What makes Speakout so popular?

Only a published a year ago, Speakout is already a regular visitor to BEBC’s bestsellers list with four levels appearing in March’s top 20! We’d go so far as to say it’s the most successful new course since Headway was first published in the 80s. What makes it so popular? We’ve got a few ideas but we’d love to hear your thoughts…

What the publisher says:

Developed in association with BBC Worldwide and BBC learning English, Speakout is a comprehensive six level general English course that helps adult learners gain confidence in all skill areas using authentic materials from the BBC. With its wide range of support material, Speakout meets the diverse needs of learners in a variety of teaching situations and helps to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world.

What the ESU judges say:

“Speakout is a breath of fresh air: a novel, imaginative and contemporary approach to learning, with successfully-integrated media. The course comes with high-quality BBC DVD content and downloadable podcasts, both of which give learners content rich in authentic English and a genuine global range of subject matter to engage with. The course delivers a variety of exciting and motivating exercises and activities which would give any school, class, teacher or learner a significant learning resource and learning experience. Speakout is excellent in the way it permits self-learning access and is also an exciting class resource for teaching. The ESU judging panel described Speakout as ‘the best course this year’, ‘excellent’, and ‘a wonderful course’. For once, a collaborative creation – between Pearson and the BBC in this case – brings the best of both and makes something better.”

(Speakout won the prestigious HRH The Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Award for 2011.)

Why we think it’s popular:

We’ve had a few discussions about this at BEBC, and we can all agree that the wealth of high quality digital content available with the course (podcasts, videos, etc) is likely to be the main contributor to its fast-track popularity. What do you think?

4 thoughts on “What makes Speakout so popular?

  1. is it possible to get an inspection copy

  2. Hi Kate, please email elt[@]bebc[.]co[.]uk with your details and we may be able to organise that for you!

  3. Hope you don’t mind me re-posting this message Piotr left me yesterday, in answer to your question:

    “Seriously, this is the best course so far. And it’s not just because of all the additional digital content. My students find it really stimulating and motivating. The approach to language patterns and functions is quite innovative, too. The vocabulary bank, which actually expands students’ vocabulary is more than invaluable. Of course the topics will probably get out-of-date in a few years, but that is unavoidable with topics like high tech or celebrities, but all in all I give this book an A+”

    “Oh, and 1 more thought (I’ve just finished a class using SO Inter) – my student said – With this book I don’t feel I’m studying English, I feel I’m using English.”

    Piotr Plaskota

    Thanks, Piotr. And I promise I didn’t pay him 😉

  4. I find Speakout to be great with the younger end of my adult classes. The media included and discussed in the series is aimed at the younger market – those who are not scared of technology, who keep up with movies and TV, or who are still in the workforce (especially in professional jobs).

    In refresher courses with (older) faster-paced textbooks, the occasional short Speakout exercise provides more up-to-date vocabulary and casual language. I particularly like using the audio and video activities, although I’ve had to improvise to bring it into the low-tech classrooms I normally teach in!

    It’s occasionally a struggle to get my classes of seniors interested in the topics, especially those about technology, work, celebrities and life changes. Although, if they have kids and grandkids that are into technology, they can be quite interested and ask lots of questions! There is still a gap in the textbook market – very few, if any, textbooks cater for the retiree market.

    I’d certainly recommend the Speakout series for adult classes, although, perhaps not for seniors.

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