Speaking Starter

Main features at a glance

● Integrated package: textboook, 2 DVDs (or CDs) & self-study web site
● Designed for false beginner level
● Designed to fit into the 30-week academic year
● Plausible situations & practical communication focus
● Wide variety of character nationalities and accents
● 20 video clips, 30 audio-based activities & 10 interactive quizzes on 2 DVDs
● DVD subtitles, individual character's audio and video switchable on or off
● Additional audio material online
● At least 7 interactive activities per unit on the web site
● Full & free online support
● Student online activities can be tracked fully by the teacher
● Audio & video clips downloadable to mp3 players and mobile phones
● Pronunciation/intonation drills for conversations
● Fun quizzes that simultaneously test and entertain
● Auto-marking online tests and downloadable paper tests on the web site

Aims and components

The English Course is an integrated lower intermediate English language course for students from false beginner to lower intermediate levels. Speaking Starter is an integrated English language course for false beginners. Speaking Starter is principally intended for young adult learners at college or university level. The aim of the course is to balance the communicative-based approach to language learning with cutting-edge technology, for both classroom use and student self-access study. The units in the textbook are designed to cover appropriate and necessary vocabulary and structures for this level. Each unit in the course includes the following: 2 video clips for listening comprehension, the demonstration of appropriate conversational settings and language use; numerous student speaking and listening opportunities; and 7 online revision/practice exercises on the student self-access web site, plus additional audio material for students to use.

Syllabus and content

Unit 1 – Talking about yourself
● The language needed to talk about yourself
● Where you are from and what you do
● Where you work or study
Unit 2 – Talking about family
● The language needed to discuss information about family members
● Vocabulary for the names of family members
● How to give opinions about family members
Unit 3 – Talking about times and dates
● The language needed to talk about times and dates
● Vocabulary to explain times and dates
● Vocabulary to talk about days and dates of events
Unit 4 – Talking about daily life
● The language needed to discuss daily life
● Verbs for describing daily life activities
● Time-sequence words and phrases
Unit 5 – Talking about likes and dislikes
● The language needed to discuss likes and dislikes
● How to say how much you like or dislike something
● Important everyday words to describe things
Review 1
● Review of Units 1 – 5
● Review 1 – Game

Unit structure

The estimated time to complete the tasks in each unit will vary according the level of each group of learners.

Week 1

The conversation - part 1
A short video clip of the first half of a conversation for listening and observation. (Optional listening comprehension questions are available on the website.)

Optional pronunciation drills
Line-by-line clips from the video to practise pronunciation (on DVD only).

Speaking practice
Speaking practise with the target language from the video using the video script.

Try it out
Controlled speaking practise using a substitution drill with the script of the video clip.

Language box 1
Presentation and practise of key vocabulary items or language structures related to the topic of the unit.

Listening for information
A listening activity to complete missing information, using one or more short audio clips.

With your partner
An Q&A information exchange activity, using target language from the preceding activities.

Quiz
Usually a vocabulary or grammar quiz presented in an enjoyable format (on DVD only).

Week 2

The conversation - part 2
A short video clip of the second half of the conversation for listening and observation. (Optional listening comprehension questions are available on the website.)

Optional pronunciation drills
Line-by-line clips from the video to practise pronunciation (on DVD only).

Speaking practice
Speaking practise with the target language from the video using the video script.

Language box 2
Presentation and practise of key vocabulary items or language structures related to the topic of the unit.

First listening
A listening activity to complete missing information, using one or more short audio clips when heard for the first time.

Second listening
A listening activity to complete further missing information, using one or more short audio clips when heard for a second time.

Third listening
A listening activity to complete final missing information, using one or more short audio clips when heard for a third time.

The interview
A two-part listening activity to complete or choose questions in an interview and to select answer options.

Optional pronunciation drills
Line-by-line clips from the video to practise pronunciation (on DVD only).

Week 3

Pair work
An peer-to-peer interview task, using questions from The interview activity.

Finale
A light-hearted end-of-unit task usually using a quiz-based format on the DVD.

Take it away
End-of-unit activities to consolidate skills and knowledge gained during the unit that can be completed inside or outside of the classroom.

Sample material

Click on the images below to see sample material from a unit of the textbook and accompanying audio or video material.

Unit 5 pages from the Speaking Starter textbook

Click the picture of the book on the left to open and/or download a PDF file of Unit 5 from the textbook.

Unit 5 Video (Part 1) from the Speaking Starter DVD

 

Gary Ireland

Gary Ireland was born in Leicester, England, but has spent the last 29 years living in Japan. Having first visited Japan as a back-packer in 1986, Gary returned in 1988 and began to teach English at a language school. He taught at a wide variety of institutions before beginning to teach in college and university in 1993, and has taught at eight Tokyo colleges and universities since. Currently, he is a professor at a university in Tokyo. After graduating from university and before settling in Japan, Gary spent several years travelling around the world, and has continued to travel widely since moving to Japan. He has visited over 50 different countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Central America. Gary and Max created the idea for The English Course and set up The English Company in 2006.

Max Woollerton

Max Woollerton is also British. He came to Japan in 1987 and began teaching English at a private language school. Within six months, he had moved on to working in a vocational college and was the coordinator for a course on current issues and a course teaching English for Special Purposes. Between 1996 and 1999, he broadened his experience by teaching students of every age and level in a variety of institutions. Max began teaching in universities in 1999 and has taught at eight Tokyo universities as a part-time instructor. In 2004, Max Woollerton gained a Master of Education degree at the University of Manchester (Education Technology and ELT Programme). Since 2012, he has been a full-time associate professor at Chuo University in Tokyo.

© Kabushikigaisha The English Company 2006-2017