English For Academic Purposes — Testimonials

Pearson's English for Academic Purposes

Using Contemporary Topics

Yasutoshi Mori, Professor, School of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University


We had a major change in the curriculum for the 2016 enrolment at the School of Sociology, Kwansai Gakuin University. Our mandatory English programmes in the language education module were subject to a systemic reform. We chose Contemporary Topics as the textbook for all 30 classes of freshmen in the Sociology Department from among the vast amount of domestic and foreign titles for five reasons:
  1. One topic per chapter from a range of disciplines including Humanities and Social Sciences, especially Sociology.
  2. The course serves especially well for the purpose of helping our students develop their listening skills as a larger number of them would later study abroad in English speaking countries as part of the Top Global University Project we have adopted at our university.
  3. It consists of four levels which cater to the different proficiency levels of the 650 students we newly enrol each year.
  4. It equips the teachers well with supplementary components such as DVDs, CDs, Teacher’s Pack.
  5. It comes with video materials for students available as streaming
Regarding (1) the curriculum committee decided that the purpose of our English curriculum should have a clear focus on teaching English for academic purpose rather than general English or business English that is needed in corporates after college. In particular, we needed to select a course book with contents which provide background to build a specialist education on, with a view to opening a new course called “Sociology in English” where Sociology is taught in English. Although it’s not be viable at our university to switch the language we use in the entire department to English, we now have a structure where both part-time and full-time lecturers work together towards the objectives set by the department instead of leaving things to each teacher’s discretion as we used to do.

As for (2) and (3), we are aware that the two English classes per week are not enough for our students to improve each of the four skills effectively even though that is generally what English language teaching is about. So in our new English curriculum we have decided to focus more on building listening comprehension skills for students who want to study abroad and rebuilding reading comprehension skills for the others. For higher level students, it is important for us to bring up the level of academic reading skills to match that of students 20 or 30 years ago so that it becomes feasible to teach Sociology in English instead of teaching Sociology and English separately. It may sound like regressive thinking, but it is quite a challenge for a school of Sociology. We need to shift our focus and leave something behind in order to re-establish a system to teach and learn English with academic objectives. I am sure Contemporary Topics with its main focus and selling point – listening comprehension – will be also useful for helping students build their reading comprehension skills and expand their academic knowledge.



 
 

Contemporary Topics

 
Contemporary Topics features college lectures from several academic disciplines, including archaeology, anthropology and economics. Contemporary Topics prepares students for the challenge of college lectures with practice in a wide range of listening, speaking and note-taking skills. The lectures (available on CD and DVD) were recorded in realistic academic settings before live student audiences.

Click the links below to request an inspection copy:
Level 1 (4th Edition)
Level 2 (4th Edition)
Level 3 (4th Edition)
Introductory (3rd Edition)
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English For Academic Purposes — Testimonials

Pearson's English for Academic Purposes

Using the Longman Academic Writing Series

Michiko Ueki, Associate professor, Faculty of Foreign Language Studies, Kansai UniversityMichiko Ueki, Associate professor, Faculty of Foreign Language Studies, Kansai University


I used Longman Academic Writing Series 3 as a textbook for the mandatory English class for freshmen at Ochanomizu University, where I used to work.

This book starts with paragraph-level tutorials and steps up to essay writing by the end of the course through writing paragraphs of different styles. The first chapter provides academic writing guidance on such thing as how to come up with ideas such using brainstorming. It may sound quite elementary, but this gives students a quality warm-up (or “hop”) before they start writing anything. This is important as they often say they have not been explicitly taught the basics of academic writing.

The chapters that follow on paragraph writing are very clear and concise. Each chapter succinctly introduces a variety of paragraph writing with information on the kinds of elements and expressions to keep the text cohesive, followed by relevant exercises. While this provides a big “step” leading to the final “jump” and makes lessons flow, it’s so smooth that it sometimes leave students behind without full understanding of what has just been taught.

To make up for this disadvantage, I made a point of asking them questions like “Why did you choose that answer?” or “What is the basis for your answer?” and then having them discuss in pairs or groups. When we conducted a questionnaire, I received a lot of feedback like: “Stopping and reflecting gave me the opportunities to deepen my comprehension. As it became clear to me what points I should include in my paragraphs, I felt very comfortable writing.” I personally believe it is essential to include in lessons the time for students to reflect in order to reinforce their learning so that they can “jump” to the next level.

In addition, I found the most of the free writing topics at the end of chapter quite unique and they effectively led to diverse writing products unique to each student. As a result, the students enjoyed very animated peer-review sessions each time. Of course, I was reviewing their writing with a great pleasure.

To sum up, Longman Academic Writing Series 3 is a well-designed, well-balanced textbook presenting chapters and exercises in steps in order to help students learn the basics of paragraph writing with enjoyable topics that motivate them to write. I’m certain this book will be useful to a lot of English teachers too.



 

Longman Academic Writing Series

 
52000CoursePARENTThe Longman Academic Writing Series helps students master the academic writing skills needed to succeed in their academic careers. The five-level series spans writing topics from composing sentences to writing research papers. Each level covers the complete writing process from prewriting to revision.











Click the links below to request an inspection copy: Level 1 | Level 2 |  Level 3 | Level 4 | Level 5
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English For Academic Purposes — Testimonials

Pearson's English for Academic Purposes

Using “Longman Academic Reading Series 4: Reading Skills for College”


Masumi Igarashi Ph.D., Lecturer, Language Education Center, Okayama University


I used Reading Skills for College from the Longman Academic Reading series in 2015 in my reading class for sophomores. I think this book efficiently teaches university students academic reading skills they need in their studies. Unlike online articles and emails found in general Reading textbooks which are still engaging and enjoyable for the students but not necessarily academic enough, the excerpts in this book are from an eclectic selection of literature written by scholars, philosophers and artists such as Margaret Mead, Susan Sontag, Leo Tolstoy, Eric Kandel, Jared Diamond, E.M.Forster, Sigmund Freud, Stephen Jay Gould, Amitav Ghosh, and Hannah Arendt — the kind of texts that are more suitable for undergraduates because they would need such reading experiences in their general education course anyway.

There are a few reasons why I think this book is beneficial for the students:

Firstly, most of the original books have been translated and published in Japanese and the students will surely come across these writers through the general education course or in their majors sooner or later. If they have read some of these books before my reading class, they are already familiar with the authors and the book content, which would encourage them to read further in English. Even if they don’t encounter these books until a few years after the class, they would still recognize the authors and will be more interested than seeing them for the first time. Connecting dots in such ways can be a great catalyst for intellectual activities in higher education.

Secondly, some of the excerpts are written by non-native speakers of English or good-quality English translation of the original books, which I think is a fantastic aspect of this textbook. In my opinion, limiting the reading materials to those written by native speakers of English, which can covertly contain cultural bias and ideologies accepted in English speaking countries, does not always inspire truly global ways of thinking. My students are part of the legion of non-native scholars around the world whose academic work partially involves using English. They account for the vast majority of the global academic population and my students will have a lot of opportunities to read pieces written by those people.

I am quite impressed with the editorial decision to include highly academic pieces written by non-native speakers because nowadays there are dozens of textbooks written by native speakers but not as rich in content as this one.

Last but not least, this book is quite useful in class. In each chapter there are there different passages on one same topic, presenting three different points of view. This helps activate discussions after reading activities. You can start with a simple question such as “Which of the three viewpoints do you agree with the most?” to make it easy for students who are not good at expressing their opinions to speak. Asking them to make a case against a viewpoint they don’t agree with is a good way to take the discussion further.

In conclusion, I highly recommend Reading Skills for College as an excellent material which gives teachers the leverage to create a great lesson.



 
 

Longman Academic Reading Series

 
52000CoursePARENTThe Longman Academic Reading Series is a five-level series that prepares English language learners for academic work. The aim of the series is to make students more effective and confident readers by providing high-interest readings on academic subjects and by teaching them skills and strategies for effective reading, vocabulary building, note-taking, and critical thinking. The series also encourages students to discuss and write about the ideas they discovered in the readings, making them better speakers and writers of English as well.





Click the links below to request an inspection copy: Level 1 | Level 2 |  Level 3 | Level 4 | Level 5
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English For Academic Purposes — Testimonials

Pearson's English for Academic Purposes

Using “Contemporary Topics”

Masashi Takemura, Professor Department of English, Hokusei Gakuen University Junior CollegeMasashi Takemura, Professor, Department of English, Hokusei Gakuen University Junior College

1. How did you find out about Contemporary Topics?

The series and its sub-title “Academic Listening and Note-Taking” caught my attention when I was searching some catalogues for courses for the listening class sophomores that I had been assigned. I decided on this series with an expectation that it would be instrumental in helping students improve their English proficiency.


2. How long have you been using this series?

I’ve been using the series for seven years now. I am open to testing other good textbooks but so far this has been the best and I haven’t seen any other series that serves the purposes of my class better.


3. What kind of classes do you use this book with?

My class is not mandatory but I have about 35 students signing up every year. I use Contemporary Topics 1 for the first semester and Contemporary Topics 2 for the second. I use our CALL classrooms for this class to make use of the excellent DVD component which comes with the book.


4. What do like about this book?

There are quite a few things I like about this book.

(a) The accompanying DVD is quite amazing. The seven-minute virtual-lecture in each unit is so realistic that it is as if students are actually taking the class shown in the video. What’s more, each lecturer is a specialist in the topic which makes the lesson even more authentic and effective. Honestly, I don’t think we English teachers can prepare all that is offered in the DVD.

(b) This series is based on an up-to-date, content-based approach. In every unit there is one topic featured, ranging from psychology, to philosophy, from astrology to art, which all seem to not only match my students’ interest areas, but also engage them with thought-provoking themes addressing current issues.

(c) I like the way one unit consists of eight steps and how each task gradually increases in difficulty as the students step through them. There is a comprehensive teacher’s guide with clear objectives.


5. How are the students responding to the book?

I think my students are learning pretty well. They seem quite enthusiastic even though they have a hard time keeping up with the audio when practicing speech shadowing using the “Build Your Vocabulary”, “Try It Out”, and “Listen for Main Ideas” sections. Over time, they learn to repeat what they hear without looking at the transcript. The note-taking activities with videos work for them as well. Both shadowing and note-taking leave them with a feeling of success which motivates them to try harder.


 


 
 

Contemporary Topics

 
Contemporary Topics features college lectures from several academic disciplines, including archaeology, anthropology and economics. Contemporary Topics prepares students for the challenge of college lectures with practice in a wide range of listening, speaking and note-taking skills. The lectures (available on CD and DVD) were recorded in realistic academic settings before live student audiences.

Click the links below to request an inspection copy:
Level 1 (4th Edition)
Level 2 (4th Edition)
Level 3 (4th Edition)
Introductory (3rd Edition)
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Longman Academic Writing Series — Testimonials

Pearson's English for Academic Purposes

Hiroyuki Nemoto

Hiroyuki Nemoto, Professor, School of International Studies, Institute of Liberal Arts and Science, Kanazawa UniversityProfessor, International Studies & English Communication, College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University

1. How did you come to know about this series?

I chose First Steps in Academic Writing (old edition) from this series (Longman Academic Writing Series Level 2) because its instructions on how to tackle writing were the most systematic of all the course books I looked at when I was assigned a writing class in 2007. Since then, this series has been the first choice for my academic writing classes – Level 2 for freshmen, Level 3 and 4 for intermediate and advanced students.


2. What do you like the most about this series?

I think the Longman Academic Writing Series is great at helping students find out more about important topics whilst improving their writing skills in a motivating context. The series provides clear and explicit guidance on how to compose paragraphs and essays and has just the right amount of exercises and activities per topic – and it’s perfect for teaching process writing. The processes introduced in each book include brainstorming and outlining a text and these promote the development of strong planning abilities and critical thinking.

At the paragraph level I make a point of familiarizing students with the top-down approach to writing. I believe repeating these processes is the way to teach academic literacy.


3. How do you use the books in class?

I use them with groups for lessons on process writing. I assign projects which promote collaborative learning and I grade each step in the writing process such as brainstorming, outlining, composing and proofreading. I use collaborative scaffolding, which involves getting small groups of three to four students of mixed proficiency to work together. It enables weaker students to gain support from stronger students; stronger students in this setting learn to assume responsibility for the tasks and improve their cognitive skills by offering advice to their peers.

My students revise their writing at each stage of the process with my feedback. This is useful in that I can still make a note of deviations while encouraging them to think about how to correct their writing themselves, effectively helping them to improve their task management skills.


4. How are the students responding to the book? What are the results of using this series?

This series provides a good challenge for my students and using it elicits a sense of accomplishment, which is essential in motivating learners. They tend to find it a little daunting to use books written all in English at the beginning of the course, but then become more comfortable as we go along. Once they get used to structures and the writing process – by looking at model paragraphs and exercises – they enjoy participating in group work without much difficulty.



 

Longman Academic Writing Series

 
52000CoursePARENTThe Longman Academic Writing Series helps students master the academic writing skills needed to succeed in their academic careers. The five-level series spans writing topics from composing sentences to writing research papers. Each level covers the complete writing process from prewriting to revision.







Click the links below to request an inspection copy: Level 1 | Level 2 |  Level 3 | Level 4 | Level 5
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Longman Academic Reading Series — Testimonials

Pearson's English for Academic Purposes

Maiko Ikeda

Maiko Ikeda, Professor, Kansai UniversityProfessor, Faculty of Foreign Language Studies, Kansai University

1. How did you come to know about this series?

I first saw Longman Academic Reading at the Pearson booth at a conference around 2014. I think the title is quite extraordinary because it systematically introduces learning strategies throughout the book which help students to cultivate abilities to seek language learning opportunities outside the classroom—the answer for those who are struggling to get started with learning English.


2. How long have you been using this series?

I’ve been using it for over a year now. I chose this series because it is ideal for a General English class focused on reading – a class which I was assigned last year.


3. What kind of classes do you use this book in?

I teach with the Level 3 book in a weekly 90-minute reading and writing class for about 25 freshmen who are relatively comfortable with English. We finish one book in one school year.

I use one of the three passages on the same topic in one chapter for one lesson. Alongside that I use the vocabulary section for a quick quiz to motivate students to revise vocabulary at home. I then have small groups of 2~4 students work on reading comprehension based on questions in the quiz and we then expand on the understanding of the text as the whole class. I throw in grammar points and cultural background as necessary. Towards the end, we move on to writing activities and summarize the passage within a set amount of time, making use of the “Note Taking” activities.


4. What do you think are the benefits of this series?

What I like about this series the most, as I mentioned above, is that it features comprehensive learning strategies, introduced systematically. Those strategies help learners to read the texts in the book with more ease, effectively boosting their confidence over time. The book also provides diverse reading experiences with a wealth of subjects such as Business, Psychology, Nutrition, Literature, Art, History and Education and a variety of writing styles such as opinion essays, diaries, letters and newspaper articles.


5. How are the students responding to the book?

My students are happy with this series not only because of the rich pool of topics but also because reading a few different pieces on the same topic in one chapter introduces them to multi-dimensional perspectives. They often struggle with reading comprehension at the outset especially when they are not familiar with the topic but after completing one chapter they are satisfied to have gained a wider knowledge of a subject.



 
 

Longman Academic Reading Series

 
52000CoursePARENTThe Longman Academic Reading Series is a five-level series that prepares English language learners for academic work. The aim of the series is to make students more effective and confident readers by providing high-interest readings on academic subjects and by teaching them skills and strategies for effective reading, vocabulary building, note-taking, and critical thinking. The series also encourages students to discuss and write about the ideas they discovered in the readings, making them better speakers and writers of English as well.





Click the links below to request an inspection copy: Level 1 | Level 2 |  Level 3 | Level 4 | Level 5
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English For Academic Purposes — Testimonials

Pearson's English for Academic Purposes

Rieko Nishida

Associate Professor, Osaka University

rieko-nishidaI highly recommend Contemporary Topics. It is a superb multi-media course that engages students’ interests and stimulates their intellectual curiosity with its content and language integration. It facilitates effective and efficient classroom teaching with a variety of individual, pair and group activities which motivate my class of about 50 students and encourage participation while keeping them on their toes. I teach a Practical English Conversation course using Contemporary Topics in the first year at Osaka University and my students love this book.

A typical lesson of mine starts with revising vocabulary related to the unit theme, then moving on to a note-taking activity while watching a video of authentic lectures. This is followed by “Listen for Main Ideas” and “Listen for Details” activities to test their understanding. I give them a vocabulary quiz towards the end of the class. You can also include group discussions and student presentations based on topics from the unit.

One of the things that I like about this series is the flexible scaffolding made possible by the choice of whether or not to use subtitles or “Coaching Tips” to meet different needs and levels of understanding. This is because some students prefer the challenge of not seeing the subtitles while other students do need more support.

There is a range of subject matter available as video lectures in the accompanying DVD including Psychology, Linguistics, Business Administration, Engineering, Science, Biology and Astronomy and these subjects cater to students of the Humanities, Science, Engineering, and Medicine.  


 
 

Contemporary Topics

 
Contemporary Topics features college lectures from several academic disciplines, including archaeology, anthropology and economics. Contemporary Topics prepares students for the challenge of college lectures with practice in a wide range of listening, speaking and note-taking skills. The lectures (available on CD and DVD) were recorded in realistic academic settings before live student audiences.

Click the links below to request an inspection copy:
Level 1 (4th Edition)
Level 2 (4th Edition)
Level 3 (4th Edition)
Introductory (3rd Edition)
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