National Geographic resources. Academic skills

National Geographic resources. Academic skills

National Geographic provides teachers with a lot of useful resources to vary lessons. On their official website, you can find lesson plans, infographics, videos, etc. on any subject. In our previous article, we looked closely at some of National Geographic’s coursebooks. In this article, we’ll cover resources that develop students’ skills needed for academic success: Grammar, Vocabulary,  Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, Pronunciation.

Grammar and Writing

1. Grammar in Context, 7th edition

This coursebook covers 4 levels, from Beginning to High Intermediate. It introduces grammar through appealing texts, stories and photos that are relevant to students. This book uses contextualized approach for teaching grammar as it’s proved to be more efficient in learning a language.

2. World of Grammar and Writing

It’s a four-level course that covers levels A1-B1. It’s aimed at developing grammar and writing skills from primary to young adults learners. Teachers can use it separately or combine with another beginner course. Grammar is presented and explained in a simple way. It also includes lots of exercises to give students enough practice. There are many communicative activities and writing tasks to consolidate a new target language. In addition, there are revision sections to reinforce new material and ten writing units with a guided approach to help students prepare for exam writing tasks.

3. Grammar for Great Writing

It’s a three-level course from Low Intermediate to High-Intermediate. It’s aimed at students who need to improve academic writing skills. It can be used in grammar or writing courses. It covers common mistakes students make in writing. The vocabulary correlates with the target grammar; the findings are based on corpus research. The book provides writing samples and editing activities to enhance students’ accuracy.

4. Practical Grammar

This one, written by John Hughes, is a pretty old course, but it’s quite useful. There are 3 levels with 100 units in each, and the units are divided into modules of 5 units. Each module covers one area of grammar. The grammar is presented through listening or reading tasks that represent natural situations. There are many exercises to practise grammar too. There are revision section after each module and tests to monitor learners’ progress.

Listening, Speaking, Pronunciation

1. Pathways, 2nd edition
It’s a 5 level course (A1-C1). There are lots of authentic materials (videos, charts, etc.), exercises that are aimed at developing language skills, learning strategies (note-taking) and critical thinking to help students learn in an academic environment. Lectures and presentations improve learners’ listening and presentation skills. In addition, there are exam-type tasks to give students practice in TOEFL and IELTS.
2. 21st Century Communication
A 4-level course that includes TED talks to develop students’ critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, visual literacy and communication skills. Authentic materials help to improve presentation skills along with listening, speaking and pronunciation. There are Online Workbooks that include graded activities that can be used both for general and blended courses.
3. Well said
This coursebook is aimed at developing pronunciation and communication skills. The syllables cover stress, rhythm, intonation, tasks on practising sounds. There are Online Workbooks that include graded activities to give students further practice with sounds.

Reading and Writing

1. Reading Explorer, 3rd edition.
It’s a 6-level course to prepare students for academic reading that includes real stories, different reading genres, activities to develop critical thinking, captivating videos, vocabulary necessary for academic reading.
2. Reading for Today
This 5-level course develops students reading skills and expands learners’ vocabulary. There are many activities that provide comprehensive practice of vocabulary and various reading strategies: skimming, scanning, paraphrasing, reading for details, etc. It also includes Critical Thinking sections to motivate students and boost speaking on a wide range of topics.
3. 21st Century Reading
This 4-level course includes TED talks to provoke discussions on various topics (from science to business) and spark learners’ curiosity. Authentic materials provide a model of real-life academic language. There are many tasks that develop learners’ critical and creative thinking skills. In addition, vocabulary and reading tasks are scaffolded to help learners get the whole ideas and understand the language in full.
4. Great writing, 5th edition
It’s a 6-level course that provides models and practice of academic writing starting from sentences moving to essays. There are activities that teach
  • the basics of organized writing;
  • accurate grammar;
  • appropriate vocabulary;
  • tasks to create long and complex sentences;
  • fully guided exercises on writing and proofreading;
  • exam-type tasks and tips to prepare for IELTS and TOEFL.
5. Pathways, 2nd Edition: Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking
It’s a 5-level course that is aimed at developing academic and language skills along with critical thinking and learning strategies. There are many writing models and guided tasks; videos with reading tasks; vocabulary practice (phrasal verbs, collocations, word forms, etc.); exam-type tasks to prepare for TOEFL and IELTS.

As you can see there are plenty of resources to use separately or as an addition to your main courses. Choose what fits your students best to lead them to academic success!

Наринэ Егорова

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