It has been roughly 2.5 years since I began teaching at CAM-ASEAN; and within this period, I have been lucky enough to teach several different courses to our student body. Out of all the courses I have taught, my favorite would have to be Total English.
One of a teacher’s worse fear is being assigned a textbook that is either too difficult for their student or the opposite. Not only have I never experienced this with the Total English textbook, but I have also never faced a lack of teaching material as the student book also comes with a workbook to help supplement the lessons. In addition, the teacher’s book which contains the answer keys and audio scripts also provides teachers with suggestions on how to introduce students to a new lesson or gives background information that the teacher could use to help explain the importance of the lesson. Another thing I enjoyed about the book is also the reference section at the end of each unit which briefly summarizes all the grammar and vocabulary the students are expected to have learned by the time they’ve finished that unit. It makes revision sessions much more organized and easy.
As the name suggests, Total English tries to cover the entirety of the English language so it focuses on all 4 skills needed for a language learner. The reading sections always have fascinating texts and comprehension questions that really require logical reasoning, the listening section showcases speakers with different accents in various real-life situations to get students accommodated to the language’s practical use, there is always a fun speaking section in each unit that allows students to role-play and teacher’s to access their speaking abilities, and there is a collection of writing assignments at the end of the book that the teacher could refer to for the purpose of practicing.
In class, the students seem to enjoy the book and the unique perspective it offers on different countries and different uses of the English language. The activities can easily be turned in discussions and even group projects which is always a plus for teachers.
Overall, I believe the book can be taught by both veteran and novice teachers, and enjoyed by both fast and slow learners.