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About Our Curriculum

Every lesson leads to a conversation.

Intercambio’s Confidence and Connections books help volunteer teachers and students learn together and make connections while students practice and improve their English. 

The curriculum has an Intro level and 5 subsequent levels. There are two books, a Left book and a Right book, in Levels 1 through 5 (with only one book at Intro). Programs start with either L or R, and complete both to finish a level.

Students will take a placement test to determine which level they will start with. You can see the in-person test here and the online test here.

Each Lesson Includes:

Descriptions by Level

Each book in Levels 1-5 book has a review and progress check at the mid-point of the book and at the end. There are also suggestions and a template for a Field Trip.

All Teacher Books include the full text of the student books, and have helpful Teacher Tips and ideas for how to teach the different sections of the lessons.

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Intro

The first book in our curriculum, Intro, is for learners that are comfortable reading and writing in their first language. When placing students in the Intro level, it is important to know if they can read and write in their first language.

We recommend that students who cannot read and write in their first language complete the activities in the Intro book orally with their teacher. Teachers can also use other emerging literacy materials, such as those available through the www.abceng.org website, to teach students the skills they need to do the written activities in our Intro book later.

Each lesson at the Intro level includes a short alphabetics section that helps students read and write the Roman alphabet. Even still, students that can read and write in their first language but have little or no experience with the Roman alphabet will benefit from more alphabetics support. They may need to do the activities in the Intro book orally until they are more comfortable reading and writing letters and words in English.   

Determining English Literacy Skills for Beginner Students: 

The 5-minute literacy screening tool available on the www.abceng.org website is useful to determine whether students already have the decoding skills needed to work successfully with our Intro book. We recommend doing this assessment with beginner-level students that test into the Confidence and Connections Intro level using the speaking and reading placement tests.  Students that can successfully read the first three reading samples out loud (even if they don’t know what the words mean) will likely be able to use the Intro level book the way it is instructed.  If students are not yet able to read the first three reading samples out loud by sounding them out, we recommend working on the Intro book activities orally and supplementing a portion of each class with other emerging literacy-focused materials, such as those available through abc English.

Level 1

Lessons in the 1 Left (1L) and 1 Right (1R) books of our Confidence and Connections curriculum include present tense grammar structures and commonly used vocabulary words.

Level 1 also begins to introduce students to common uses of the future tense in everyday conversations.

Start with L or R. Students complete both to move on to the next numbered level.

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Level 2

The 2 Left (2L) and 2 Right (2R) books of our Confidence and Connections curriculum introduce students to the past tense while also continuing to provide practice with common uses of the present and future tenses in everyday conversations.

They also introduce students to important language for making comparisons, talking about everyday activities and making plans.

Start with L or R. Students complete both to move on to the next numbered level.

Level 3

The 3 Left (3L) and 3 Right (3R) books of our Confidence and Connections curriculum provide continued practice of different tenses, including the past, present and future tenses.

They also focus on structures and vocabulary that allow students to participate more confidently in daily interactions that include giving advice, talking about events, making plans, and more.

Start with L or R. Students complete both to move on to the next numbered level.

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Level 4

The 4 Left (4L) and 4 Right (4R) books of our Confidence and Connections curriculum promote the practice of different and more complex past, present, future and conditional grammar tenses.

It also provides students with opportunities to practice using these tenses to communicate more clearly with those around them about a variety of topics that include both real and hypothetical situations.

Start with L or R. Students complete both to move on to the next numbered level.

Level 5

The 5 Left (5L) and 5 Right (5R) books of our Confidence and Connections provide continued opportunities for students to incorporate a variety of more complex grammar tenses and vocabulary into their spontaneous speech.

At the same time, the topics in the lessons promote deeper conversations that allow students and their teachers to share personal and cultural perspectives.

Start with L or R. Students complete both to finish out the series.

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Pronunciation Fun

This well-loved tool uses minimal pairs to help teachers lead pronunciation practice in class and helps students practice on their own. Our suggestion: two sounds, ten minutes a day.

The Immigrant Guide

This 45-page guidebook – available in several languages – provides practical, easy-to-read information about living and succeeding in the U.S.

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