The progressive nature of academia constantly requires new teaching and studying materials. Those materials being attached to the local base and culture are a real step for students to get involved while learning as they already have a background in the content. It is good to introduce STREAM textbook which is a collection of books by Omani authors that highlights a significant area of studying for students who learn English for academic purposes.
What is STREAM (Language and Study Skills)?
STREAM (Language and Study Skills) is an English language teaching textbook that targets academic English language learners in Higher Education Institutions. There are four different levels of the textbook. STREAM (Language and Study Skills) is aligned with the Oman Academic Standards for General Foundation Programme (GFP) and the Common European Framework in Reference to Language (CEFR).
The textbook includes a wide range of contemporary engaging topics and activities that make English language learners more interested in the lessons. STREAM (Language and Study Skills) integrates all language skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing), along with a grammar reference. The book also enables students to develop effective study skills that are essential to gaining success in academia.
What makes STREAM a unique textbook?
It is pleasing that STREAM (Language and Study Skills) is the first textbook that is designed by Omani authors, Saleh al Hanshi and Abdullah al Hashimi. Thus, the textbook has plenty of contextualised texts, scripts and images from Oman beside the international context.
There is also an emphasis on academic vocabulary that has been carefully selected from the Academic Word List (Coxhead, 2000) and the General Service List (Bauman and Culligan, 1995). The authors selected the most relevant words that are required to succeed in higher education in Oman.
In addition, STREAM has some other remarkable features and this includes using students’ background knowledge as a basis for learning, having IELTS and TOEFL question types as well as being a fully customisable textbook.
STREAM (Language and Study Skills) has been designed based on the best theories and practices for teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The authors’ observations on teaching English to Omani learners have also contributed to the development of STREAM (Language and Study Skills).
What does STREAM offer to Omani English language learners?
Each of STREAM (Language and Study Skills) textbooks has six units, and each unit has two Listening sections, two reading sections, a grammar section, a writing section and a studying section.
The listening and reading sections have vocabulary building, prediction, comprehension and critical thinking subsections. The grammar section has grammar rules and drilling questions. The writing section has model paragraphs/essays through which learners learn how an academic composition is written and structured.
The last section of a unit teaches learners some studying skills. Learners can do this section on their own, but a teacher’s guidance is always beneficial. The unit finishes with a vocabulary log, a tip to expand learners’ vocabulary size, and a unit review.
How does STREAM cope with online learning?
STREAM has an online educational platform that is called EDUNITED
(https://www.edunitedom.com/index.html). The platform provides a variety of services to both teachers and students. This includes a modern book view, giving assignments and quizzes, an interactive learning space and more. All these services give the teacher the option to teach in different modes i.e. face-to-face, online or blended.