Monthly Archives: March 2014

Academic Skills Series shortlisted for ELTons 2014 award

We are thrilled that the six books in the Collins Academic Skills Series have been shortlisted in the Innovation in learner resources category at the 2014 ELTons awards!


Catherine Whitaker, Publishing Director for Collins ELT explains what makes this series special


Collins’ Academic Skills Series is a six-book series for international students of all academic subjects who are studying, or preparing to study, at an English-speaking institution. Essential study skills and English language practice are combined to help students achieve their best on their course. The six books are on the following topics: Research, Writing, Presenting, Lectures, Group Work, and Numbers (for the non-specialist).

At Collins we’ve already published a large range of IELTS and TOEFL preparation books. In fact, we have one of our IELTS authors, Els van Geyte, to thank for the idea that sparked this new series. As a tutor at the University of Birmingham she noticed how students, even those with very good IELTS scores, needed help bridging the gap between the very specific demands of IELTS and the different demands of academic English. Their English might still have needed some improvement but above all, they needed help with understanding what was being demanded of them academically at university level.

I was particularly interested in the Lectures book because my own experience of studying overseas was while doing a course on French language and culture at the Sorbonne in Paris in the 90s. All the input on literature and culture was through lectures. When my eyes weren’t taking in the ornate wooden carvings and the ceiling paintings in the beautiful lecture theatre, all my energy was focussed on following the lectures on subjects that were completely new to me. The linguistic load was huge – I had just finished school and my French was coming on in leaps and bounds but it was a challenge to understand the content. How to take notes was the hardest part – in English? in imperfect French? How can you write when you are trying so hard to listen? My 17-year-old self would have loved the Lectures book which answers all these questions. It also contains authentic lectures to give readers a real experience of what to expect.

It’s always great when the publishing that you’ve worked on is recognised on an award shortlist but I’m particularly pleased that this series has come to the judges’ attention. The challenge with this series was to produce books on very different subjects but get them to fit together as a series so that students and teachers could choose one or two or more books to work through, depending on their needs. I think Celia Wigley, who commissioned these titles, our authors and the whole team in producing the series have done a wonderful job.

Find out more about the six Academic Skills titles

Come and join us at IATEFL

Are you coming to IATEFL this year? We’re looking forward to meet many of you at the Collins stand and during our talks!

The 48th Annual International IATEFL Conference will be held in Harrogate, and takes place 2nd and 5th April 2014.


Come and join us at stands 32 and 39 in the exhibition to speak to our friendly team and browse through our new ELT titles. You’ll also get the chance to win plenty of prizes!

-25% on Collins titles at the BEBC stand

There will be a stunning 25% discount on most of our ELT titles at the BEBC stand.

Come along to our authors’ talks and seminars

Wednesday 2nd April:
10.40: ‘What do you say after “Hello”? Successful networking techniques’ by Barry Tomalin
12.35: ‘First English Words: what can pre-schoolers do?’ by Hans Mol and Niki Joseph
15.05: ‘Post-IELTS writing: helping students to understand and meet academic expectations’ by Els Van Geyte

Thursday 3rd April
11.30: ‘A fresh approach to advanced listening practice materials’ by Sheila Thorn

Friday 4th April
17.25: ‘ The Vocabulary Organizer, a new way to record lexis’ by Pete Sharma

Saturday 5th April
12.15: Amazing People Teach English: new graded readers from Collins’ by Andy Cowle

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

For more information on the International IATEFL Conference, or to find out how to register with IATEFL, please take a look at the IATEFL website.

More about our speakers:

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