SUCCESS WITH BEC HIGHER TEACHERS BOOK
"Success with BEC" offers complete exam preparation. Each module is divided into: Business Topic lessons which teach vocabulary from BEC topic areas;. Success with BEC Higher by Paul Dummett, , available at Book Depository with free Success wtih BEC Preliminary - Workbook with Key. The course covers the three levels of the exam: BEC Preliminary, BEC Vantage and BEC Higher. SUCCESS WITH BEC HIGHER TEACHER BOOK BRE.
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The course covers the three levels of the exam: BEC Preliminary, BEC Vantage and BEC Higher. SUCCESS WITH BEC VANTAGE TEACHER BOOK BRE. This post presents authentic BEC Higher exam books, from the examination body . Each practice book has 4 complete exams, with answers and transcripts. Luckily, the Success with BEC Higher seems like it could help keep my road such as the Teacher's Book, the Class Audio CDs and the Workbook listed on the .
The only rationale for the order of the units might be the grading of the grammar structures, as Unit 1 revises present tenses, with Unit 2 looking at past, while lessons in the latter half of the book examine complex syntactic patterns such as relative clauses or indirect questions. That is why the criteria I will consider have been selected with a view to exam needs.
Before evaluating a textbook it is essential to decide what aspects of the material we should look at Littlejohn, , as the numerous checklists proposed or reviewed by researchers such as Tomlinson , Cunningsworth , Hutchinson and Waters , Mukundan and Ahour are either very general, or have an in-built judgment of what is desirable for the materials to contain Littlejohn, , p.
McGrath , citing Grant, suggests an evaluation procedure starting from categories, to be detailed down to individual criteria. However, he points out, not all criteria, as well as not all categories will carry equal weight in any given teaching context p.
The course pack under examination provides a very helpful TB, with detailed methodological guidance, word lists per unit and supplementary activities. Also, the clear unit structure in the SB enables teachers to plan their lessons quickly, by splitting units in goal-oriented blocks.
Apart from the clear structure, it is also the size of the units and modules which helps teachers deliver focused, self- contained lessons, matching the requirement for manageability and feasibility listed by McGrath , p. Flexibility is a desirable feature present in numerous evaluation checklists, for example in Tomlinson On the downside, however, the course pack does not provide sample writing to illustrate the genres relevant for the exam, so that the teacher needs to resort to other sources or invest more classroom time in the discussion of the genre.
Also, neither the SB nor the TB provide a full overview of the BEC Vantage examination, which means that teachers with less teaching experience and less familiarity with the exam will need to look elsewhere for this information.
Another great deficiency is the absence of any practice tests — with a view to exam preparation — or any progress tests or revisions — with a view to recycling acquired knowledge. Course books cater for such needs by providing learning support and developing learner independence.
Success with BEC Vantage does this by means of a clear unit structure and user-friendly layout, as well as by including back-of-the-book sections grammar reference, useful expressions, listening scripts or the answer key to the WB.
However, some of the useful learning tools word lists per unit, model answers to writing tasks, BEC Vantage assessment criteria for Speaking and Writing are only provided in the TB, which hardly fosters learner independence:. Another positive feature is the integrated approach both to communication skills and to exam preparation, through the consistent inclusion of exam-type tasks throughout each unit, covering all skills.
Students should be in a position to permanently relate what they are studying and practising to the final requirements of the exam; also, they should be able to check at any time their progress against the final goals set by the exam. The Exam Spotlight sections address exam tasks individually, so that the learners are expected to piece up the puzzle at the end.
I was also briefly consulted and agreed with their choice; my long experience with BEC helped me minimize the disadvantages of the course pack not providing sufficient exam support. My main reason for adopting the pack was the structured, manageable unit structure.
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Micro-analysis and evaluation 1. But since I am analysing a textbook as an exam-preparation tool, my criteria will need to be specified for such aims. The existing checklists are unsuitable for my purposes not just for the reasons quoted from Littlejohn , but also because exam preparation represents a more specific teaching-learning goal; criteria like appeal, flexibility, cultural appropriateness, or an educational character of the materials are either of secondary importance when working towards a very specific goal such as an exam, or already built-in with the exam syllabus itself.
Drawing on McGrath citing Grant, I am now going to examine the material by considering mainly student needs and exam requirements p. Coverage of topic: Appropriate frequency of exam-type practice activities: Task validity and authenticity: Exam training: Suitable teaching methodology: The criteria listed above will be detailed in the following section, where I am examining unit 7 from Success with BEC Vantage.
A scanned copy of this unit is available in Appendix 2. Results i.
From this first glance doubts can arise as to the thematic link of the Exam Spotlight section to the rest of the unit. At a closer examination, the first unit block, claiming to address Sales, sets out from a reading activity based on a text pointing out how wrongly a career in sales is perceived. The lead-in speaking task focuses in fact on comparing jobs. The lesson moves on to a second reading, making up the rest of the Business Topic block in unit 7.
This text is also about jobs, this time not remotely linked with the topic of sales. The second module of the lesson consistently deals with selling, first as a professional and interpersonal skill p. However, the last module of the unit, introducing part 1 of the BEC Vantage Reading paper, is again disconnected from the unit topic.
In fact, it seems to aim towards some thematic coherence with the first module of the lesson, in that they are both related to jobs, but in this way the Sales topic of the lesson has been for the best part hijacked. Speaking and listening are also practised in similar patterns of design as in the BEC exam, for instance matching speaker to main idea listening , or compare and contrast jobs speaking.
I am using the term task validity to describe a task that is designed so that the rubric, the input, and the expected output do not conflict with each other. For example, if a multiple- choice reading a rubric specifies that there is only one answer possible, b the TB key indicates one, but c the input text leaves room for several answers, there is obviously a conflict and I call this problem task invalidity.
I will not expect every pedagogical task to be authentic in this sense; but I will check task authenticity for those pedagogical tasks that adopt the format of BEC tasks, thus claiming to replicate them. My in-use, micro-evaluation has revealed that all reading tasks in the unit have at least one questionable answer.
Multiple-choice questions 1 and 3 for the comprehension task on pages , for example, have two possible answers; it is very difficult for the teacher to advocate the suitability of only one answer, provided by the key.
Also, for the answer to question 2 there is no evidence in any of the extracts, which is not merely questionable under validity concerns, but also under authenticity with respect to BEC Vantage Reading part 1. According to the preparation advice supplied further on by the Handbook, this is an exercise where paraphrasing is crucial p.
By contrast, question 2 requires learners to interpret the information and make inferences beyond the text itself.
Finally, for question 2 in the Exam Spotlight reading students may well decide in the end that D is a safer choice, but doubts may persist as to why the job in A does not also answer the question, since its creation is due to a recently-built conference centre.
Turning to the listening task on page 71, we notice that it also aims to provide listening practice within a BEC format matching and for an exam-relevant skill identifying gist. The scripts are provided here. It could be argued that item 1 is extremely easy, since the word advertising itself is explicit, surrounded also by an easily identifiable semantic field radio, mailshots. But the more problematic aspects arise with items 3, 4 and 5.
The answer to Item 3 stationery depends on catching and understanding one single word, letterheads.
Item 4 is about a product that is practically outdated in the digital era, so validity might be a problem here, as learners are expected not just to understand the gist, but to possess certain knowledge of the world.
Item 5 has no clear answer, as the script does not provide sufficient, and sufficiently specific, clues. What are home improvements — insulation? There are further problems with this listening task. Further, the second listening is performed on a gap-fill exercise which is extremely easy. Answers are provided in a straightforward manner and it is only hearing ability that is required. Although I cannot support my statement with assessment data, I have found in class that such an exercise is too easy for level B2.
It is also hardly motivating to listen to the extracts for a third time only to extract the functional language in exercise 5.
Exam training The unit gives practice in a variety of skills and the tasks are mostly modelled on BEC formats, providing ample opportunity for students to become familiar with the exam, although the quality of the individual tasks is not consistent, as I explained above. There are two sections in the unit where exam training is particularly necessary. First, in the Exam Spotlight section. Apart from a small advice box and a brief description of the exam task, there is little further guidance as to the procedure and strategies needed to deal with this task effectively.
Also, in the economy of the Reading paper, this task is supposed take the shortest time, as the following tasks will require more attention to detail.
The material on pages provides very little support both regarding reading techniques and the issue of timing. Secondly, pages introduce a genre proposal that candidates may be required to produce in the Writing paper. Students are offered a model on page 72, but there is no minimal genre analysis to assist learners in understanding and subsequently reproducing the genre. What is more confusing is that the proposal is presented in a fax format; professionally less experienced learners, such as pre-service trainees, may not distinguish features of a fax from those of a proposal.
With no writing file section at the back of the book see my macro-evaluation , it is again up to the teacher to select a sample proposal, suitable for BEC, to discuss and examine in class.
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Methodology The material design is clearly grounded on a communicative view of language teaching and learning. It meets most relevant criteria proposed, e. The unit offers great variety of activities and a balanced weight of skills.
The reading on pages is sequenced from a lead-in involving the learners and encouraging their output, moving on to a holistic initial approach to the text, followed by detailed reading and concluded by a focus on language. Similarly, the grammar on page 69 emerges from the previous discussion of jobs and the preceding vocabulary, is then practised in a contextualised way, i. It is also a good example of integrating skills and of anchoring grammar practice in a meaning-oriented activity, by working on a text describing exam conditions.
Unit 7 Overall, unit 7 is designed on a sound communicative approach, involving learners, providing variety, integrating skills and making language work meaningful. The material offers plenty of exam practice, covering all four skills in exam-similar formats.
Finally, the topic itself sales is hijacked, which means that the exam syllabus is not fully covered; this amounts, firstly, to vocabulary deficiencies and, secondly, to insufficient exposure of learners to content issues, potentially leading to inadequate performance in the exam, be it in receptive, or in productive, skills. A final remark is that jobs is a topic partly addressed also in units 1, 2 and 6, which makes it redundant in unit 7. One solution to drawbacks of course materials is obviously to adapt them.
In my first course on this book I left, for example, the Reading on page 68 as homework, I skipped activities 5, 6 and 7 on page 71, and I photocopied and discussed in class the sample proposal from the TB instead of asking students to write it.
In the second course on this book I decided to replace unit 7 with my own materials covering sales concepts, vocabulary and typical discussion points. That is why my decision, based on such a micro-evaluation, is to stop using it again in the future for exam-preparation purposes. I should mention here that the objections I have made in this paper to unit 7 draw on actual difficulties that arose in class, e. Overall evaluation The findings of my macro- and micro-, as well as of the in-use evaluation are summarized in the diagrams below.
Some of the criteria for in-use evaluation draw on Tomlinson Similarly, the pre-use evaluation led to adopting the book and using it for two consecutive courses and , while the in-use evaluation gradually steered towards a negative stance. Their exam results, too, at the end of the course, failed to match their confident performance in the classroom activities. In systematizing in-use data, McGrath suggests three main aspects to consider: My evaluation procedure went from a macro- to a micro-examination of the materials and was performed, as a real-life process, before, during and after using the course pack in class.
Moreover, my post-use conclusions are based on two different courses taught with these materials. I have tried to demonstrate in this paper that the pack is not suitable as an exam-preparation material, although it may be quite a stimulating book for general Business English classes.
There were two main reasons for this. First, the length and with it the generalization level made the checklists hardly practical: Preliminary, Vantage and Higher. Product Information. Success with BEC Vantage: Language s: British English Level s: Intermediate , B1 , B2 Author: Companion Site.
Success with BEC - Vantage CEF B2
Currently, he runs training courses, both face-to-face and online. He is also an author with over 20 ELT books.
Part of the Success with BEC series. Success with BEC Higher:Add to basket. Flexibility is a desirable feature present in numerous evaluation checklists, for example in Tomlinson Second, the relevance of such checklists was very low, considering the fact that I was examining a textbook for very specific purposes. Secondly, pages introduce a genre proposal that candidates may be required to produce in the Writing paper.
Pack Components The Exam Spotlight sections address exam tasks individually, so that the learners are expected to piece up the puzzle at the end.
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