Welcome to the new and updated second edition of Time Zones.
What is Time Zones?
Time Zones is a five-level, four-skills series that combines a communicative approach to learning English with up-to-date National Geographic content, designed to be engaging for all young students, from pre-teens to young adults.
How is the book organized?
Time Zones follows a familiar grammatical syllabus, with simple structures introduced in the lower levels, followed by increasingly complex structures in later levels. However, Time Zones also follows a rich thematic, content syllabus. Real-
world content is used as a springboard for introducing the language that students need to become effective communicators in English.
As with the grammatical syllabus,Time Zones teaches the highest-frequency vocabulary in the earlier stages of the course,with relatively lower-
frequency vocabulary appearing only in the
higher levels of the series. Along the way, more specialized vocabulary is occasionally introduced so that students can develop a meaningful understanding of it, as well as be able to talk about the real world topics and issues introduced in Time Zones. Key vocabulary is recycled systematically throughout the series.
The vocabulary and grammar is well integrated throughout the series. For example, students might learn the grammatical structure “can”to talk about abilities in relation to a unit onanimals, learning to talk about what animals can and can’t do, before going on to personalize the language and talk about themselves and their own abilities.
Ideally, the units of Time Zones will be taught in order and no units will be skipped. However, if your students have some background in English, you may wish to skip the Starter Level, which consolidates some of the core English that young students might have already encountered if they have been exposed to English learning before.
What are the principles behind Time Zones and National Geographic?
1. English for International Communication A key principle underlying Time Zones is an awareness that we are living in an increasingly globalized world,
with English fast-becoming a lingua franca, and that the distinction between “native”and “non-native”speakers of English is becoming less distinct than in thepast.
The majority of communication in English is now between so-called “non-native”English speakers.
While Time Zones uses standard American English as its basis-in terms of lexis, grammar, and model pronunciation-it also acknowledges, and embraces the fact,
that English is gradually moving away from being a “Western”language,
and toward becoming an international one. Rather than make the assumption that a “foreign”student learns English so that they can communicate with and learn about the cultures of “native”English speakers,
Time Zones positions students to be effective communicators in English in a world where English is a common means of international communication.
2. Inspiring People to Care About the Planet In tandem with this is the belief that-in a globalized world-young people are increasingly less defined by national boundaries.
National Geographic’s philosophy-“inspiring people to care about the planet”-is one that should resonate with many young people today,
in not just its environmental mission, but also in its international perspective. Far from simply studying”Western”culture,
students of Time Zones learn about the world around them and its many varied cultures. Moreover,
Time Zones encourages the idea of the student as a world citizen, eager to understand people of all cultures and to learn about global issues and events affecting everyone,
including historical discoveries, scientific developments, and the health of the environment and the planet’s inhabitants.
3. Authentic Real-World Content It is also a key principle of Time Zones that authentic, real-world content is more motivating, more relevant,
and more respectful to students than content that is contrived or artificial. The majority of Time Zones’ content,
including its photography and videos, comes from the National Geographic archives.
This high-interest content informs the entire Time Zones series and provides motivation for students to think and learn about real issues,
and gets students talking in English as early as possible. Time Zones also provides many opportunities for personalization so students can apply the language they learn in wider contexts to talk about themselves and their own lives.
For example, students may learn about extreme weather conditions-the hottest place on Earth,
the coldest winters, the driest summers-but will also be able to use this language to talk about themselves and their everyday experiences.
4. Developing Technological Literacy Another key principle of Time Zones is the knowledge that young students today are more technologically savvy than any previous generation and that information is increasingly multi modal.
Time Zones uses a combination of text types-video, photographs, illustrations, and listening materials.
This section aims to give you practical ideas for using Time Zones and provide you with classroom activities that can get your learners interacting with the material and communicating in the classroom.
First, we look at teaching through content in which we bring the outside world into the classroom to help our learners become more global. We then look at the importance of vocabulary as the building blocks of language and get learners to develop their grammar by actually using it.
We also look at ways to make use of listening and reading material to maximize learner output and ideas for getting learners communicating to one another using the spoken or written form.
After that, we turn to ways to integrate video into our classes to add new dynamics to classroom learning.
We then discuss ways to help our learners to retain and use the language they have learned beyond the walls of the classroom. Finally, there are suggestions for further reading.
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