|This textbook was written for high beginning-intermediate academic English language learners. It is composed of 7 chapters, each of which covers specific speaking and listening learning objectives and includes dialogues, interviews, discussions and conversation activities. The book is closely aligned with the curricular objectives for the beginning level of an intensive English language program, which assumes some general fluency with English. Each chapter features 10 target words from the New General Service List of English vocabulary. The textbook also includes an audio component that consists of recorded conversations of native and non-native English speakers, as well as links to additional listening resources on the web.|
The book was designed out of necessity after teaching the beginning level of English as a second language for several years and not being able to find a satisfactory textbook. The themes were always boring and the vocabulary random, and so I created this book to try and fill this gap. I tried to choose themes that were relevant to adult learners and applicable to a variety of contexts. However, the main audience for this book would be students in a university setting. Furthermore, the book was written for a specific class in Portland, Oregon, so there are many references to the city that could be kept or changed depending on context.
In addition to curricular needs, I decided to write an open access textbook because I respect and appreciate the free and accessible element to it. The book can easily be downloaded, modified and enjoyed by anyone anywhere in the world. As of now, the book has been used in universities, community colleges, international businesses, community centers and for self-study. It has been downloaded over 1,000 times in just over a year.
The book was a labor of love and took about a year and a half to write. I did all of the creation myself, while also teaching English full time. It was not easy! I also invited Masters students from a Curriculum and Materials Design course to submit ideas for activities. I believe the final product has been a success. The book has received high reviews from faculty reviewers and has been featured in several open educational resource collections. I have presented at two conferences and shared the experience of writing this book in multiple forums.
In general, the process of writing this open access textbook was a challenging but fulfilling one. Some things I would change would be to include more recordings from non-native speakers, to include more extensive grammar explanations and to record and produce a series of videos that could supplement the text. Furthermore, the book does not contain assessments, which could be another area to improve upon in the future.
It is my hope that this textbook inspires students and teachers around the world. For learners, may this book help you make progress on your English language journey. For teachers, may this book help you with your instruction and may it also inspire you to think about writing your own open access ESL textbook.