A decent text book

Do you have any experience with the following text books? Which do you recommend for junior high school students and why?

A) English in Mind
B) Innovations
C) Open House
D) Interchange

off topic but…

I’m using bits and pieces of “the curious incident of the dog in the nightime” with some junior high students and so far it’s been a blast. It’s written from the perspective of a brilliant but autistic fifteen year old boy. He has a lot of problems with body language and metaphor and such that he tries to work out logically. It’s a lot like trying to learn a language by doing nothing but study grammar I imagine. He recognizes collocations as individual units of meaning and italicizes them which I think is pretty unusual for a work of fiction.

Anyway it’s a brilliant read even if you never use it as teaching material.

That is a great book. We used it to teach hyperlexic children when I was working in a school for children with learning disabilities.


Of the book you mention, I only have experience with Interchange, and found it fairly successful. In my opinion, most coursebooks do not go over well with students. The more you rely on the book, the more students will complain. I’ve had a lot more success using the book for only a few minutes of class time (mostly focusing on reading and listening exercises). Questions for discussion in pairs and groups will quickly become “time for students to chat in Chinese.” Your best bet is to develop a wide range of activities that you can use to get students to interact with the language and review the words and phrases used in the book. Here are links to some pages with lots of ideas to get you started: