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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 1; Issue 1; February 1999



Jane Arnold, ed. Cambridge University Press
January l999

Jane Arnold, who organised the first humanistic language conference in Spain (Nov l995), has brought together a round table of writers who tackle the area of emotion in language learning from a variety of angles:

John Schumann:

A neurobiological base for language learning: the relationship between cognition and affect.

Earl Stevick:

Affect, learning and memory.

Rebecca Oxford:

Anxiety and the language learner: new insights.

Veronica Andres:

Self-esteem in the classroom.

Trish Delamere:

Cultural factors and affect.

This is a "think" book but the second half of the book has perhaps more practical contributions:

Gertrude Moskowitz:

Students' personally meaningful development.

Herbert Puchta:

Creating a classroom in which people want to belong: the application of Neuro-Linguistic-Programming to language teaching.

Jodi Crandall:

Cooperative language learning and affective factors.

Viljo Kohonen:

Affective testing

Some humanistic teachers may find this book too complicatingly academic. Why use long words and sentences to say simple, obvious things about people? Why use a term like "affect" when what you mean is how people feel.

Some teacher trainers may welcome the book as "strong meat" background reading for their trainees. This title risks getting onto lots of course booklists- it reads academically respectably.

Some humanistic teachers may be delighted that these authors are providing text about student-respecting and student-centred work, couched in academic language such that the university gate-keepers feel they HAVE to respond. Often humanistic teachers just get on with their work, without verbalising in the way university folk need them to do. "If those muddle-headed, wacky teachers don't make statements, how can I attack them?"

Jane Arnold has gathered together writers whom the academics can have a field day attacking.

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