HEADWAY - feedback

Anyone have any feedback on the Headway series of books?

What about the difference between American Headway and Brittish English Headway?

First, I really hate teaching the British version of Headway. I got 8 students who are either going to or already family businesses/residences in either America or Canada and the school gives me a British version of Headway - Ha, aha, haa!! So, I talk to them about “Football” not soccer and cricket and the lift instead of the elevator, etc, etc.

I generally like the American version of Headway. The photos in the text books look up to date and they have the grammar point for the students to see.

The student workbook looks good as well, lots of practice exercises in there for the students.

What split do you opt. for with American Headway?

Books 1 - 2 - 3


Books 1a - 1b - 2a - 2b - 3a - 3b

Have I got this right?
Are there 2 possible ways to split it up, as above?

American Headway does “look” better.

BH - I’ve only used 1, 2 and 3.

Oh poor you, and here’s me using the American books with my silly Brit accent. Life really is hard isn’t it? But they are published by a British company, after all.

And then I have to deal with my stupid IELTS students who for some unaccountable reason would rather do their MBAs in a British English country than the states. The poor sods have to unlearn all that ‘proper’ American English they’ve learnt and use words like ‘tick, cheque, bill, receipt’ where previously they could have just said ‘check’.

This rather pointless argument has cropped up a zillion times already on this forum, and I’m sure that boss Hogg is experienced and smart enough to have his own opinions about it.

So my only meaningful contribution to this thread is to say that I have just started using the american headway 2a with a bunch of junior high kids. We’re managing about 1 page per hour, and I like the book a lot. Will keep you posted as to how things turn out.

Exploring English is also good.


The brutal moron child molester with the plum in his mouth.

Oh, foot ball - foot… ball… Balls are spherical, feet are at the end of your legs. I checked my Oxford dictionary, published by Oxford, who also publish my american Headway books.

Kisk the round object with the end of your leg and it’s football. That’s why the whole world calls it football, futbol, fussball, le football or something similar.

What exactly is your problem with this?

[quote=“tmwc”]This rather pointless argument has cropped up a zillion times already on this forum, and I’m sure that boss Hogg is experienced and smart enough to have his own opinions about it.


The brutal moron child molester with the plum in his mouth.[/quote]

There are many different courses of books out there and it would be impossible to be experienced in all of them, as much as I would like to be. Therefore, this thread is not pointless, an argument about it however might be useless and pointless.

I am experienced mostly with Side by Side and course books that are used in New Zealand.

A friend of mine in NZ is opening a language school and will be using the British version of Headway. My dilema is that some students that I send him may be confused at first if I use American Headway in Taiwan and then send them on to study in NZ. Perhaps the differences are small, but I wanted others opinions as I don’t know everything, or should that be anything?

Layout is another concern and explanations of parts of speech. Some books explain vocabulary or concepts by using the same vocabulary that they are trying to give a definition for in their explanation. This is crazy, it’s like saying “What is ignorant?” and answering “It means someone who is very ignorant.” , "Oh, I still don’t get it’. Some books are just like that and after only a quick look at Headway I don’t think that Headway is one of these books. I could be wrong, am I?

Never assume that you know everything, I certainly don’t, and that is why I started this thread to get details about some books that I know very little about.

The Big Fat Idiot in the stupid hat.

Sorry, didn’t mean it like that.

When I see the word ‘hate’ being used with reference to one or other type of English, I get really upset.

Hate is a very powerful, and completely inappropriate, word to use. Sharon and Arafat appear to be driven by hate, as does Bin Laden, and the person or two at this site who claim to support the murder of anyone with a British passport.

I accept that we are all different, and that some of us speak different varieties of the same language. Comments that appear to say “I think everyone should speak my kind of English and I hate anyone who doesn’t” are upsetting to me - which is why I responded.

My comment was intended to mean that the argument about whether or not we should only teach American English has been discussed aplenty, and that bringing your personal hatreds into a discussion about the merits of a particular book as a teaching tool is not very helpful.

So, apologies for hijacking your thread.

To answer your fuller comments above about what you’re looking for:

If you are the only school your students have attended then sure, be concerned about whether they are going to get confused by the change in standards. But if they have studied at multiple locations then you’re probably worrying pointlessly.

Most of my students (age 12-adult) have used a variety of books, but mostly they have studied American English. They’re already going to be confused by a switch to British English. Teaching British English at your schools isn’t going to solve anything, it’ll just be you doing the confusing instead of having someone else do it when they get to another country.

On the other hand you can soften the blow by offering a ‘preparatory’ course in which you use the British books. If the American Headway is a different book then why are you contemplating using it here? Is there a lot of commonality?

Me, I would make sure that any student going to NZ knows that there’s another kind of English in use down there. Giving them the option of getting their feet wet first gives them a potential reason to change their mind, but might avoid disgruntlement later.

As for the quality of the books themselves my immediate impression of American Headway is very positive. But it is pretty geared to ‘living in the USA’, which seems rather pointless if you’re sending people to NZ.

Exploring English is even more that way, so I guess I’ll withdraw that recommendation.

Maybe Backpacker can comment on the quality of the British Headway books as teaching tools? Sorry, but I can’t so I’ll go away now.

PS I like your hat. Don’t be shy about it.


The school has recently selected books from Singapore for Elementary to jun. high students and these are Brit. style English. In Taipei it wouldn’t matter but in a town in Taichung county you need to be careful about the books that you are using.

Good point about a prep. class using Brit. books for students that will go down under, I think that would be the best idea.

The presentation of the American Headway is nice and makes the Brit. version look old.

Actually, I don’t care about the version of English being taught, I do care about the quality of the books.