Review: Speak Out Advanced

Just before Christmas, I had begun to notice that one of my students was finishing all of her homework (and asking for more!) and getting everything right in the text book. The audio was far too easy (and a little boring), she was picking up new vocabulary quickly and using it correctly too. Even though she has a busy life, I felt as though B2 materials were finally too simple for her. Two weeks ago I spoke to her about this – she joked that she liked the work being easy – and we decided to try a new book at C1 / Advanced level.

I was bored of English File, I didn’t have access to Total English and I couldn’t afford Life / Outcomes. In the end, I decided to grab a copy of Speak Out Advanced and I’m really glad that I did.

My student also managed to find a cheap second-hand copy of the student book and I invested in both the book and the computer software. Honestly, we’re both thrilled! I was really worried about choosing new material and it had been a looooong time since I had used Speak Out. Even then, I had only ever used it at Pre-Int and Intermediate levels so this was quite a change.

I really enjoy using Speakout Advanced for three main reasons:

  • The content is relevant
  • The vocabulary is varied and challenging, and there is always a chance to build upon what is there
  • The activities are useful and don’t seem to be boring

For example: Writing a profile for your blog, preparing to write different types of texts and ways to formulate your ideas, and reviews or forum comments.

I am thoroughly enjoying unit one already. It goes through the traditions of names and introduces words and phrases like ‘surname’, ‘household name’ and ‘live up to a name’. There is also a super page on personality adjectives which will certainly improve your students’ range of vocabulary.

The audio is clear, suitably paced and relevant and the workbook is excellent. If you have the computer software, there are games and extra videos as well.

I actually enjoyed unit one so much that I’ve decided to use it with all of my new B2 and C1 students as 1.2 talks about habits and studying – so it’s perfect for getting students to think about their habits and why and how they study.

I’d definitely recommend Speakout Advanced and would be interested to know if you would as well.

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