CLT was initiated in the 1970's and reflected a trend that dismissed theories which focused on rote learning and the teaching of discrete points of grammar within a decontextualised environment. The CLT approach instead oriented toward meaningful communication as an interactive process, and this approach has been emphasised for inclusion within ELT course-books.
This paper will critically review the manner in which reading and writing skills are presented in the ELT course-book Fast Track, Book 5 (Teacher' Book) (EF Education, 2001). Firstly a summary of the content of Fast Track will be presented. Secondly, reading and writing content will be evaluated with regard to group activities, culture, and meaningful communication. Finally, a conclusion shall synthesise the main arguments of the paper. The conclusion will also demonstrate how Fast Track fails to meet the requirements to provide comprehensive and progressive CLT learning experiences for students of English as a second language.
The ELT course-book Fast Track, Book 5 (Teacher' Book) is a 195 page soft covered text. The book is divided into 7 Units; Getting to Know You, Going Places; Friendship; The Media; Men and Women; Thinking Outside the Box; and Working World. Included with the text is a Tape for "Listening Exercises," ant an Appendix section provides "Tape Transcripts." Skill focus icons are used for each Exercise;
An "Open Mouth" represents exercises that focus on speaking skills
An "Open Book" stands for exercises that develop reading comprehension skills and vocabulary.
An "Ear" symbolises exercises to develop listening comprehension skills.
An "A+B+C+" icon stands for exercises that build vocabulary around a specific lexical group.
A "Verb Subject" symbol represents exercises that focus on a grammatical point.
A "Pen" stands for exercises that develop writing skills.
A "Brain" symbolises exercises that develop learning skills and strategies.
"Reading and Writing Exercises" are presented within each Unit. The Teacher is trained using Teachers Notes in the 1" margin of each page. For each Unit Teachers Notes, there is a brief paragraph of about 33 words, to describe the Unit and the Unit goals to the Teacher. With regard to reading and writing skills for the students, the Teacher's Notes provide details about topics such as the point of the reading exercises, as well as about grammar, verbs, adjectives, and present perfect tense. A Unit Summary is provided at the end of each Unit, to explain grammar used in the exercises, to provide points on using articles, or to provide solutions to exercises with puzzles. The Teacher's text has the answers provided for each exercise in orange font.
Culture & Reading and Writing Skills
The learning requirements of English as a second language students is of critical necessity for students who intend to live, be educated, socialise and work in English speaking countries.
Language skills affect learning ability, and subsequently the student's concept of themselves, their formation of interpersonal relationships, and their ability to