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English teaching books in Poland: villains and heroes


Trevek 26 | 1,702
21 Mar 2010 #1
I have recently come across some really lousy books which I am supposed to use to try and teach students.
I realise some teachers really don't like books, but that's another question.
I'm curious to know which books both teachers and students have used which they like or dislike.

For me:

Headway; boring but safe. Can be used as a base and supplemented.
Old Countdown: Good book, generally. Shame they stopped doing it.
New Countdown; OK, but a bit teen orientated and the first edition had a mountain of typoes in it.
Laser pre-FCE. Patronising, dumbed down teen-aimed rubbish.
Making Progress: should be 'Faking Progress'. If the ghost of Linda Lovelace possessed a hoover it couldn't suck as much as this book.
Ready for FCE: Decent book, can be supplemented fairly well. Don't like the solid page of grammar, tho'.
Inside Out: Good for speaking and interaction.

Any other ideas?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
21 Mar 2010 #2
New English File is fantastic and is probably my favourite, just for the way that it's consistent throughout the books. I know some others don't like it, but for me, it's a great coursebook.

Business Handbook (Advanced) by Paul Emmerson is my bible of Business teaching - it never, ever fails to impress. It's probably the one English textbook that I've found that goes beyond British school-level material.

And of course, the Murphy books are always a reliable companion.

And strangely - the Sky 1/2/3 books are quite good too, even for adults. They're designed for kids, but the Sky 3 book is particularly good for adults.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Mar 2010 #3
'In Company' is very good. I taught from the Upper-Int version. It is published by McMillan.

'Market Leader' is good at all levels, esp Pre-Int.
scottie1113 7 | 898
21 Mar 2010 #4
New English File is the best. New Inside Out is pretty weak, especially the speaking exercises. Skip them and make up your own, even on the spot. Ready for FCE is OK, and they still need grammar at this point, but I always bring some outside material for them.
OP Trevek 26 | 1,702
21 Mar 2010 #5
'Market Leader' is good at all levels, esp Pre-Int.

Oh yeah, I agree with that. Forgot to mention it.

Ready for FCE is OK, and they still need grammar at this point, but I always bring some outside material for them.

I agree about them needing grammar, I (and they) just don't like the way it's laid out on the page. I usually skip to a speaking activity after a bit of it and then come back for more.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Mar 2010 #6
I taught through Britam with it. It has a lovely blend of activities and is cohesive. It has a lot of relevance to industrial practices which is absolutely key.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
22 Mar 2010 #7
My first English manual (I forgot the title) was revolving around two families - The Browns and The Wilsons. The Wilsons had a son Robert who was a medical student, and Susan who had a pus.sy... I mean a cat named Pus.sy.

(I had to add dots inside the cat's name since it turns out this forum censors words from English manuals for beginners too)
OP Trevek 26 | 1,702
22 Mar 2010 #8
(I had to add dots inside the cat's name since it turns out this forum censors words from English manuals for beginners too)

really? Oh that's funny. Shame it let's some of the racist drivel on other threads through, tho'.

I'm curious about these families and their daughter's pu55y.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
22 Mar 2010 #9
What racist drivel?
The thread is about English teaching books, no?
I found some second hand copies online.
alejka.pl/my-english-book-podrecznik-jezyka-angielskiego-i-rok-nauki.html
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,443
22 Mar 2010 #10
he was referring to not filtering the racist drivel on PF. That would be a great idea.
OP Trevek 26 | 1,702
22 Mar 2010 #11
Correct, sorry if I confused you, z_darius, I just found it funny how a potentially innocent word like pu55y can be censored but some of the garbage they allow to be written on other threads is allowed.

Anyway, back on track. Thanks for the second hand books link. Looks good.

I had an amazing one last year, when my school cleared out its store room and hundreds of books were thrown out. We could just take what we wanted. I got car loads for some of the local schools.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
23 Mar 2010 #12
Correct, sorry if I confused you, z_darius, I just found it funny how a potentially innocent word like pu55y can be censored but some of the garbage they allow to be written on other threads is allowed.

I stand corrected.

In 1970/80 L.G. Alexander's manuals were pretty popular and that's what I used to teach ESL.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_George_Alexander

The worst by far was Najnowszy Samouczek Jezyka Angielskiego (The Newest Manual of Self Taught English). I came across it when I first came into the US. The book was first published in 1948 and in late 1980's it didn't appear it had ever been revised. To me one value of that terrible piece of garbage was that it explained why so many Poles in the US spoke "English" with the same clumsy jig and with the same consistent mispronunciations.
OP Trevek 26 | 1,702
23 Mar 2010 #13
I hadn't heard of Alexander, sounds an interesting chap.

To me one value of that terrible piece of garbage was that it explained why so many Poles in the US spoke "English" with the same clumsy jig and with the same consistent mispronunciations.

I think the offspring of this book still thrive. I saw a Warner brother's connected book for teaching kids basic English. It has words in English with a pronunciation in Polish-style.

towel = taal
butter = batir

I cringe at the thought.

They're designed for kids, but the Sky 3 book is particularly good for adults.

Not come across these, Delph, I'll ask the kids teachers at school.
scottie1113 7 | 898
24 Mar 2010 #14
Most students who take the FCE exam do well in speaking, reading and listening. The difficult parts are writing and Use of English. Guess what we do a lot of in my classes. I use the Cambridge exams book extensively. After every exercise, say in word formation, we do a speaking exercise to practice what we've just studied. And we do a lot of free speaking exercises as well.

One good book which hasn't been mentioned yet is IDIOMS ORGANIZER, by John Wright. There's also another called Phrasal Verbs, or English Phrasal Verbs. I tried to find it in the teachers room today but someone must have been using it. I'll try to get the exact title for you.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
24 Mar 2010 #15
Not come across these, Delph, I'll ask the kids teachers at school.

I should say - it's the Activity Book that I recommend from those. The students book isn't particularly good, but the activities are quite well thought out and make perfect sense for beginners.

(I actually got told off for using the books with adults - yet the funny thing is that they didn't think to ask the students, who loved it)
landora - | 199
25 Mar 2010 #16
I was learning from Proficiency Masterclass (Oxford University Press) at some point and found it absolutely brilliant - witty, challenging and interesting.
f stop 25 | 2,513
14 Apr 2011 #17
slightly off topic, but I'm just finishing "English Teacher X". Very funny.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
14 Apr 2011 #18
Tell us more...
f stop 25 | 2,513
14 Apr 2011 #19
It's a hillarious "Practical guide to surviving the perils and pitfalls of teaching English abroad". It shows how to tell a bad schools from the good ones, how to interview, useful tips on preparing lessons, pros and cons of different countries, etc etc, all in no holds barred, f-bomb sprinkled narrative. Highly recommended!

here is the ending of a chapter on interviewing:
"Last but not least, try to show that you have a sense of humor; that's godawful important in this game. How to do that? Well, **** if I know. If your very presence in an English school job interview doesn't already show that you don't take life too seriously, I don't know what will."
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
14 Apr 2011 #20
Sounds pretty good - I'll check it out.

I remember interviewing somebody once who told me in the interview that he never prepares a lesson, just asks the students what page in the textbook they're up to.
Ajb 6 | 232
14 Apr 2011 #21
My teaching resources heroes this year would be:

FCE Masterclass - great all round teaching resource although the grammar sections are massive as you may expect!
New English file - even though the Upper Int contains a few mistakes!

I am still hunting for a really good teen book which isn't already being used in public school...... any ideas??

One range to avoid..... New Plus from MM publications!
Our school director chose it, thinking that a book focused on speaking, listening and writing with no structured grammar would be a good idea..... WRONG The worst teaching resource I've ever had to use....... and i once taught a couple of hours of Callan :)
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
14 Apr 2011 #22
New English file - even though the Upper Int contains a few mistakes!

I like those books at the beginning, but I really hate the later ones - they go far too much into heavy grammar territory at a point when most students can't be bothered with the grammar anymore.

I've been using the In Company books lately, though they're starting to annoy me - most of the material seems to be copied from other MacMillian books :/
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
14 Apr 2011 #23
I like those books at the beginning, but I really hate the later ones

Me too. The first two are excellent with their intuitive approach to grammar but the later two (especially int) are thin.

Watch out for the new Vicky Hollett Bus Eng book. I don't know how much they're marketing it in PL, but it is good. Sorry, I can't remember the name. In-company's strength used to be the weekly materials by email. Interesting if they still do it.

Though all I'm using at the moment are Safe Sailing (a dire book) and Technical English, the newer version of Tech Talk. Plus hours of stuff I have to write on maritime safety.
Harry
14 Apr 2011 #24
slightly off topic, but I'm just finishing "English Teacher X". Very funny.

There's a book now? I know all about the blog but I didn't realise he'd got a book out too. I'll have to track a copy down.

I remember interviewing somebody once who told me in the interview that he never prepares a lesson, just asks the students what page in the textbook they're up to.

Yes, but you still gave me the job!
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
14 Apr 2011 #25
Yes, but you still gave me the job!

Not you! But (please don't mention the name) you do know the person...
Ajb 6 | 232
14 Apr 2011 #26
I remember interviewing somebody once who told me in the interview that he never prepares a lesson, just asks the students what page in the textbook they're up to.

That's a great idea...... it would save me hours of prep :)
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
14 Apr 2011 #27
The secret is to memorise the book - easy if you know how and the dtudents think you're some kind of god.
Idontknow
8 Feb 2016 #28
Merged: School of English in Poland with "Face 2 face" books

Hello everybody!

Maybe anybody knows any school of English which uses "Face 2 face" books for learning. Yes, I've looked for on the Internet but they don't write that on their web sites. I really need you help. Thank you!
Dougpol1 32 | 2,708
8 Feb 2016 #29
I think Empik does......


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