Rising Stars is a series of fun, colourful, and interesting books for Very Young Learners.
Rising Stars was written by Saxoncourt Publishing who used their knowledge of recent developments in academic research and their experience of running all-day, all-in English kindergarten programs to develop a comprehensive beginning English course for children aged 4-6.
Rising Stars consists of 6 textbooks which use high-interest topics, colourful and appealing illustrations and fun activities to encourage our students to learn. Each book has 5 units, with up to 6 lessons in each. These all have a different focus and are taught differently to appeal to each individual student.
Lesson 1: Target Language
Lesson 2: Talking Time
Lesson 3: Phonics
Lesson 4: Writing
Lesson 5: Maths
Lesson 6: Character Education
SPEC is a nine-level Primary English course for Young Learners. Each level consists of a Student’s Book, a Workbook, a CD, and a Super Skills Book.
The SPEC series of textbooks was originally produced by Saxoncourt publishing in 1999 and it has been regularly updated to retain its contemporary look. In total, there are 9 SPEC textbooks, which take the children from the pre-A1 level on the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) to A2/B1 level. The textbook package which consists of a student book, homework book, super skills book, and CD/ downloadable audio provides a comprehensive language course for elementary school age students.
The books feature target language (grammar and vocabulary) that is introduced in order of difficulty and frequency of use. Children learn first what is most useful to them to give them the ability to communicate from their first SPEC lessons. This provides the children with a reason to study English and ensures their continuing engagement.
The books are progressive and complement the children’s developing language ability. As the books progress the students follow a colourful set of characters as they interact in various situations. The situations in the book demonstrate to the students how they can use their language in real-life settings. When we re-create those real-life settings in the classroom, we prepare students to use their language outside.
The listening practice features both male and female speakers and the children are exposed to a variety of accents. The children listen to native speakers, talking at near-native speed, this greatly enhances their ability to communicate and to pass external exams like Cambridge Young Learners Exams (YLE) and Trinity Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE).
When checking answers together, the students also speak. In the early books, this requires repeated use of the target language. The later books require longer and more complex answers. As the children develop linguistically, they are increasingly challenged to use their English spontaneously and independently.
The speaking practice that is facilitated by the SPEC books enables many of our students to score highly on external tests, such as the Trinity GESE exam.
For further reading practice, Saxoncourt Publishing introduced the Crest Readers series of books, which allow students to see the vocabulary and grammar they first encountered in the SPEC books in a new context. This helps students develop their knowledge of language in use, as well as increase their reading fluency and accuracy. Regular reading practice will develop students’ love of reading and equip them for later study of various subjects, not just English.
The SPEC series provides a comprehensive introduction to writing for our elementary school students. We want our students to use English to pass exams and to work in the modern world. To do that our students need to know how to write well. The SPEC series can help your child to achieve that.
Crest Readers are a series of supplemental materials that work with SPEC and EXCEL.
Crest Readers are a series of exciting and engaging readers for young learners of English. The stories provide enjoyable reading practice and include phonics, vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension activity pages.
The Readers are designed to run alongside the SPEC and EXCEL textbook series. The Crest readers provide an integrated review, grammar, and comprehension activities.
The Excel series consists of 4 textbooks that take students from A2 to B1/B2 level on the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference). Each book has 8 units, with each unit having a high-interest theme such as health, school subjects, animals or careers. Each unit has 8 pages, with listening, speaking, reading and writing exercises as well as grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation study. Students benefit as they approach each theme from a variety of viewpoints with an appealing range of activities.
Excel books were first published in 2016, so they have a modern feel with up-to-date contents. The books are well-laid out and approachable, with information that is easy to find. Each unit follows an engage-study-activate progression, as does each page within the unit. This is a logical progression which gives students the vocabulary and grammar they need before they produce the target language in various high-interest speaking and writing exercises.
There are many different text types in the series- everything from recipes to diaries, and letters to newspaper articles. These help the students understand how the language we teach is used in context. The texts become progressively longer and more complex across the four books, which reflects the kind of language that the students are expected to produce. The texts are laid out as we would expect to see in natural English usage and are supported by clear, colourful illustrations.
Each unit in the Excel series has the following contents: Vocabulary, Listening, Grammar, Speaking, Reading, Writing.
Each listening page has a “pronunciation corner”. This activity introduces a specific feature of natural, everyday native speaker conversation which is present in the text. Students are given the opportunity to listen out for the feature (such as intonation patterns in lists, WH- questions, Yes/ No questions etc.) and an activity is provided to practice the feature. The “pronunciation corner” puts accurate, native-like pronunciation to the fore in our Excel courses and provides invaluable practice.