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  • Touchstone

    Second Edition

    The ultimate in blended learning

    Touchstone, together with Viewpoint, is a six-level English program based on research from the Cambridge English Corpus.

    It presents natural language in authentic contexts, and explicitly develops conversation strategies so learners speak with fluency and confidence. You can choose the best way to deliver the course to your students: 100% classroom-based, 100% online or any blend in-between.

    Product Details

    Authors: Michael McCarthy, Jeanne McCarten, Helen Sandiford
    CEFR Levels: A1 - B1

      Key Features  

    Corpus-informed language Extensive Corpus research ensures that the language taught is the language people really use.
    Conversation strategies Students learn the language and skills to interact naturally and confidently.
    Inductive learning Students are encouraged to work out grammatical structures and English usage for themselves. Therefore they are more likely to remember what they have learnt.
    Common errors Touchstone incorporates unique research into the Cambridge Learner Corpus which identifies the most typical learner errors. These problem areas are highlighted in ‘Common error’ panels to help students avoid them before they become entrenched.

    Touchstone is part of a learning experience that could only come from Cambridge

    It's shaped by unique insights from our extensive research and expertise, all to enable teachers to do what they do best - teach - and learners to reach their full potential.


    The ultimate in blended learning 

    Choose the best way to deliver the course to your students: print, online, or a blend of the two.

    Blended Learning

    Creating a bespoke mix of online and classroom based content is simple with Touchstone. All lessons can be delivered either in class (using the Student’s Book) or online using the online course on the Cambridge Learning Management System (CLMS). The materials are clearly connected and deliver the same learning outcomes. You can choose the best blend of class work and online work to suit your teaching requirements and the needs of your learners - for example, the flipped classroom with (1) a percentage of online input prior to lessons in class (2) a 50-50 model with an equal split between online and classroom-based delivery, or even (3) 100% online.

    Find out more

    Conversation strategies

    An important learning aim in every lesson is to get your students talking. The course devotes a full lesson in every unit to the teaching of Conversation Strategies so that students can learn the skills needed for effective spoken communication. Notice tasks in the Conversation strategy lessons encourage students to think about how people manage conversations effectively. Strategy Plus teaches conversation management expressions, such as I mean, well, anyway, all chosen for relevance and frequency.                                                     

    Inductive learning

    Solving a problem and figuring something out is a powerful aid to understanding. Figure it out tasks challenge students to think about how target grammar structures are formed and used before they are formally introduced.

    Find out more


    Methodology that works

    Touchstone helps students become more efficient learners by presenting techniques to log and remember new language and to put the new language to use immediately, communicating with their classmates. Visit the methodology & research page to find out more.


    Corpus-informed language 

    Extensive research into American English in the Cambridge English Corpus.

    Corpus-Informed language

    The syllabus draws on extensive research into American English in the Cambridge English Corpus – an extensive, living database of everyday conversations and written texts. This ensures that the language you teach is the language people really use. It also incorporates research into learner English, using the Cambridge Learner Corpus, a huge and growing database of real exam scripts. This helps us to identify how learners use English at different levels.                                                                                                                         

    Avoiding common errors

    Common error boxes highlight insights from the Cambridge Learner Corpus to help your students avoid making typical learner mistakes.

    Find out more


    Flexible learning, proven results 

    Touchstone is full of helpful and interesting notes about the way English is really used.

    Success stories

    Because Touchstone offers flexibility in how the course can be delivered, our customers are able to choose what suits their teachers and students best and are getting great results.

    Case studies

    Henry Roux de Bezieux (Director), Victorias, France

    “The flexibility of the Touchstone course adapts to students’ needs and availability, and also enables a large proportion of the hours, around 50%, to be completed from home or from the office. We have hundreds of students who have used our fully blended approach with Touchstone to successfully move up the European Scale from levels A1 or A2 (School English) to levels B1 and B2 (Professional English).”      

    Case studies

    Carolina Euceda de Fonseca (Head of the National EFL Program), CEUTEC, Honduras

    “Before class, students upload homework assignments, participate in forums, check their grades, etc. Teachers then prepare classes that include activities that consolidate what students have studied online. Classes are then more dynamic, motivating, and student-centered and the teacher becomes a facilitator or language coach. The combination of face-to-face classes and online work allows us to provide the right number of guided hours needed to reach a B1 or B2 level of proficiency.”

    Case studies

      What teachers and learners say  

      What teachers  

      and learners say  

    Alina Sultanova

    Teacher, Kazan Technical Research University, Russia

    "The Touchstone course has turned out to be a complete language teaching and learning innovation for our University."

    Anne Marie Pfeiffer

    Teacher, English Connection, Spain

    "I find that Touchstone provides the support and guidance to guide us on this journey of making English learning fun."

    Join the online conversation

    From the
    World of Better Learning

    How to teach remotely with Touchstone Posted by Joe Tearle We are continuing our ‘how to’ guides series to support teachers working with our course book…

    Integrating grammar and conversation Posted by Sarah Laughran In this webinar, Michael McCarthy, Jeanne McCarten and Helen Sandiford look at the ways in…

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