Impact Issues, now in its third edition, builds learner fluency and confidence through "high impact" activities. Through stimulating content and personalized tasks, learners can discuss real ideas and present original ideas.
Learning a second language involves encountering a new culture, particularly new ways of thinking and experiencing the world. And new ways of communicating. One challenge of teaching at all levels is how to introduce this element of "cultural intelligence" into the language curriculum.
What We Made
We wanted to create a course book series that put cultural learning at the center of the learning process. We knew we needed to do this in a way that wasn't too "heavy" – forcing students to think in a certain "correct" way. And, as with all successful language learning curricula, we knew we had to engage the students and essentially have them co-create the learning process.
We decided to use "problem scenarios" as the basis for each unit. A typical scenario involves two people experiencing a problem situation from different perspectives. The situation may involve a personal, work-related, family-related, or social or global issue. The characters interact and introduce their points of view. The key to the pedagogic value of the situation is that multiple viewpoints may all be valid – and the learners are to try to understand each person's point of view rather than simply "vote" on which one is "correct".
Impact Issues is a three-book series (Impact Issues 1, Impact Issues 2, Impact Issues 3).
The course is based on a collection of 20 highly engaging topics that spark critical thinking and meaningful discussion. Each unit has step-by-step support and language practice that deepens students’ understanding of topics, and helps them express personal points of view, have animated interactions, and give meaningful presentations. Situations have been revised to reflect current conversational styles. All units are updated to include modern issues (e.g. social media). Each unit includes quizzes, test comprehension, interaction gambits, and vocabulary
The units proceed through reading and listening tasks, pair exchange tasks, and finally culminate in short personal presentations.