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Fortune: an Innovative Series of Videos for Language Learning

As you may have gathered from our site, Facebook page, or Twitter, we have a new project out: The Fortune Series, a coursebook with a focus on pragmatics and speaking built around an original 6-episode drama series created by the award-winning production team, Chasing Time. Their English teaching division, Chasing Time English has been distributing the textbook in ebook form and they came to us to put it out in print as well

Some highlights of the series:

  • Material targeted at two levels: Fortune Blue for High Elementary/Pre-Intermediate learners (CEFR level A2) and Fortune Gold for Upper-Intermediate/Low-Advanced learners (CEFR B2).
  • 30 teaching hours
  • Works as a supplemental text or short module/elective class on communication
  • Teachers book contains teacher notes with suggestions on how to present the material, and ways to adapt it, a complete answer key, and extension activities.
  • Videos are available for free on YouTube or compiled on a USB (Coming soon).

When Chasing Time English approached me about this project, I did a little research on them, and found this nice interview from ELTJam from last year that explains some of the rationale behind the project:

As a writer with both a filmmaking and teaching background, I’ve always been amazed (or concerned!) that not enough really exists in this area. There is a tonne of content available, and we’re not trying to say that that doesn’t exist, but what I have found is that there is a dearth of high quality, dramatic narrative video for English language learners.

Educators find themselves in a position where they’re forced to choose between using popular TV shows or content from educational institutions. I often use Friends as an example of the former; it’s a great show and there is a lot of value there, but it’s designed for an English speaking audience and it’s not original content. As such, any time you’re using it, you’re really restricted. The other option is the video material that English language organisations create that, to put it kindly, doesn’t really fit the bill of what you’re looking for if you’re watching something for entertainment. So, I think we found an interesting gap in the market.

For the rest of the interview, including more on Scott’s background and what the reaction has been thus far, check out the full interview with Scott Granville on ELTJam.

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