At the Crossroads is designed for learners aged 15 to 16, who have already four years’ tuition in English at Middle School level. It consists of five units, to be covered in some twenty hours’ teaching each. The overall aim of At the Crossroads is to consolidate and extend the competencies acquired at the Middle School level (Cf. Syllabus). These broad competencies are worded in the syllabus as follows:
- Interacting orally in English
- Interpreting oral and written texts
- Producing oral and written texts
It has to be observed that the notion of competency in the SE1 syllabus is viewed as an on-going process extending from MS1 (Middle School: Year One) all through to SE1 (Secondary Education: Year One).
There are two reasons why the coursebook is called At the Crossroads. First, it is intended for learners who have come at a ‘crossroads’ in their educational career. Indeed, at the end of SE1 they will choose to specialise in different streams. Second, the course places the learners at a ‘crossroads’ of disciplines (school subjects) and cultures in that it seeks to establish cross-curricular and cross-cultural linkages.
This book also encourages learners to develop their own learning strategies and become independent in their learning. This can be done through fluency practice in all skills (Sequence 1&2), through purposeful performance (Developing Skills), through grammar presentation and practice (Stop and Consider), through periodic review with the use of the target language and social skills acquired (Consolidation and Extension), through self-assessment section (Check your Progress) and finally through the learner’s re-investment in realising a collaborative product (The Project).