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TESOL 2016 Baltimore, Maryland, April 5-8

This year, TESOL celebrates its 50th anniversary and in celebration current TESOL president Dr. Andy Curtis will be doing some some reflecting forwards and backwards in his keynote. We at English Central and not capable of such optical acrobatics, but are aiming to impress nevertheless.

We will be launching the American edition of Jetstream and to help us do it in style, methodology man and Jetstream co-author Jeremy Harmer will be joining us! Jeremy will be doing 4 Jetstream-related presentations (see below) as well as being on hand in our booth to answer questions and connect with teachers.

We will have a number of giveaways at our booth (number 401, right at the front doors – you can’t miss it), so be sure to vist us!


We hope you will attend one – or all! – of Jeremy’s presentations:

Truth and Lies: Authenticity and Artifice in the Coursebook Experience

April 6th 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm in room 320 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

We have tended to see authenticity as a language issue (and, as a result, argued about what constitutes its authentic use). But there are other authenticities too: authentic experience, authentic content and authentic learning. But that’s not the whole story either. Students – just like the rest of us – are entirely susceptible to fun and fiction, imagination and play. What is NOT advisable, however, is to try and mix the two. This talk will look at what authenticity can mean in a twenty-first century coursbook – and where the fiction and lies come in!


Use It or Lose It: Performance in Language Learning

April 6th 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm in room Tubman at the Hilton Baltimore.

One of the great mysteries of language learning is how students transfer things they have memorized ‘short-term’ to a more permanent automaticity (of use).

One way of making this happen is through student performance –that range of activities which provoke them into trying to combine and use the language they have been studying (and which they studied in the past) as they struggle to produce meaningful content.

This is not a new phenomenon – after all the whole communicative movement arose from a concern with student production and performance – but we know more about it now, and we have more resources at our disposal.


You First: What Students Bring to the Coursebook Experience

April 7th 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm in room 321 at the Baltimore Convention Center

The whole point of language learning is, of course, what happens to the learners. They should not be consumers of teaching (or coursebook material). They should be the main part of the equation. So what can a coursebook (or any lesson design) do to centre everything that happens on the learners’ ‘here and now’ experience and progress?

This talk looks at how to bring students into the heart of everything that happens through a variety of activities which remind them (and us) that what is happening in their heads (and hearts) is by far the most important element in the teaching-learning equation.


How Students Get Language from a Course Book

April 8th 11:30 am – 12:15 pm in room Tilghman at the Hilton Baltimore

Students get language in a variety of ways. Sometimes teachers explain grammar and have students practice it; or they introduce words and students try to use them and then those words are revised. But there are other ways too. We can have students ‘mine’ written and spoken text for useful and, let’s not pass this by, interesting language that crops up – and which they may very well remember best of all.

This talk looks at the different ways that coursebook activites can help students engage with words, lexical phrases, grammar and functions –and how to make that engagement memorable and long-lasting.


Plus, we invite you to attend some of our partners’ presentations:

David Harrington: “Choose your Own”-Style Adventures in the ELT Classroom

April 6th 10:30 pm – 11:15 am in room Tubman at the Hilton Baltimore.

YOU are the hero! Try multipath stories as part of an extensive reading program as the focus of discussion tasks, as support for writing, to target reluctant readers, and more. Appropriate from upper elementary to adult. Examples drawn from the Atama-ii Books series, but applicable to any CYOA-style story.

Dorothy Zemach: Teaching Study Skills

April 7th 4:00pm – 4:45pm – Key 12

“They should have learned study skills in high school.” Yes — but what if they didn’t? University students sometimes arrive with brain power and drive, but without the organization and habits necessary for academic success. The presenter will demonstrate useful techniques for teaching and practicing academic study skills.


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Awards highlights: the great things you will find in our catalog

We here at English Central have always prided ourselves on the fact that we do not sell just any books – we sell great books! (If you recognize the previous sentence from the past two blog entries then all I have to say is bless you for reading!)

We have 14 publishers that we work with and some of them have been around so long or are so decorated that they really can’t remember what they have won. So, we decided to create a list of highlights of the books in our catalog that have won awards:


The Transferable Academic Skills Kit (TASK) – Amanda Fava-Verde et al – Garnet Education – Shortlisted for the English Speaking Union English Language Book Award 2013

English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) – Garnet Education – Winner of the ESU English Language Book Award 2009


Global – Lindsay CLandfield – Macmillan Education – Winner of the ESU English Language Book Award 2010

Fiction in Action: Whodunit – Adam Gray and Marcos Benevides – Abax Publishing – Winner of the ESU English Language Book Award 2010 and Winner of the ELTons, Cambridge ESOL International Award for Innovation 2011

Backstage Pass – Lesley Ito – Atama-ii – Winner of the Language Learner Literature Award 2015


Aviation English – Anna Cowper, Andy Roberts, Henry Emery, James Greenan – Macmillan Education – ELTon winner 2009


Hooray! Let’s Play! – Gunter Gerngross and Herbert Puchta – Helbling Languages – Winner of the ELTon, Excellence in Course Innovation, 2013 AND Winner of the ESU English Language Book Award, Young Learners, 2013

Sunshine – Garnet Education – Winner of the ESU English Language Book Award, Young Learners, 2011


Learning Teaching – Macmillan Education – Winner of the ARELS Frank Bell 1995

Teaching English Grammar – Macmillan Education – Winner of the ESU English Language Book Award, Best Entry for Teachers, 2010

Uncovering Grammar – Scott Thornbury – Macmillan Education – The Ben Warren International House Trust Prize 2001

Dealing with Difficulties – Lindsay Clandfield and Luke Prodromou – Delta Publishing – The Ben Warren International House Trust Prize 2006

Teaching Unplugged – Scott Thornbury and Luke Meddings – Macmillan Education – ELTons winner, 2010

Digital Play – Kyle Mawer and Graham Stanley – Delta Publishing – ELTons winner, 2012

The Developing Teacher – Duncan Foord – Delta Publishing – ESU English Language Book Award, Best Entry for Teachers 2009

Not too shabby! We are truly honoured to work with our publishers and to promote their fine publications.