Macmillan Education said it is continuing to place emphasis on the evolution of the OECS education system, with the introduction of the third edition of the Language Tree textbooks.
Macmillan Education-Caribbean said in a release that the new text, which will soon be available in classrooms across the region, will enable the effective delivery of the latest OECS performance standards via this outstanding language programme.
Revised by Leonie Bennett and Julia Sander, it said the new text addresses challenges previously faced by teachers and delivers on expectations for both educators and learners.
Bennett and Sander discuss in detail these changes in a webinar engagement on November 8, 2021.
“In order to deliver on the OECS standards, we have revised all the student books as well as Workbooks K and 1,” the two said in a recent statement.
They said the new series retains many of the features which characterise previous editions of the popular course to include lively student-focused activities, a wide range of reading texts in a variety of genres, structured writing tasks based on thorough practice of grammar, punctuation and spelling.
“As in previous editions, the content is Caribbean focused, and the books are lavishly illustrated. Teachers who are familiar with Language Tree will find it easy to transition to the new edition,” Bennett said, adding that loads of new features can also be expected.
“When preparing this new edition, we took the opportunity to refresh the content and have included material on themes relevant to young people today such as the environment and healthy living.”
Among the main changes and additions made in the new edition to deliver the latest performance standards are greater emphasis on listening skills including texts for teachers to read aloud to their students.
There is also support for transition from Creole to Standard Caribbean English, many more opportunities for integrating technology, and group projects where students work co-operatively and learn how to conduct their own research, the release states.
The team went further to include an appendix of graphic organisers like tables, charts, and word webs, to help students to plan their work, organise their ideas and structure their writing while still being able to reflect on their learning.
Formative assessment is fast becoming a standard in the region and the text went further to include that at the end of each book for teachers to assess their students’ progress and for students to monitor their own learning.
For grades K and Six, the changes are more wide-reaching.
“At Grade K we have a greater emphasis on writing with suggestions for independent writing in the Student’s Book and an 8-page Writing section in the Workbook. Letter sounds are now introduced in the same order as that of the widely used phonics programme, Jolly Phonics,” Sander said.
In addition to the main changes previously listed, the Grade 6 Students’ Book is said to be more “exam-focused” than in the previous series.
“It begins with a 16-page revision of the skills taught in previous grades and comprises 12 extended teaching units, which prepare students for primary leaving examinations or CPEA,” Sander said, adding, “We are confident that the OECS requirements are being met.”
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been assured that teachers and students can continue using Language Tree – the current edition and the new, third edition – in the socially-distanced learning environment, with student activities being adaptable to classroom and home environments.
Macmillan Education is inviting educators, parents, and others to register for the Language Tree third edition webinar, where this and other changes will be discussed.