Graduate Writing Sessions at TESOL 2012

If you’re in the great city of Philadelphia for TESOL 2012, please join me for two presentations on teaching graduate writing:

  • Making Grammar Choices in Advanced Academic Writing (introducing my new textbook, Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers from the University of Michigan Press). Thursday, 4pm, room 118B.
  • Preparing for Excellence: Strategies for Teaching Graduate Writing with Chris Feak, Grace Canseco, and Jennifer Greer. Friday, 10am, Marriot Independence Ballroom I.

Handouts, PowerPoints, and bibliographies available here.

Q: Skills for Success 5 Reading/Writing is out now!

I just received my sparkling new copy of Q: Skills for Success, Reading Writing 5 (Advanced), the textbook I wrote with Scott Douglas for Oxford University Press. You can read a sample unit on OUP’s global website (Unit 2: What is lost when a language disappears? — one of the units I wrote!). You need to register for Oxford’s Teachers Club first (free).

Our book is written for advanced-level students to help develop critical reading and writing skills along with grammar and vocabulary. We used authentic texts from a wide range of sources and academic disciplines — from linguistics to business to communications to recycling to a whole short story by the great Nick Hornby (“Small Country”). Students also get access to Q Online Practice, which has at least one practice activity for every skill in every unit in the book (about 100 extra exercises). We’ve also written the teacher’s book, and that has answers, tips, alternative assignments (in case you don’t like ours!), and rubrics. Update 11/20/11: The Teacher’s Handbook with Test Generator is now available from your OUP rep (I haven’t seen it yet in print!).

A great deal of planning, writing, and re-writing has gone into the book (Scott and I have been working on this project for over 3 years!), and we hope you like using it! Every reading, every exercise, and every skill box has been looked at by many pairs of eyes (not all of which saw the same thing!) in an exhaustive — and at times, exhausting — process. In the writing assignments, we encourage students to write three drafts of their essays. In our case, we wrote far more than that! Leafing through my copy, I’m very pleased with the product and grateful to the editors who finally got our manuscript into a printable state.

Contact your friendly local Oxford rep for an exam copy! Feedback is most welcome.

Nigel Caplan & Scott Roy Douglas, Q: Skills for Success Reading and Writing 5 Student Book Pack (includes Q Online Practice). New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-19-475642-6. (Available at

Step Up to the TOEFL, Basic Level, is out now!

My latest textbook, Step Up to the TOEFL for Students at the Basic Level, has just been released by the University of Michigan Press. You can find details of both the basic and intermediate level books here. It even has a companion website, and you can take a peek at Unit 1 and the introduction!

This book is aimed at elementary to low-intermediate level students who would like to start preparing for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). However, instead of teaching to the test (types of questions, how to make the best guesses, what to write in the essay, etc.), my books teach the vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation skills needed for the test … and many other situations. This book is structured around vocabulary (the greatest need at this level); the higher level book started with grammar.

I’d love to hear your feedback about the book, and we always welcome suggestions! Just leave me a comment, or contact me directly.

Continue reading “Step Up to the TOEFL, Basic Level, is out now!”