English Firsthand, now in its fifth edition, is a state-of-the-art comprehensive series for young adults and adults. Each new edition represents an update and expansion in terms of teaching methodology, teacher training, media, and technology.
The excitement around the "Communicative Language Teaching" revolution in the 1980s led to a lot of experimentation in the publishing world. English Firsthand was published (in 1980) initially as a two-book series designed to push the envelope of teaching practices: it was the first course to base all activities on student pair and group work. Students would actually talk to each other – even in "limited English" – rather than try to emulate the "perfect model" of the native speaker teacher. This is the "strong version" of CLT theory: We learn to communicate in the target language by communicating in the target language! "The Problem" was that many (most) teachers were not ready for this transition. So the English Firsthand series undertook the challenge of using it as a platform for both teacher training and learning training.
The challenge was not so much in creating great communicative activities – that was the easy part! The challenge was in contextualize activities within a curriculum progression – and in a way that was transparent and rewarding to both teachers and students. In the commercial domain, we had to compete with some very highly financed series, to prove that our offerings were of equal value.
What We Did
We took on the major coursebook series head on. Admittedly, we studied what they did – and did well – and what they didn't do – that we felt we could do. Our first edition of each book was a 12 unit sequence, incorporating the 4 skills, plus grammar and vocabulary building – but all with student-centered communicative practice.
English Firsthand is the best-selling oral communication series that has been supporting ELT teachers and students for more than 25 years. It helps students build success and confidence through hands-on active learning. The series was designed to help students learn English by using English. It provides (1) realistic language models (2) personalized and motivating tasks (3) sufficient language support (vocabulary, grammar, and functional phrases) and (4) opportunities to communicate personal information, opinion and ideas.
MyMobileWorld is a new, Moodle-based online component designed by teachers for teachers. Mobile-optimized MyMobileWorld includes an LMS. To make use of MyMobileWorld, please use the “Student Book with MyMobileWorld”.Saves time, Allows easy grading, Tracks student progressStudents can work within MyMobileWorld on four main areas of learning for every unit:1. VocabularyFlashcards and quizzes to review vocabulary from the Student Book