY ENGLISH PORTFOLIO – M.E.P.
The novelty in “Super English 4” is My English Portfolio. M.E.P. to some extent is designed according to European Language Portfolio which is meant to make it possible for pupils to document their progress towards pluralingual competence by recording learning experiences of all kinds. M.E.P. will encourage pupils to include a regularly updated statement of their self-assessed proficiency in the English language every eighth lesson when they will fill in self-assessment grids evaluating their communicative language competence in various language activities, such as reception, production, interaction or mediation. In “Super English 4” M.E.P. also includes a set of written and other works (usually short compositions) created by a pupil and collected together. Pupils are encouraged to create works following the clearly set structures and examples after covering a new theme. Presentation of pupils’ works, analysis, evaluation in groups and individually, as well as mediation is encouraged after that. Each revision unit has got self-evaluation grids which are made according to the requirements of the Common European Framework where pupils are able to self-evaluate their knowledge and compare their evaluation with the one of their teacher’s.
ORGANISATION OF THE LESSON
The teacher’s choice of organisation of a lesson obviously depends on the preferred teaching style, the individual classroom situation and the learning environment. These are only some general suggestions for teachers:
• At the beginning of the lesson introduce a new topic and set the learning goals. Revise the material which pupils learned during the previous lesson.
• Try to change teaching methods during your lessons. Motivate pupils. Encourage them to give and receive information about the real world.
• Before setting homework remember that your classes include pupils with different abilities.
• At the end of the lesson encourage your pupils to draw conclusions, to sum up what they have learned and evaluate their own performance.
Units It’s Great to Know! are organised after every eighth unit and set a systematic review of language structures, vocabulary, and grammar based on the material learned. Pupils are encouraged to take part in a Project Work, consolidate the learned vocabulary in the Now I Can! section, apply their general knowledge in the Quiz and revise their knowledge of grammar in the Auction Game. At the end of the unit Mini Conferences should be organised. The topic selected for the Project Work can be developed into a poster, a book, a newspaper, a booklet, a mind map or PowerPoint presentation. In Now I Can part pupils work in pairs and try to comment on the given questions. In this way they revise all the vocabulary and grammar structures they have learned. You may ask to make some notes on the items discussed and present some of them to the class later or ask pupils to change pairs and exchange the information they have received while working with the first partner. The Quiz helps to check pupils’ attentiveness while all the information is taken from previous units. This part is a multiple choice activity where pupils choose the correct answer either individually or in pairs. Discussion on the correct answer can be encouraged later. The Auction Game can be led either by a teacher or by pupils, either as a whole class or as a group activity. This task consists of correct and incorrect sentences which are read by the leader of the game. Pupils may use drawn or imaginary money to buy the offered sentences, but each of the pupils has to have the same amount of money for a start. After the leader of the game reads a sentence pupils can offer money for it, the owner is the pupil who offers the biggest amount of money. If pupils buy wrong sentences they lose the offered amount of their money. The pupil who has the greatest number of correct sentences and the greatest amount of money at the end of the game is the winner. Your own variations on the rules of the game can be introduced. The Mini Conference can be organised as an exhibition or cooperative work of different groups of pupils or even classes. Pupils’ parents can also be invited to watch children’s presentations. Units Find out if you know it well come in every eighth unit in the Activity Book. These units give children opportunities to revise vocabulary, grammar and writing skills as well. Each task is evaluated by points. The evaluation tables at the end of the Activity Book help pupils to carry out self-evaluation. Assessment grids based on Illustrative descriptors peculiar for the A 2.2. level are prepared according to the requirements of Common European Framework. They can be found at the end of Find out if you know it well units. Pupils can assess progress of their general language performance in various language activities, involving reception, production, interaction or mediation. Pupils get feedback about their success in the activities from their teacher as well.
DEVELOPMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE SKILLS
To improve pupils’ listening skills the coursebook contains different listening tasks. Some listening tasks prepare pupils for reading and propose additional information for them. Some activities are meant for gap filling, some are with the provided tapescripts and others are open listening activities without provided tapescripts. Before listening, the tasks should be clearly explained and the necessary words if there are new ones in the listening task should be presented. In some cases pupils have to answer the questions, in other cases to copy the numbers from Student’s Book and write the missing information into their exercise books. In order to avoid misunderstanding look at the task with pupils and make sure if everyone knows what to do. It is recommended to play the CD twice as the first time pupils listen to get general understanding and then look for specific information. Ask pupils to close their books while you play the CD.
How to teach listening:
a) Encourage pupils to do pre-listening tasks such as guessing, sharing ideas and prediction. Write guesses up on the board and then check them when pupils have finished listening;
b) Encourage pupils to check their answers in pairs before they present them to class and if there are some differences encourage the discussion;
c) Discuss the tasks with pupils after they have performed them. Discuss how difficult and how interesting the tasks were so that pupils are aware of different types of listening and encourage them to interpret, summarise or re-formulate what their friends have discussed.
“Super English 4” is based on the communicative teaching and learning so most of the activities are done in pairs, groups or with a whole class. Activities are intended to create definite situations where specific language structures must be used. Sometimes pupils have to discuss the information they have heard or read; sometimes they have to interview friends to make presentations; or they have the so called jigsaw activities when pupils having different information share it to make a final decision. Mediation is a new communicative activity where pupils after a discussion or interviewing their friends have to present the information to the rest of the class or other group from their point of view. Each speaking activity should be demonstrated by the teacher and one of the pupils, then by two pupils for others to fulfil the task correctly and use the necessary language structures and appropriate vocabulary. Time limit should be given for each activity. As every speaking activity is significant and connected to the topic learned, the communication should proceed naturally. Encourage pupils to interpret, summarise or re-formulate what their friends have spoken. Thus, speaking activities in the SB can be divided into Interaction, production, mediation.
“Super English 4” provides pupils with a wide variety of texts to read, such as brochures, tales, extracts from books, e-mail messages, a magazine page, a postcard, questionnaires, letters, descriptions, poems, advertisements, interviews and posters that vary in length too. There is also a wide-ranging selection of reading task types: prediction, table completion, true/false, matching texts with pictures, reading for specific information, expressing personal reactions to the texts and discussions. Reading provides the context for new language and sometimes acts as a model for writing. Most important is that it evokes ideas and discussion. All the texts are recorded on the CD.
How to teach reading:
a) Encourage pupils to do pre-reading activities such as guessing and prediction. Write guesses on the board and then check them when pupils have finished reading;
b) Encourage pupils to guess the meaning of the words;
c) Discuss the texts and tasks with pupils after they have performed them. Discuss how difficult and how interesting the texts were so that pupils are aware of different types of texts and encourage them to interpret, summarise or re-formulate what their friends have discussed.
There are units which have one major writing task M.E.P. in the Student’s Book. The Activity Book also offers a variety of guided writing activities. The writing tasks have two-fold purpose: either to consolidate the language or help pupils to write specific types of writing: e-mails, a description of a dream house, a place, a recipe, a description of a pet, a class friend, a description of a favourite book, a festival, an invitation, an advertisement, a poster, a story and a description of a favorite film. M.E.P. writing is carefully staged. There are steps which should be carefully followed by pupils: brainstorming ideas (using questions, mind maps); paragraph planning; drafting (using useful vocabulary and linking words); checking (content, organisation, grammar, and spelling); audience awareness; self-assessment grid.
How to teach writing:
a) Make sure that pupils are following the steps of writing for M.E.P.
b) Try out some written tasks in pairs/groups.
c) Make assessment criteria clear. Tell your pupils what criteria you will be using to assess their writing, before they start the task.
d) Emphasize the importance of the planning stage. By this you will encourage your pupils to spend more time planning, as well as help them to develop note-writing skills.
e) Make sure pupils check their writing. Remind them to improve the content or organisation of their writing. They also need to find mistakes by themselves before they give their work to the teacher or their friend.
f) Make sure that the writing tasks are read and feedback about their writing is given. Pupils should be encouraged to read their works aloud and react to each other’s work, i.e. to interpret, summarise or reformulate what their friends have written. This helps pupils to see the communicative importance of writing.
TEACHING NEW WORDS
All new words are presented in a rubric FindLearnUse. It means that pupils will go through three main stages to memorize the new vocabulary.
Find – new words are presented in a context which is familiar to pupils. Visual support is also very important to help the pupils understand the meaning of new words. That is why a lot of illustrations (photos, pictures) are used in each unit to illustrate all the texts. When pupils are already familiar with the context of the text, they simply can guess the meaning of new words; teachers can also elicit new words by asking questions related to the content of the text; describe an object or an action; use actions, expressions, gestures and mime. Teachers can explain the words in simple English, ask pupils to use dictionaries or show flashcards or magazine pictures. These techniques are more motivating and memorable than giving pupils a list of words to learn.
Learn – at this stage pupils practise and memorize new words of a particular unit by using them in short dialogues, descriptions and other activities which are designed so that pupils can discover new connections between words themselves.
Use – pupils practise new words regularly, consolidate and recycle them in different contexts. There are also a lot of different communicative, grammatical activities in the Activity Book which help to reinforce and memorize new words in an effective and motivating way. One of the suggestions to liven work with a new vocabulary and foster the learner’s analytical inclinations is the usage of the so called vocabulary cards. On one side of the card pupils write the new word in English (1) on the other they write the translation of this word in Lithuanian and the example sentence in English taken from the coursebook or from the dictionary (2). Pupils can draw simple pictures or glue a photo to illustrate the word. Each pupil makes his own set of cards. The next lesson pupils in pairs take turns asking “What’s the English for “važinėtis dviračiu”?” If a partner A does not know/remember the word his partner B shows him the card with an example (side 2 on the card) what probably will help to recollect the word. This activity can be carried out at the beginning of each lesson for a few minutes, putting the cards with the words that are learned well into one envelope and the words that still need to be learned into another.
New grammar structures are presented in a rubric It’s Great To Know! This grammar section presents grammar structures in a clear and easy way. First of all, new grammar patterns are presented in a short dialogue which contains the grammar structures to be taught. This technique is called the inductive recognition. And only after that new grammar rules are introduced in a form of informative table with highlighted grammar structures. Then pupils can expand their knowledge of grammar while doing a variety of grammar exercises based on communicative approach. Grammar is often more memorable if pupils can discover new patterns themselves. When they elicit rules themselves, this gives them a sense of achievement.
WHAT IS HAVE FUN?
These activities will help to develop the following features and skills: pronunciation, listening, stress and intonation. Before singing a song you can ask your pupils to read it aloud and find the meaning of the song or you can simply ask to close the books and listen for gist. Also while listening to a poem ask pupils to repeat the lines in order to feel the stress and intonation. These activities raise pupils’ positive emotions and make learning English real fun.
A new feature to our series is called Culture Corner, and you’ll find one after every Revision Unit. These units are designed to familiarise your students with the unique cultures and histories of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, by providing them with interesting facts, stories, and discussion activities. The Culture Corner units are entirely optional – if you don’t have time for them during the semester, they can be used at the end, or even saved for the end of the school year... or dropped altogether. They simply offer you one more way to tailor Super English 4 to the needs and interests of your class.