by Nigel A. Caplan and Scott Roy Douglas
3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2020
Q: Skills for Success is a 6-level (Intro to 5) integrated skills series with two strands: Reading/Writing and Listening/Speaking. Q provides scaffolded academic preparation, with a strong emphasis on engaging content, critical thinking, vocabulary development, and — in the RW strand — the connections between reading and writing.
I co-authored the most advanced reading/writing book in the series, level 5, which takes students within range of undergraduate study or community college classes. We have eight units, each organized around a thought-provoking question (that’s why the series is called Q!). Within each unit, we chose two authentic readings in different genres that tackle the question from different perspectives. We then developed reading skills, vocabulary, grammar, writing skills, and a unit assignment from the readings to lead students to a deeper understanding and more subtle response to the unit question.
The Q books are complemented by:
- Videos – lots of videos! There’s a thematic video in each unit, a study skills video, and a Critical Thinking Skill presentation, narrated by Scott or me!
- iQ Online is a dedicated learning-management system with exercises for every section of every unit, giving about 100 completely new exercises written by the textbook authors that you can assign for homework or use in class. There is a new reading connected to the unit question, extra writing models, a video, and a different writing assignment for each unit. Most of the exercises are self-correcting. This is a great way to expand students’ engagement with both the language and ideas in the units. Contact your OUP rep for details.
- Q iTools. iTools contains the entire student book in an interactive e-book format, so that you can display it on a SmartBoard or projector. You can call up extra exercises, videos, and the answer key, plus there are a bunch of tools for use on SmartBoards. If you’re teaching from Q, contact your Oxford rep to ask for a copy of iTools. It can add a lot to your classroom.
Q is being used all round the world: in North America, the Middle East, Asia, Turkey, and many places that would probably surprise me! The book is being used in Intensive English Programs, community colleges, universities, and private language schools. E-book versions are also available from Oxford. We haven’t yet written Q: The Broadway Musical, but you never know …
Scott and I welcome feedback from teachers and students who have used the book. Just leave a comment below or contact me.