"The Big Picture" reflects the key issues in the world today which are immediately relevant to the learners' worlds and experiences with striking real world images. These images provide a fresh, contemporary look and are at the centre of tasks, encouraging learners to work with and interpret them. Carefully structured discussion tasks encourage personalization, localization, and critical thinking, and complete functional language lessons develop conversation strategies and are applied to students' immediate world experience.
- Up-to-date, real-life, relevant contexts ground tasks and content in students' own world, allowing them to personalize and localize material.
- Language focus on real, useful language and high-frequency expressions, and are text, topic, and context driven.
- Functional Language and Final Task sections bring together the smaller pieces to help students see "the big picture" via practical, real-life tasks.
- A strong, systematic vocabulary building strand focuses on both lexical fields and vocabulary systems.
- Notice boxes draw attention to generative patterns and the living/changing nature of language.
- Avoidance/challenging of stereotypes - intercultural awareness foregrounded, e.g. inclusion of situations where no native speakers are present (as models for tasks).
- A move away from traditional UK and USA settings to more global contexts.
- An emphasis on "global English", with a wide variety of non-native and non-standard accents in the audio program.
- Inclusion of different text types from the ELT norm - new genres (e.g. blog posts), literary texts, signs, etc.
- VLE-based tracking: teachers can see how well students have performed on interactive activities and whether they have completed them.
- Student-focused social networking features: students will be motivated to use English in a format that has established popularity.
- A "live" website: content will be added and updated regularly, which will encourage users to return frequently.
- User-friendly: teachers can register their students to use the website independently, or they can integrate the content of the website into their teaching.