Curriculum Q&A


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"Common Ground contains all of the elements we were trying to teach -pronunciation and structure as well as step by step methods and activities to make the language learning stimulating and enjoyable" -Ilene Bradberry ESL Teacher


The Common Ground study of the English language is ideal if you want to help your students excel in more than language by examining the character qualities that bring people together. You don’t have to be a professional teacher however. The step-by-step, and culturally sensitive materials are easily usable by non-professionals or professional teachers worldwide. The highly interactive and creative lessons will also keep your class fun but not compromise the latest in research-based teaching methods and strategies of the English language. You also have a lot of options. Beginning, intermediate and advanced levels are available integrating both conversation and pronunciation skills. You also don’t have to worry about additional preparation. The manuals are comprehensive and filled with step by step instructions for preparation and teaching and students receive all the necessary grammar information, vocabulary readings and more.

Key Features

  • 3 different levels: Beginner, intermediate and advanced levels are available
  • Each level contains two separate, yet inter-related courses: pronunciation and conversation
  • Grammar points included in each lesson
  • Each of the three levels contains 16 - 1 ½ to 2 hour lessons.
  • Flexible enough to be used for a short term intensive class (2 weeks) or over a semester course
  • Full course of materials. No additional preparation is required.
  • Teacher manual provides step by step instructions for preparation and teaching along with an additional Teacher Resources Section which supplies additional information on the various skills.
  • Student Manuals designed to allow students to follow along and to provide necessary grammar information, vocabulary, readings, and space for them to take notes
  • All pre and post assessments are included in the Teacher’s Manual
  • No "reinventing the wheel"
  • Fun to teach - Lessons are creative and highly interactive
  • Not necessary to speak students’ language in order to teach the class.
  • Training for Teachers can be obtained through Common Ground as well

Q& A

I think I have the gift of teaching but I’ve never taught in a formal classroom setting. Am I qualified to teach the Common Ground program?
Yes! With the appropriate training you will easily be able to teach the material provided. There are step-by-step instructions on carrying out each lesson and a Teacher Resources section to answer many of your basic questions and will equip you to answer the questions that come your way in your classroom.

What if I don’t speak the language where I am teaching, will that be a problem in the classroom?
No! That’s the best part. The classes will be conducted entirely in English. As the majority of students overseas are not able to study with native speakers, your native speaking ability will provide an opportunity for the students to practice what they know. It is much better for your students to be immersed in the language they are learning – even if it’s only for a few hours a day. It will be in their best interests if you strongly encourage them to speak only English in the classroom.

How many students should be in each class?
The class size will vary from case to case. We recommend between 10 – 16 students per class for an optimum setting. As the class involves much participation and speaking, the teaching is better able to assist their students when there are fewer in their class. The materials are also flexible enough to be modified for use in a one-on-one tutoring session or with a larger sized class.

Can these materials be used in any country?
Painstaking efforts have been taken to assure that these materials may be used in any country world-wide, regardless of their social, political or religious persuasion. We have avoided subjects that might be offensive in one culture or another without diminishing the overall effectiveness of the program.

"Common Ground is a high interest language learning program that is well-grounded in carefully sequenced language learning principles. The subject matter provides participants with opportunities to develop language skills while discussing issues of great personal relevance." -Dr. Cheryl Zimmerman, PhD. TESOL Professor, California State University

Copyright © 2014. Greg and Michelle Ballou, All rights reserved.