Earlier this year, I wrote about having to cut much of the content from a new textbook I’d written, but it turns out that the entire book is now going to be published as originally designed!
The textbook was specifically created to address a very widespread need where I’m working – it will help students bridge the gap between understanding English and producing it. The design has already been excerpted to be a Gujarat State Board of School Textbooks book, but now, it’ll be available in its entirety.
It’s almost ready and will be called Bridges . It’s an exciting new design that’s getting great reviews from educators who’ve tried it during the design phase.
The book will be distributed free of charge to teachers and students who sign up on the website. The site is still under construction, but you can click on the book cover in this post to sign up now to have a download link emailed to you or to reserve a printed copy when they are ready.
The design for Bridges is called the StudyDo design. It’s based on the premise that all human beings learn language under the right conditions and the conditions are well-known in the field of language teaching:
Learners must encounter language they can understand and then use that language to make their own meaning.
Bridges supports teachers in creating these necessary conditions by providing interesting language input followed by activities that allow students to think and produce language. The activities in this book are designed to require no additional preparation and to be easy to implement in the classroom.
Focus on Language
Although school exams are increasingly focused on proficiency, not content, some textbooks continue to question students on facts contained in the text. This distracts students and teachers from noticing and using the language in the texts. The content in Bridges is only intended to hold the learners’ interest so that language can be noticed and produced.
With the new exams and activities like those in Bridges, the teacher is never responsible for testing content. This means students never need to memorize facts or stories. They only need to develop their proficiency in using English, and Bridges helps them do that.
The teacher’s role is to provide opportunities for students to discuss content in order to process language meaningfully. Readings are kept short so that students can read and understand on their own, without the teacher explaining or translating. Allowing students to study the language of the text to find out what happens next keeps them curious and interested throughout the lessons.
I’ll be writing more on the design and how it supports teachers, but feel free to go ahead and sign up to get your copy.