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  • Unlock

    Unlock is a five-level academic skills course that combines carefully scaffolded exercises, a comprehensive approach to critical thinking and motivating video.

    The course offers targeted skills development for students in an academic context.

    Its principled approach to critical thinking skills supports learners by giving them the tools they will need to analyse information, generate ideas, formulate their own opinions and express themselves effectively in speaking and writing tasks.

    Unlock levels 1-4 contain Discovery Education video.


    To activate your Online Workbook click here

    Product Details

    Authors: Sabina Ostrowska, Richard O’Neill, Carolyn Westbrook, Chris Sowton, N.M. White, Stephanie Dimond-Bayir, Lewis Lansford, Emma Pathare, Gary Pathare
    CEFR Levels: A1 - B2

      Key Features  

    Every unit of Unlock opens with a visually stunning and inspiring Discovery EducationTM video (supplied on the Teacher's DVD that is packaged with the Teacher's Book). These are used in every unit to introduce original angles on a range of academic topics. The videos promote discussion, motivate and engage learners, and help to ensure that you are working with materials which lead to real achievements in the classroom.
    The critical thinking sections in Unlock are based on Benjamin Bloom’s classification of learning objectives (Bloom’s Taxonomy). These sections allow your learners to develop the lower and higher order thinking skills that are essential for success in an academic context.
    Unlock has been developed using the Cambridge Learner Corpus, Cambridge Academic Corpus, and the English Vocabulary Profile. This guarantees that the language presented to your learners in Unlock is both up-to-date and relevant as it means our authors can see how English is used, identify common mistakes made by learners at a given level, and get additional information on the vocabulary that should be covered at each CEFR level.

    Unlock 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.


    Academic skills 

    Unlock enables learners to develop the academic skills and language that will lead them to success in their studies.

    Language development sections

    Research-informed language development sections provide the vocabulary and grammar students find most challenging.

    Inspiring Video

    Inspiring videos in every unit motivate students to promote discussion and review language learned.


    The topics and exercise types in Unlock are relevant to IELTS tests candidates.

    Critical Thinking

    The well-scaffolded critical thinking exercises support your learners in developing lower and higher order thinking skills.

    Find out more


    Extensive research 

    The most useful language at the right point in the learning journey that is up-to-date and relevant to students' level and academic needs.

    Collaboration with Teachers

    Unlock has been developed in collaboration with teachers in a number of countries to ensure that the content meets students’ language and academic needs.                                                                                 

    Cambridge Corpus

    Unlock has been informed by the Cambridge Learner Corpus, Cambridge Academic Corpus, and the English Vocabulary Profile. This guarantees that the language presented to your learners in Unlock is both up-to-date and relevant.

    Critical Thinking

    The critical thinking exercises in Unlock are informed by Benjamin Bloom’s classification of learning objectives (Bloom’s Taxonomy).

    Find out more

    Unlock Basic Level

    The Unlock Basic level has been developed for pre-A1 learners. 'Unlock Basic Skills' and 'Unlock Basic Literacy'.

    Find out more


    Reliable tests you can trust 

    Students can see their progress benchmarked to international standards.

    Academic success

    Students are better placed to achieve academic success thanks to Unlock’s development of both their academic language and their critical thinking skills.

    Student progress

    A range of tests are available so that you can check your students’ progress with confidence.                                                      


    Extensive academic vocabulary

    After using Unlock I’ve noticed that our students have a higher readability level, as well as an extensive academic vocabulary bank”.
    Phoebe Hindi, English Curriculum Developer, Applied Technology High Schools, IAT. Abu Dhabi, UAE

      What teachers and learners say  

      What teachers  

      and learners say  

    Hyder Almughrab

    Dhofar University, Oman

    "The videos are so engaging. Some students eve asked for a daily video! This has a tremendous effect in arousing motivation and making learning more lively."

    Salima Al-Hadithi

    Institute of Applied Technology, UAE

    "Unlock is the best textbook I have ever taught with. It contains a variety of topics that provide students with a wide range of vocabulary. Students are totally involved, which guarantees effective learning. Unlock helps to encourage and empower the students’ critical thinking."

    Tracy Quayat

    Teacher, Saudi Arabia

    "It’s easy to envision this course in the classrooms of so many institutions and having a very positive effect on the learner, helping the move towards greater success."

    Join the online conversation

    From the
    World of Better Learning

    Why EAP teachers should be thinking about competencies more than ever before Posted by Chris Sowton The language learning classroom provides the opportunity to develop many different skills, abilities and …

    Critical thinking: Critical for academic success Posted by Simon Wright What is critical thinking and how can this be used in an Academic English context?  In this article,…

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