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Taras Chernov
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American Headway 3 Second Edition: A Comprehensive and Balanced English Course


American Headway 3 Second Edition: A Review




If you are looking for a reliable and effective English course that can help you improve your grammar, vocabulary, and skills, you might want to consider American Headway 3 Second Edition. This is a popular and widely used course that has been designed by award-winning authors John and Liz Soars. In this article, we will review the main features, benefits, and drawbacks of this course, and answer some frequently asked questions about it.




American Headway 3 Second Edition



What is American Headway 3 Second Edition?




A brief introduction to the course and its authors




American Headway 3 Second Edition is part of a series of six levels that cover beginner to advanced levels of English. It is a revised and updated version of the original American Headway series that was first published in 2001. The course aims to provide a comprehensive and balanced syllabus that covers grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening, speaking, and pronunciation. It also offers a variety of digital resources that enhance the learning experience and prepare students for success in high-stakes tests.


The authors of the course are John and Liz Soars, who are well-known experts in English language teaching. They have written several best-selling courses, such as Headway, New Headway, and New English File. They have also received many awards for their contributions to the field, such as the Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Award and the British Council ELTons Award.


The main features and benefits of the course




Some of the main features and benefits of American Headway 3 Second Edition are:


  • It has a clear focus on grammar that helps students master the rules and structures of English.



  • It has a balanced, integrated-skills syllabus that develops all four skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) as well as pronunciation.



  • It has more conversation and speaking opportunities that help students improve their fluency and confidence.



  • It has engaging and relevant topics that reflect the interests and needs of contemporary learners.



  • It has proven success beyond the classroom with online practice, self-assessment, and testing materials that support students' learning goals.



  • It has digital teaching and learning resources that make the lessons more interactive and flexible.



The level and target audience of the course




American Headway 3 Second Edition is suitable for intermediate-level students who have completed American Headway 2 or equivalent courses. It corresponds to level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which means that students can:


  • Understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.



  • Deal with most situations likely to arise while traveling in an area where the language is spoken.



  • Produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.



  • Describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes, and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.



The course is designed for adult and young adult learners who want to improve their English for personal, academic, or professional purposes. It can be used in various settings, such as general English classes, intensive courses, self-study, or blended learning.


How does American Headway 3 Second Edition work?




The structure and components of the course




American Headway 3 Second Edition consists of 12 units that cover different topics, such as travel, health, culture, technology, and education. Each unit has four main sections: A, B, C, and D. Section A introduces the topic and the grammar point of the unit. Section B focuses on vocabulary and reading skills. Section C develops listening and speaking skills. Section D reviews and consolidates the language and skills of the unit.


The course has several components that can be used together or separately, depending on the needs and preferences of the teacher and the students. These are:


Student Book




The Student Book is the core component of the course. It contains the 12 units that provide the main input and practice of the language and skills. It also has a Grammar Reference section that explains the grammar rules and provides additional exercises. The Student Book comes with an access code that allows students to download the audio files for select activities in the book.


Workbook




The Workbook is a supplementary component that provides extra practice of the language and skills covered in the Student Book. It has 12 units that correspond to the Student Book units, plus two review units that test the students' progress. It also has a Spotlight on Testing section that prepares students for standardized tests such as TOEFL and TOEIC. The Workbook comes with an access code that allows students to download all the audio files for the Workbook activities.


Online Practice




The Online Practice is a digital component that offers students targeted practice to improve their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. It has 30 hours of interactive activities per level that can be accessed online or offline. The Online Practice also provides feedback and progress reports that help students monitor their performance and identify their strengths and weaknesses.


iChecker Online Self-Assessment




The iChecker Online Self-Assessment is another digital component that provides students with automatically graded online self-assessment to prepare for standardized tests. It has practice tests for TOEFL iBT and TOEIC Listening and Reading that simulate the format and content of the real exams. The iChecker also gives students tips and strategies to improve their test-taking skills.


Testing Program




The Testing Program is a downloadable component that provides teachers with ready-made tests to assess their students' progress and achievement. It has placement tests, unit tests, midterm tests, final tests, and exit tests that cover all the language and skills of the course. The Testing Program also has answer keys and audio scripts for easy marking and feedback.


The methodology and approach of the course




American Headway 3 Second Edition follows a communicative approach that emphasizes meaningful interaction and real-life situations. It also incorporates elements of other approaches, such as cognitive, lexical, task-based, and cooperative learning. Some of the key aspects of its methodology are:


Focus on grammar




The course has a clear focus on grammar that helps students master the rules and structures of English. Each unit introduces a grammar point that is relevant to the topic and level of the students. The grammar point is presented in context through a dialogue or a text, followed by an explanation and examples. Then, students practice the grammar point through controlled exercises that check their understanding and accuracy. Finally, students use the grammar point in freer activities that encourage them to express their own ideas and opinions.


Balanced, integrated-skills syllabus




The course has a balanced, integrated-skills syllabus that develops all four skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) as well as pronunciation. Each unit covers a range of texts and tasks that expose students to different genres, registers, styles, and formats of English. The texts are authentic or semi-authentic materials that reflect the interests and needs of contemporary learners. The tasks are varied and engaging activities that require students to use different strategies and skills to complete them successfully.


More conversation and speaking opportunities




useful for everyday communication. The expressions are presented in context through a dialogue or a text, followed by a pronunciation practice and a role-play activity. Then, students practice the expressions in a variety of speaking tasks that stimulate their creativity and interaction. The speaking tasks include interviews, surveys, discussions, debates, presentations, and games.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of American Headway 3 Second Edition?




The pros of using the course




Some of the pros of using American Headway 3 Second Edition are:


Proven success beyond the classroom




The course has proven success beyond the classroom with online practice, self-assessment, and testing materials that support students' learning goals. The online practice provides students with targeted practice to improve their skills and confidence. The self-assessment helps students prepare for standardized tests and measure their progress. The testing program allows teachers to assess their students' achievement and provide feedback.


Engaging and relevant topics




The course has engaging and relevant topics that reflect the interests and needs of contemporary learners. The topics cover a wide range of themes, such as travel, health, culture, technology, and education. The topics are also related to the students' personal, academic, or professional lives. The topics motivate students to learn more about the world and themselves.


Digital teaching and learning resources




The course has digital teaching and learning resources that make the lessons more interactive and flexible. The digital resources include online practice, self-assessment, testing program, audio files, and teacher's guide. The digital resources can be accessed online or offline, on computers or mobile devices. The digital resources enhance the learning experience and cater to different learning styles and preferences.


The cons of using the course




Some of the cons of using American Headway 3 Second Edition are:


Possible challenges and limitations




The course may pose some challenges and limitations for some teachers and students. For example:


  • Some teachers may find the course too structured or rigid and may want to adapt or supplement it with their own materials or activities.



  • Some students may find the course too easy or difficult for their level and may need more challenge or support.



  • Some teachers and students may not have access to the digital resources or may face technical difficulties or compatibility issues.



  • Some teachers and students may prefer a different approach or methodology that suits their goals or preferences better.



Suggestions for improvement




The course could be improved in some ways to address some of the challenges and limitations mentioned above. For example:


  • The course could provide more flexibility and choice for teachers and students by offering different options or alternatives for some activities or components.



  • The course could provide more differentiation and scaffolding for students by offering different levels of difficulty or support for some activities or components.



  • The course could provide more technical support and guidance for teachers and students by offering more troubleshooting tips or tutorials for the digital resources.



  • The course could provide more variety and innovation for teachers and students by incorporating more elements of other approaches or methodologies that are relevant and effective for English language learning.



Conclusion and FAQs




American Headway 3 Second Edition is a reliable and effective English course that can help intermediate-level students improve their grammar, vocabulary, and skills. It has a clear focus on grammar, a balanced integrated-skills syllabus, more conversation and speaking opportunities, engaging and relevant topics, proven success beyond the classroom, and digital teaching and learning resources. It also has some challenges and limitations that could be addressed with some improvements. Overall, it is a worthwhile course to consider for adult and young adult learners who want to achieve their English learning goals.


Here are some frequently asked questions about American Headway 3 Second Edition:



  • How can I access the online practice?



To access the online practice, you need to register on the Oxford Learner's Bookshelf website (https://www.oxfordlearnersbookshelf.com/) with your email address and a password. Then, you need to enter your access code that comes with your Student Book or Workbook. You can then access the online practice for your level on your computer or mobile device.


  • How can I download the audio files?



To download the audio files, you need to go to the American Headway Student Audio Download Center website (https://elt.oup.com/student/americanheadway2e/3) for the Student Book audio files, or the Workbook audio download page (https://elt.oup.com/student/americanheadway2e/3?cc=us&selLanguage=en&mode=hub) for the Workbook audio files. Then, you need to click on the unit you want to download and save the file on your device.


  • How can I use the iChecker Online Self-Assessment?



To use the iChecker Online Self-Assessment, you need to go to the iChecker website (https://www.oxfordonlinelearningzone.com/course/view.php?id=100) and log in with your email address and password. Then, you need to select your level and choose the test you want to take. You can then complete the test online and get your score and feedback.


  • How can I get the Testing Program?



To get the Testing Program, you need to go to the Oxford Teachers' Club website (https://elt.oup.com/teachersclub/?cc=us&selLanguage=en) and register with your email address and a password. Then, you need to go to the American Headway Third Edition page (https://elt.oup.com/teachers/americanheadway3e/?cc=us&selLanguage=en) and click on the Testing Program link. You can then download the tests and answer keys for your level.


  • How can I contact the authors or the publisher?



To contact the authors or the publisher, you can use the following information:


  • Authors: John and Liz Soars, email: johnandlizsoars@gmail.com



  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, email: elt.enquiry@oup.com



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