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Discover the NEW International Express Tests and Teacher’s Guides

Students Sitting at Desks and WritingBruce Wade, Managing Editor of International Express, introduces his upcoming webinar on 11th September about the new International Express Tests and Teacher’s Guides.

The new International Express launched earlier this year, and now, plenty of extra resources to support the course are available for free on Oxford Teachers’ Club.  In this webinar, I’ll be exploring how the new Teacher’s Guides can help you quickly plan your lessons, and I’ll show you around the new tests and Student Progress Report, which help you to regularly and quickly check your students’ performance.

Plan your lessons in a flash

International Express comes with extensive extra resources including photocopiable activities, videos for every unit, and worksheets to support each video – so you won’t be short of material, but how do you make the best use of it all?  We’ve developed Teacher’s Guides for every level, which give a clear, one-page overview of the course, meaning that you can see all the syllabus items, target language and skills, and resources in one go. I’ll be exploring how you can use these to plan your lessons quickly and easily.

Regularly check students’ progress

Tests are an important part of every course, and International Express tests provide comprehensive coverage of all the language in the Student’s Book.  Most test items are written as A‒B exchanges to reflect the communicative nature of the course.   There is a separate test for each section so teachers can test their students after completing a section, or a unit.  I’ll explain the different ways you can use these with your class, and we’ll look at how you can analyse the results to make direct comparisons of your students’ performance across sections, and whole units.

Analyse students’ performance

We developed the unique Student Progress Report to help you measure students’ performance unit-by-unit, and across different skills.  I’ll explain how you can use this tool to see how a student is performing across the four sections of a unit, and we’ll look at how you can customise it, for example, by drawing different types of graphs, or by adding comments on your students’ performance.

I look forward to helping you making the most of all of these resources on 11th September.  In the meantime, you can take a look at them on Oxford Teachers’ Club – you just need to sign in with your usual log in details.

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Teaching and learning with video – Part 3: Interviews, vox pops and beyond…

Video camera and microphoneBruce Wade is the Editor of International Express. Building on his previous posts, Video in the Classroom and The Use of reportage and mini-documentary, he considers how video interviews can be used for contextual language learning.

We are naturally interested and curious about what other people do, what they are like, and what they look like. Using video gives students a chance to meet people they wouldn’t otherwise meet, and learn about their life and what they do. A wine producer in England, a nurse in Uganda, an expat entrepreneur in Prague, a travel writer who has travelled all over Africa, all have interesting stories to tell. How has climate change affected wine production in England? What can a foreign nurse do to help eradicate malaria in Africa? How does an American set up a business in the Czech Republic? What does a travel writer take with him on a research trip? These are all fascinating questions that are best answered by those people talking directly about their work, allowing the viewer to see the context in which they are working and talking.

Vox pops allow you to put a diverse group of people together on video so that the viewer can compare and discuss what different people in different professions and countries think about various issues related to their jobs. Simple questions such as, “How important is appearance at work?”, “What do you do every day at work?”, “How do you greet someone for the first time?” tell us a great deal about the culture, the social conventions, and the lifestyles of people from diverse origins.

International Express Video: Pre-Intermediate level, Unit 8: Work Culture

And finally …

Take a look at more sample videos from the new DVD and DVD-ROM editions of International Express. If you want to use this material yourself, the full DVD and DVD-ROM editions feature 44 video clips across the series, each around 4 minutes in length. The footage is a mix of contemporary, commissioned material, fascinating archive material, and clips provided by various corporations and organizations. Locations cover North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Bruce Wade, Editor

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Teaching and learning with video – Part 2: The use of reportage and mini-documentary

Classic red Morgan carBruce Wade is the Editor of International Express. Following on from his first article, Video in the Classroom, he considers how reportage can be used as a visual and factual aid to learning.

The essential feature of reportage is authenticity – real places, people, events, companies, and so on. There is a greater impact and relevance seeing real people in the real world of work and business, rather than a fictional world or a world that is only described in general terms. Students learn about the world around them as well the language.

Reportage can take students to places they would not otherwise be able to visit. It does this in a way that provides the visual and factual context they need to understand a topic in depth, and in a way that they will remember. How many people will have the chance to go round a geothermal power plant in Iceland, a farming cooperative in Chile, or see a classic sports car being produced? How many people have bungee jumped in New Zealand or visited a village in north Uganda?

International Express Video: Intermediate level, Unit 2: Morgan

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Teaching and learning with video – Part 1: Video in the classroom

Audience watching a 3D filmBruce Wade is the Editor of International Express. In the first of three blog articles, he considers how and why video should be used in the ELT classroom of today.

This is the era of video. YouTube serves well over a billion views a day worldwide, sales of DVDs are booming, and the technology is developing rapidly with high definition flat screen TVs, Blu-Ray and 3-D.

When video was first made available, all we had was a big video player and an enormous TV with lots of wires and plugs. But the way we watch video is constantly changing; now we have PCs, laptops, broadband, flat-screens, DVD players, handhelds the size of our palms, and so on. Video is also making a return to mainstream language teaching as we enter a new phase of lower production costs and improved access to digital material in different formats. In the classroom, teachers can exploit the material in various ways.

Using Flash, visual images can be packaged with interactive exercises, subtitles, and other resources to make up a full learning experience. Students can watch video footage and cut backwards and forwards between the video, the exercises, and a wordbank so that they can listen, learn new vocabulary, check they’ve understood, or repeat if they haven’t. They can control their learning experience and tailor it to their individual needs.

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