The Foundation Institute at the University of Nizwa is pleased to announce the launch of the initial edition of its new Foundation English 1 textbook, written in-house by a team of teachers.
This textbook has been carefully developed to address the gap between the studentsí level of English on entry to the Foundation Programme, the requirements of the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority (OAAA), and the nature of commercial textbooks currently available.
While there are many textbooks which deal with the necessary skills, no one book covers all of the outcomes for students lower than intermediate or pre-intermediate level. Achieving coverage frequently leads to lack of consistency, with multiple books required, none of which are used in their entirety. This is expensive for institutions, difficult for teachers and, most importantly, confusing for students.
A further issue is relevance. Even books designed for the Middle East have a limited range of culturally appropriate topics that appeal to young adults and have relevance to their lives and interests. For low-level learners, dealing with language issues and acquisition is difficult enough. Having to cope with topics that are remote or of little relevance to their lives and contexts, makes the task harder than it needs to be.
The result is this textbook, which is proudly Oman-Gulf-Arab-Islamcentric. It actively reaches out to students in those contexts, rather than expect students to do the reaching. It has been trialed to great effect by Omani students and teachers in Nizwa and Ibri. We hope that it will go a considerable way towards bridging the gap between what is and what has to be.