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Headway fifth edition

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Fifth edition

Updated with new texts, topics and themes, Headway 5th edition provides fresh and relevant English instruction that is tailored to your students’ needs.

Headway 5th edition provides fresh, relevant English instruction needed for success today.

Headway and its award-winning authors, Liz and John Soars, are names that have become synonymous with English Language Teaching and learning. Teach with Headway’s perfectly-balanced grammar and skills syllabus, based on the course’s world-renowned methodology.

Headway 5th edition retains the course’s trusted methodology and has been updated with new texts, topics and digital resources.

  • Student's Book with Online Practice
  • Workbook with Key
  • Workbook Without Key
  • Teacher's Guide with Teacher's Resource Centre
  • Student's Book A with Online Practice
  • Student's Book B with Online Practice
  • e-book
  • Class Audio CDs
  • Student's Book Classroom Presentation Tool
  • Workbook Classroom Presentation Tool
  • Online Practice

Key features

  • Teach practical, real life English that is relevant to your students’ lives with new topics and themes grounded in today’s reality.
  • Bring unit topics to life with the new unit opener page which include inspiring photographs and accompanying video introductions engage students with the unit topic.
  • Download and adapt material for your students with the Teacher’s Resource Centre which provides all your Headway resources, stored in one place to save you time.
  • Students can look again at activities from previous lessons, do extra skills practice, and check their progress with instant feedback.


90% of teachers believe Headway has helped their students progress to the next level of study.* Its balanced methodology of vocabulary, grammar and integrated skills provides the right level of challenge for students.

Headway 5th edition listens to feedback from teachers and focusses on topics and activities that are relevant and useful to today’s adult students, whilst retaining the trusted methodology teachers love.

Combining practical, real life content for today’s students with flexible digital resources that are clearly linked to the Headway syllabus, the course ensures students are engaged and motivated for success.

* The Headway Oxford Impact study was conducted in January and February 2018. 170 teachers responded. Oxford Impact is a unique way of evaluating the impact that educational products and services from Oxford University Press have on teaching and learning.


Language Trainer, Germany:
Each unit starts with an opener page consisting of a theme-related photograph and an accompanying quote. The exercise-based content is introduced on the flip side. Using the opener image to introduce the unit theme has proved effective in my classes. It gives learners a chance to warm up to the unit, participate in class discussions freely without being tempted to work through the tasks ahead of the rest.

The methodology in this edition stays loyal to Headway’s established mix of traditional and communicative approach. I have found this to be well-suited to the average intermediate level learner. All four skills are featured in each unit. As in the fourth edition, there is a strong focus on speaking throughout. The grammar syllabus has also remained. This mix has worked for me and I have found that the unit themes manage to engage while introducing/revising grammar, without lapsing too deeply into meta language. The last section of each unit covers writing.

There is plenty of downloadable online material to go with the course and workbook and it plays a substantial role in this edition. At the foot of every page there are references and tips for extra online practice.

Access to the online material is straight forward. The access code, provided on the inside of the Course Book cover, worked from the first attempt. In case of difficulties, it is possible to get help via live chat. So far, I have been able to locate and download all the materials needed.

On the online resource platform for teachers (accessed via a separate code in the back of the Teachers’ Guide) the choice is abundant. There are audio materials (workbook/course book) and unit-specific video materials (accompanied by photocopiable worksheets). There are placement and unit-based tests and many other resources. There are even unit-specific dyslexia-friendly materials. Each unit features two video files:
  • The first one introduces the theme and is to be watched before the lesson.
  • The second video is around 10 minutes long and consists of three parts. Each part delves a step deeper into the topic. This video material involves real people using authentic language. The language corresponds particularly well to the grammar covered in the unit and therefore solidifies the points covered. There is a downloadable worksheet with tasks relating to the video content and one can use it in the last session of the unit to put the acquired content to use.
This is possibly one of the best resources for teaching/learning English out there. One can tell that this is the work of professionals with a passion for communication. The visuals on every page are extremely well-suited and designed to remind why one learns to speak (or teach) a language in the first place. Overall, the topics in this edition display a medley of adventure, joy, humour, nostalgia, inspiration, creativity, distance and proximity among people. These things are all the more meaningful in the context of lockdowns and restrictions and give a learner a fertile ground on which to found their expression.

Compare digital packs

Student packs

Student Book with Online Practice Student Digital Pack Student Book with Digital Pack


Student Book (print)
Student Book e-book
Student Resources


Workbook e-book
Online Practice (for students)

Teacher packs

Teacher's Guide with Digital Pack Teacher Digital Pack


Teacher's Guide (print)
Digital Teacher's Guide (PDF)
Teacher's Resources
Student Book Classroom Presentation Tool

Set practice

Workbook Classroom Presentation Tool
Online Practice (for teachers)



Impact Study

Oxford Impact Evalutated

Headway Impact Study

Headway has helped millions of students make progress in English for over 30 years. An impact study* was conducted in order to gain an in-depth understanding of how teachers feel that the Headway series has delivered the learning outcomes to support students to move to the next level of study.

* An impact study is research that investigates a particular change or outcome that a product or service has on the group of people it is intended to help or benefit.

Found to deliver the learning outcomes students need to move on to the next level of study.

  • 91% of teachers who took part in this impact study trust that Headway delivers the learning outcomes that support the students to move to the next level of study.
  • Teachers believe that the biggest influence on students' ability to progress is the way that Headway improves their ability in one or more of the four skills (Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing).
  • 97% of teachers say they are satisfied or very satisfied with Headway.
  • The top three reasons teachers choose Headway are:
    1. Its approach to grammar
    2. The range of components
    3. Reading texts are interesting for students

Download the summary report (PDF, 4MB)

Which lesson did Headway teachers feel helped their students the most?

Headway 4th edition

"The focus on formal and informal English and the inclusion of common modern expressions such as OMG has helped my students understand better the flow of these types of conversations." (Unit 1, Upper-Intermediate)

Headway 3rd edition

"It takes a global view of English by focusing on the auxiliary verbs which form the different tenses students should be familiar with, but which they may have difficulty using correctly." (Unit 1, Intermediate)

American Headway 2nd edition

"There is a lesson about Oprah Winfrey's life. The grammar to teach is the simple past and my students really connected the use and importance of this tense with the grammar taught in previous classes." (Unit 7, Level 1)

American Headway 2nd edition

"I like working with Unit 7 of American Headway Level 2, because of the choice of characters and pictures provided. They engage the learners because usually they like the celebrities and their lives, not to mention that it is very illustrative in contrasting present perfect versus simple present." (Unit 7, Level 2)

Oxford Impact

Find out more about Oxford Impact

The Headway impact study was conducted in February 2018. 170 teachers from 28 countries took part.

Promotional Video

Headway and its award-winning authors, Liz and John Soars, are names that have become synonymous with English Language Teaching and learning. Teach with Headway’s perfectly-balanced grammar and skills syllabus, based on the course’s world-renowned methodology.

Headway 5th edition retains the course’s trusted methodology but has been updated with new texts, captivating topics, and easy-to-use digital resources.