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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 4; Issue 1; March 02


( editorial note: here you have brief notices of 13 books that first appeared in The Teacher Trainer Year 16, Issue 1. Thank you Tessa! )

This column is designed to keep you informed of recent publications in ELT and related fields and to save you time by giving swift descriptions of each publication so that you can decide whether it's for you or not.

The host family survival kit by Nancy King and Ken Huff. (1997) Intercultural Press. ISBN 1-877864-37-4. The book provides an overview of hosting year- long international and exchange students, defines the role that students play in the host family, outlines the skills needed by the host family and discusses the effect of culture on the relationship. Recommendations are given on e.g. arrival, settling in, deepening the relationship, culture shock, holidays, pre-departure, readjustment. Written from the USA but nevertheless an easy, interesting read with many valid points.

Choosing and using music in training by Liz Brant and Tony Harvey. (2001) Gower Pubs. ISBN 0-566-08426-0. Pocket sized, hardback plus CD of 75 minutes of music. A tiny bit of: theory, explanation of how trainers use music, (to welcome participants, help them be creative, increase energy, reflect, go away positively) equipment, permissions, and then a play list and bibliography. The CD tracks are in part machine made musak but, if you are not too picky about your versions, some very useable music.

The excellent trainer by Di Kamp. (1996) Gower Pubs. ISBN 0-566-07694-2. If you'd like to know about NLP and you are a trainer, this book makes an interesting combination of the two by applying NLP principles to trainer skills and qualities, the preparation, delivery and follow up of training sessions and to personal and professional development..

Change forces, the sequel by Michael Fullan. (1998) Falmer Press. ISBN 0-7507-0755-0. About making a difference in the lives of young people, this slim paperback presents conflict, diversity and resistance as potentially positive. The author is an international authority on educational reform and uses concepts form chaos, complexity and evolutionary theories. It's wordy, almost impossible to just dip in and out of, but thought provoking in the long term.

Learning journals by Jennifer Moon. (1999) Kogan Page Pubs. ISBN 0-7494-3045-1. Defining learning journals to include portfolios, diaries, personal records and books the author looks at the role of journals in promoting learning, their use in academic, professional and personal development and their assessment. Practical methods, examples, activities and a full bibliography included. Small print. Interesting.

Reflections on the target language by Peter Neil. (1997) CILT. ISBN 1-874016-80-1. The use of the target foreign language in secondary schools in widely advocated and confronts busy classroom teachers with real problems. This book explores the use of the target language (TL) by ten German as a foreign language teachers. It analyses the TL from their perspective, looks at the teachers' use of TL, their own language learning problems and the students' point of view. Set in N. Ireland. Carefully researched. Interesting.

How to teach grammar by Scott Thornbury. (1999) Longman Pubs. ISBN 0582-339324. For ELT teachers of any level of experience who are curious, confused or unconvinced about the teaching of grammar. Sections deal with what grammar is, why it should be taught explicitly or implicitly, how to judge a good grammar lesson, sample lessons for a variety of approaches to teaching grammar. Photocopiable training tasks plus answer key, further reading. Clear, readable, non –polemical, helpful. Recommended.

Discourse and context in language teaching by M. Celce-Murcia and E. Olshtain (2000) CUP. ISBN 0-521-64837-8. After two introductory chapters on discourse and pragmatics, the authors show how a discourse perspective can enhance the teaching of pronunciation,, grammar, vocabulary, the four skills and can improve curriculum development language assessment and classroom research. Each chapter ends with discussion questions and activities . Large book. Small print. Useful for in-service training programmes and one for the reference shelf.

Personalizing language learning by G.Griffiths and K. Keohane (2000) CUP. ISBN 0-521-633648. Practical activities for teachers wanting to make language learning more person- centred when starting courses, warming up, and working on self awareness and assertion, values and course closing. Written up in recipe form, this book reclassifies lots of old favourites so they are now between one pair of covers.

How to use the internet in ELT by Dede Teeler. (2000) Longman Pubs. ISBN 0582-339316. 120 pages. Text divisions are: what is the internet, the internet and teacher development, the internet as materials source and as classroom tool, internet- based activities and the internet as a course book. Practical activities for each section. Useful graphics and easy to read layout and texts.

The internet and the classroom by Gavin Dudeney. (2000) CUP. ISBN 0-52178373-9. 190 pages. Text divisions are: guidelines (software, finding and classifying resources, www and email), activities (for basic introductory classes and then by themes like the cinema, the environment, and by language points), photocopiable resources, projects (local and global) advanced net and frequently asked questions. Very useful.

Network-based language teaching: concepts and practice. Eds. M. Warschauer and R. Kern (2000) CUP Applied Linguistics series. ISBN 0-521-667429. Each of the ten chapters on, on-line communication for second language learning including uses of email, www, and real-time writing, is contributed by someone who has done extensive research on the topic. Scholarly, well-referenced.

Team development games for trainers by R.Stuart (1998) Gower Pubs. ISBN 0-566-079186. Hb. 59 games designed to improve assertiveness, communication, creativity, decision-making, influencing, listening, planing, problem-solving and time management. In recipe format and written for all work environments it is thus refreshing but will need adapting for ELT.

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