Speaking Book 1

Main Features at a Glance

● Integrated package: textboook, 2 DVDs (or CDs) & self-study web site
● Designed for false beginner & lower intermediate learners
● Fits the 30-week academic year
● Plausible situations & practical communication focus
● Wide variety of accents
● 40 video clips, slideshows & more on 2 DVDs
● DVD subtitles, individual character’s audio and video switchable on or off
● Additional audio material online
● 11 interactive activities per web site unit
● Full & free online support
● Student online activities fully trackable by the teacher
● Audio & video clips downloadable to mp3 players and mobile phones

Aims and Components

The English Course is an integrated lower intermediate English language course for students from false beginner to lower intermediate levels. Speaking Book 1 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 cover a variety of basic and useful functions. Each unit in the course includes the following: 4 video clips for listening comprehension, the demonstration of appropriate conversational settings and language use; 19 student speaking and listening opportunities; and 11 online revision/practice exercises on the student self-access web site, plus additional audio material for students to use.

Syllabus and Content

Unit 1 − Introductions
● Formal introductions
● Informal introductions
● Self-introductions
● Introducing other people
Unit 2 − Starting conversations
● Conversational openings
● Making small talk
Unit 3 − Developing conversations
● Asking appropriate questions
● Asking relevant follow-up questions
● Rebounding questions
● Responding to questions
Unit 4 − Making invitations and suggestions
● Making a suggestion or invitation
● Responding to invitations or suggestions
● Negotiating details
● Altering plans
Review of Units 1 − 4
● A review of the language functions practised in Units 1 − 4

Unit Structure

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

Week 1

Start up
Elicitation of ideas based on a slideshow of images.

Tune in
Short video clip with listening and visual comprehension questions.

Check the script
Speaking practise with the target language from the video using an extract from the video script.

Act 1
Controlled speaking practise using a substitution drill with the extract from the script of the video.

Language focus 1
Presentation and practise to assist in recognising and understanding target language structures.

Sort it out
Short video clip with somewhat more challenging listening and visual comprehension questions.

Week 2

Rehearsal 1
Guided speaking practise using an alternative script on the same functional theme as the preceding video script.

Act 2
Role play on the same theme as the first half of the unit.

Responding to various questions related to the theme and activities covered in the unit.

Tune in
Short video clip with listening and visual comprehension questions.

Check the script
Speaking practise with the target language using an extract of the script from the preceding video.

Act 3
Controlled speaking practise using a substitution drill with the extract from the script of the video.

Screen test
A social, cultural or geographical quiz or survey to promote greater cultural or social awareness.


Sample Material

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

Unit 2 pages from the Speaking Book 1 textbook

Click the picture of the book on the left to open and/or download a PDF file of Unit 2 from the textbook.

Unit 2 Video 4 from the Speaking Book 1 DVD





About the Authors

Gary Ireland

Gary Ireland was born in Leicester, England, but has spent the last 32 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. In 2018-2019, he was a visiting researcher at the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of East Anglia in the UK.

Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy first came to Japan in 1989 and has since taught at numerous universities and colleges in Tokyo and the UK. His main professional interests are pragmatics and curriculum development.