Viewpoint Methodology and Research
Viewpoint is a 'corpus-informed' course, drawing on extensive research into the corpus of North American English in the Cambridge International Corpus - a large database of everyday conversations and texts that show how people actually use English.
Viewpoint merges the best features of proven and familiar communicative methodologies while, at the same time, offering stimulating activities carefully crafted to focus on the learning process. The Viewpoint philosophy maintains that a successful course meets all of the following goals:
1. It is interaction-based. An important learning aim in every lesson is to get students talking to each other. This strong emphasis on spoken interaction enables students to use new language immediately in order to communicate with their classmates. In addition, Viewpoint devotes a full lesson in every unit to the teaching of conversation strategies so that students can learn the skills needed for effective spoken
2. It personalizes the learning experience. Viewpoint offers engaging activities that encourage students to talk about their own lives and ideas as they discuss topics relevant to their interests and experiences. Students will enjoy talking about topics such as social networks, life in the future, world issues, getting along with friends and family, nature, and travel.
3. It promotes noticing and inductive learning. Throughout the series students complete tasks that actively involve them in the learning process. Students are also challenged to notice and figure out (inductive learning) grammar structures or English usage.
4. It recognizes the importance of review and recycling. Language students need constant review, and Viewpoint systematically recycles and reviews target language in several sections of the Student’s Book – in Conversation strategy, Reading and Listening, Vocabulary notebook, and Checkpoint, as well as in the Workbook. Grammar, vocabulary, and conversation strategies taught in earlier units are recycled in later units.
5. It offers flexibility to meet the needs of specific classes. Viewpoint can be used with large and small classes. Activities can be done in pairs, groups, or as a whole class, depending on your particular needs. Viewpoint can also be adapted to varying course lengths.
The Corpus-informed approach
The syllabus will be familiar to most teachers to the degree that it teaches the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The syllabus is different in that it includes conversation strategies – an exciting new syllabus strand that is the result of extensive corpus research. Above and beyond the usual course material, Viewpoint is full of helpful and interesting notes about the way English is really used. It also helps students become more efficient learners by presenting techniques to log and remember new language.
It is suggested that the lessons A, B, C, and D, are studied in order. This is because the new structures and vocabulary taught in the earlier lessons are generally recycled and reused in the later lessons. Each lesson in a unit assumes that students have learned the language of the previous lesson(s). So, for example, simple present statements are taught before simple present questions; students learn the strategy of asking questions in two ways only after they have learned how to ask yes-no and information questions.
As you teach from Viewpoint, you and your students will learn many interesting facts about language coming from our corpus research. Throughout the Student’s Books you will see ‘In conversation’ panels, which give useful information about spoken grammar and vocabulary, or differences between informal and formal spoken English. There are also ‘Writing vs. conversation’ panels, which point to differences between written and spoken English. On many of the ‘Vocabulary notebook’ pages you will find fun facts about vocabulary, such as what things we “catch up on” most frequently. The ‘Common errors’ panels give useful advice on the common errors to avoid with a particular language item. In the Teacher’s Edition we provide additional information about grammar and vocabulary that we feel will be of particular interest to you as a teacher.