Number one for English language teachers

Welcome to Compass

Level: Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: Article, Reference material, Teaching notes

Award-winning author Lizzie Pinard introduces a series of cultural lessons for adults at an upper intermediate level. This article provides information about the series and guidance on how to use the teacher’s notes.

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What is Compass?

Compass is an upper intermediate course designed for adult students of general English. It can be used as the sole focus of a General English programme, or alternatively as a project-based thread running alongside other content. It consists of twelve one-and-a-half-hour lessons which complement each other. Each lesson plan is accompanied by a detailed set of teacher’s notes.

English is studied all over the world. Wherever English is studied, to some extent it will also be present outside the learning environment. A major goal of this course is to provide students with an effective means of using their environment as a learning tool, so they can benefit as fully as possible from the English present – be it the native language, the second language or a lingua franca.

The process of learning a language is made more challenging by the dynamic nature of language, which is constantly changing and is heavily influenced by its speakers. There are numerous sub-cultures and ways of using language that students might encounter and find confusing. Compass is a series that recognizes this issue. It aims to help students benefit from the experience of language learning by giving them the skills they need to continue learning about language beyond the end of the course.

In this course, students will practise:

• Identifying an area of interest and doing research.

• Preparing a questionnaire.

• Using the questionnaire to collect data by interviewing people outside of the classroom.

• Analysing the data generated and extracting key information.

• Presenting key information on a class wiki.

• Reflecting on this process in order to refine it for future use.

The Compass teacher’s notes:

• Offer guidance to help you, the teacher, use the series, along with a wealth of teaching tips for every task.

• Give an overview of the theories in these materials, to help clarify the principles on which the materials are based.

• Offer extra advice for evaluating/adapting these materials to make them more effective in developing students’ awareness of how they learn.

We hope you enjoy these materials and wish you every success in guiding your students along this exciting journey of language learning and intercultural discovery.

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