In this article going to go over the “Interchange” series of ESL textbooks. The Interchange series has a total of four textbooks or six textbooks if you consider the two upper-level “Passages” textbooks written by the same author. The four Interchange textbooks are made for young adults and adults learners of English from beginning level to high intermediate levels. It is the fourth edition which tells you how popular it truly is. It is a multiskilled textbook that goes over grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, listening, themes and functions. These textbooks can be used in private classes or in large group classes.
Now that we have gotten the specifics out of the way let’s talk a little bit about these books. The books’ lessons are pretty basic. On the first 2 pages you start off having two short conversations that include the key point that you are trying to teach for that lesson. Basic warm-up questions and related “personalization” questions are also presented.On the next page you have some controlled practice where students have to look at various pictures and use the key point of the lesson to create sentences.The next page has another warm-up section which adds to the previous key points from the earlier conversations. After that you have another short conversation which expands on the previous conversations as well as a wordplay joke in each conversation.On the next page you have three different activities that you can do with the students or they can do among each other to practice the lesson’s key point.Then on the last page are some review exercises. On the review page there is an area titled “Personal Record”. This has 4 to 8 questions depending on the lesson that include the lesson’s key point and can also be used in everyday conversations.
Student Age Range: from 15 and up
Author: Jack C. Richards
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This series has many strengths. One is that it is a multiskilled textbook that you as a teacher can use with a variety of classes. Also there are four books in the series and six if you include the “Passages” textbooks. This can be really helpful when you’re trying to create a long-term curriculum for your class or for your school. Having all of the students by the same textbooks can keep things very organized. As this is one of the most successful ESL textbooks there is a lot of extras related to the textbooks that your students can use in a multiple number of ways. For example, the books now come with an interactive DVD that they can take home and watch or you can play in the class. A lot of the videos that are on the DVD can be accessed on YouTube or the “Interchange” website. On the textbook website you have access to a huge amount of resources related to the textbook. They have downloadable PDF files, videos, games, activity ideas, worksheet and much much more. Because it has so much to offer it has been my “main” standard class textbook over the years. That is not to say that I don’t use other textbooks or that this is my favorite textbook but it is extremely flexible and a very good textbook to base most of your classes off of.
This is a very versatile textbook that has all kinds of different exercises. This is generally a good thing but in most of my classes, I often skip the writing ,pronunciation and reading sections. Most of my students are more interested in the speaking activities than the writing or reading ones. Also I found that there are better ways to practice pronunciation than using the basic pronunciation exercises in the textbook. The grammar explanations are generally short but they give you enough examples so that most teachers should have no trouble explaining the various grammar to their students. In the back of the book they have communication activities/games for each different chapter that you can play with the students once they have practiced the key points. These games are generally good but I wish there were more of them. Quite often I will use this textbook with the “Communicate One and Two” textbook activities. Don’t get me wrong, most of the activities are good it is just I would like more of them.
Overall this is a very good series of textbooks. This is one of the most popular series of English textbooks out there. The main strength is that there is a lot of flexibility with this textbook. If I could only choose one textbook for my standard classes this would be it.