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Academy curriculum EFL eikaiwa JHS junior high school language courses materials publishing textbooks

The Fluency Course 2022

Is finally available on Amazon

I can’t believe this day is finally here. After six(?) years of writing, testing, re-writing, and figuring out how to publish and sell it without driving ourselves and our staff crazy, the B versions of all our textbooks are now available on Amazon in their final form.

Incredibly, we’ve made a lot of improvements to this latest (final?) version. We added a dictation activity to the first year books, made a simple change to the second year writing practice that should make a big difference to student results, and transformed the third year textbook.

I think our current users are going to be very pleasantly surprised, and new ones will just think the books were this good from the beginning 😉

We use the B books from October with our students, so we’ll have all the free supplementary stuff up on the Fluency Course website before then.

We’re also hoping to have the final versions of the A books up on Amazon/our site by the end of the summer, at which point I’m going to take my writing partner for a nice meal and we’re going to take a week or so off.

Would be really grateful for any help you could give us with promoting the course, telling people about it, leaving Amazon reviews, etc.

Please let me know if you have any questions! For people buying the course for their students, I would be happy to jump on a Zoom call to answer your questions or run you through how we use the books.

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Academy curriculum junior high school materials publishing textbooks

Fluency Course Website

Finally

We finally have a dedicated website for the Fluency Course materials. It’s very embrionic at the moment, but eventually will have digital samples from all the books, teacher guides, order forms, etc.

I will still post updates here and write about how we are running our Academy classes, etc. but for the latest information about the Fluency Course textbooks please go to our website.

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Academy curriculum junior high school language courses textbooks

Textbook 1b and 2b

One Step Closer

Just got the prototypes back from the printer. A few small typos, but good enough for now!

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Academy curriculum junior high school language courses textbooks

Fluency Course Evolution IV

A huge hurdle, removed

The fluency course is chugging along, slowly getting closer to being a product we can sell.

I’m hoping to be able to offer preorders for next March/April soon in the new year. Stay tuned for more information.

We’ve had one enormous breakthrough, thanks in part to the pandemic. When we first created our course we put the questions on index cards. This had the advantage of being tactile, of allowing students to shuffle the question order, and of allowing students to share one set between them (so they have different questions to ask and answer).

One set of question cards (July, for JHS1 students)

This was fine for us, as we could print our own sets and they would last for a few years.

However, printing them for other people turned out to be almost impossible. I wasn’t able to find a commercial solution to printing 240 unique index cards for a reasonable amount of money. Printing them myself would have been hugely time-consuming just to sell them at cost (for the blank index cards and ink cost).

Fortunately(?), the pandemic meant that we didn’t really want students sharing our class sets of cards, so we stopped using them. Eventually we found a solution that a) solved the printing problem, b) solved the sharing problem, and c) actually turned out to be an improvement!

Instead of using the sets (we needed one set for every two students in the class) we created an A3 handout with the questions and answers on one side, space on the back to personalise answers, and a QR code link to a video. The video runs through the questions and answers and allows students to practice outside of class if they want/need to.

Question sheet for August (the back has the questions printed with space for students to write their own answers)

We’ve been using the question sheets for three months now (we added the QR code/video after the first month) and they’ve been working very well. In a way I like them better than the index cards, and they will make it much easier for people with larger classes to use our materials (instead of buying/printing/storing hundreds of sets of cards they just need to print one A3 sheet per student per month).

In the next update I should be able to show you our professionally printed textbooks. I can’t believe we are almost there. We started creating these materials in 2016!

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Academy junior high school materials textbooks

Fluency Course Evolution III

Things are getting real

We sent out our first shipment of materials yesterday, to one of our test schools 🙂

A huge milestone. Getting ready to do that resulted in even more changes to the course, so it now looks something like this:

Fluency Course 1

(paid components)
Texts 1a
Texts 1b
Activities 1a
Activities 1b
Workbook 1
Question Cards 1

(free components)
Record sheets (student)
Answer keys (teacher)
Answer keys (student)
Quizlet sets

There are basically 3 main strands to the course, allowing teachers and schools to pick and choose which components they want to use. Of course, using all the components will reinforce things and provide students with effective input and practice, but the option to use only one or two of the strands is also there.

The texts. Each of the text books contains 60 texts with comprehension questions, so they could be used to supplement an existing course.

The activities. These are vocab tests (based on the texts and the Quizlet sets) and dialogues. They mainly supplement the texts.

The workbook and question cards. These provide speaking and writing practice using 240 questions. They could be used to easily provide more speaking practice in an existing class.

At this rate it looks like we’ll be able to provide (discounted) samples by the end of the year and start selling for April 2021. Exciting stuff!