New Concept English. Parents love it, many schools use it, students – well, they pretty much hate every textbook; and for EFL teachers, it can strike fear and loathing deep in our hearts. But exactly why?
Our EduBiz group had a lively discussion this week on the pros and cons of New Concept English.
The “For” Arguments
“It teaches students in the same way that they will be tested, therefore they are better prepared and perform better on their school tests.”
“Phonics/ translations/ grammar explanations and drills/ a large graded vocabulary and a graded interunit connected dialogue all on one page.”
“I noticed a lot of foreign teachers don’t like it because they have to explain grammar or do multi choice questions. But you have these kids wining competitions and doing awesome in state exams and coming to middle school well ahead of other kids after studying NCE. I’ve noticed the kids in middle school who studied NCE are usually miles ahead of the other kids.”
“When I first came to China I was asked to teach NCE with very little training and without a teachers’ book. Put me well off it for a couple of years. Went back and looked at it a few years later and realised it’s actually a great resource.”
The “Against” Arguments
“NCE is just grammar drills and garbage dialogues, perfect for students who wish to remain in the Chinese school system, rubbish for anyone else.”
“Too academic for a new learner”
“Even if you could get a student speaking fluent English using NCE, they’d be completely unprepared for curriculum abroad.”