My name is Jonathan and I am a thirteen year EFL veteran teaching at a Kousen in Japan.
When first teaching large groups of learners I was lucky to have the Get Real series by Miles Craven available. It was simple enough to use and lent itself to large groups of learners better than other textbooks. As a foreigner teaching thirty to fifty young people with varied language proficiency and motivation levels, finding the right material, (for both my own classes and those of the part-time instructors at the school), is quite a challenge. Get Real was good, but the Breakthrough Plus series is even better.
I would recommend the Breakthrough Plus series for mid and large-sized classes for six main reasons.
1.) There is a very good progression of activities in each unit built around the target grammar.
2.) All four skills are covered although the book leans more toward improving student listening and speaking ability.
3.) There is a lot of material to recycle the target language without the recycling getting boring boring.
4.) There are pair practice opportunities in every unit and there are also extension activities, which are great to have just in case your students finish up the main activities quicker than expected.
5.) There is a comprehensive grammar reference section with writing activities.
6.) Most of all, the books are user friendly.
Typically I use the book from the start of each unit to the end, and finish with a unit quiz from the Teachers` Manual. When teaching one should introduce the target language, give an example in a cloze conversation, practice grammar and pronunciation, introduce new vocabulary, and finish with extension or personalization activities. This is exactly how one can use the Breakthrough Plus books.
Breakthrough is basically an “all in one” textbook that virtually teaches itself – perfect for the novice or busy teacher!