Humanising Language Teaching
This column picks out publications which are relevant or interesting to modern language teachers and swiftly describes them so that you can gauge if they are interesting enough to look at or buy.
Studies in immigrant English language assessment, vol. 1, Ed. Geoff Brindley (2000) NCELTR, Macquarie University ISBN 1-86408-547-9. In-depth empirical analyses of aspects of the assessment instruments and procedures used over the past decade in the Adult Migrant English Programme in Australia. Focuses on competency- based assessments of reading, writing and oral interaction.
Good teaching and learning: pupils and teachers speak by C Morgan and G Morris (1999) Open University Press ISBN 0-335-20262-4. Report on a five year research project aiming to capture voices of secondary school pupils and teachers in British comprehensive schools on how they defined key aspects of quality in learning and teaching. Explanations and a few statistics interspersed with quotes.
Standard English Eds. T. Bex and R. J. Watts (1999) Routledge ISBN 0-415-19163-7. Eleven scholarly but accessible contributions on the notion of 'Standard English', historically, internationally, socially, and ideologically.
Classroom decision- making Eds. M. Breen and A. Littlejohn (2000) CUP ISBN 0-521-66614-7. Accounts from teachers who have shared decision- making with their students. The book describes the rationale for 'process syllabuses' and provides examples from primary, secondary, tertiary and teacher education contexts internationally. Different contributors discuss negotiating assessment, negotiation within a national syllabus and the practicalities of negotiation.
Teaching and learning in multicultural schools by Elizabeth Coelho (1998) Multilingual Matters ISBN 1-85359-383-4. The author has experience in multicultural classrooms in Canada. Toronto currently has the largest per capita immigration programme in the world. Nine chapters deal with sources of cultural diversity, public policies, student needs, reception and welcome, assessment and placement, forming a school community, positive and inclusive class environments, inclusive instructional style, etc. Graphics, text boxes, quotes, examples, resources lists throughout. Recommended.
Handling groups in action by D. Hunter et al. (1999) Gower ISBN 0-566-08272-1. Focuses on the skill of noticing what's missing in a group's interaction and how to introduce missing elements such as fearlessness, compassion, safety, trust, and emotional competence. Each element is described and suggestions are given to help generate it in the group. Good if you have a group that's stuck, unable to agree or unfocused. Large print.
90 brain teasers for trainers by G. Robert-Phelps and A. McDougall (1995) ISBN 0-566-07979-8. Hardback A4 collection of 90 training exercises designed to energise, provoke and challenge your group. Written up in recipe style with appendix of OHP templates.
English Language Teaching Journal on CD-ROM contains over 500 articles and features exactly as they appeared in print from Oct 1981 to Oct 1998 in ELTJ, a quarterly publication from OUP. Once you have installed the CD on your computer (and the support service is prompt and helpful if you have problems) you can access a known article, search for the occurrence of key words, scan the contents page of each issue, read on screen or print out and paste quotations from the text directly into your own work. It costs from £50-68 plus p&p. Available from Niche Pubs UK Ltd, Homerton House, Cawston Rd, Reepham, Norwich NR10 4LT,UK.
Student IT skills by M. Pettigrew and D. Elliott (1999) Gower ISBN 0-566-08053-2. Student readers are encouraged to learn IT by doing and by guided exploration with real-world tasks on their own software and then to develop a framework for their own understanding. Tried and tested with students at Sheffield Hallam University, so the book is unusually clear and bug free.
Helping students to learn by R. Lowes and F. Target (1998) Richmond ISBN 84-294-5447-0. A4 practical guide examines issues in learner autonomy and shows ways it can gradually be introduced in the ELT class. Realistic activities, up-to-date methodology, well laid- out text, photocopiable templates, glossary.
Language teaching awareness by J. Gebhard and R. Oprandy (1999) CUP ISBN 0-521-63954-9. Aims to help teachers explore their own beliefs, attitudes and practices. The text illustrates activities including observation, action research, journal keeping, exploring with a supervisor and gives examples of teachers who have used these. Interesting.
Trends in Dutch teacher education Eds. G. Willems et al (2000) Garant ISBN 90-441-974-7. From the Association of Teacher Educators in the Netherlands (VELON.) This book aims to let other teacher educators around the world know what's happening in the Netherlands in teacher education. The text is a little dense, the translation not always smooth but it is interesting to know what our Dutch colleagues are working on.
Students must write by Robert Barrass (1995) Routledge ISBN 0-415-13222-3. A straightforward, short guide for native- speaking English students of all subjects on the essentials of scholarly writingóchoice and use of words, note-taking, writing for tests and exams, giving short talks, etc. Advice on answering questions in coursework and how to prepare essays, term papers and dissertations.
Writing in action by Paul Mills (1996) Routledge ISBN 0-415-11989-8. Practical guide to the process of writing fiction, poetry, drama, autobiography and reports and essays. Focuses on the process rather than the product and so deals with adaptation and editing. Includes illustrative texts and self-evaluation exercises. Written for native- speaking English creative- writing students.
Teaching English spelling by R. Shemesh and S. Waller (2000) CUP ISBN 0-521-63971-9. A resource book including crosswords, picture matching, puzzles and rhymes to keep learners interested while they practice common spelling patterns in English at three levelsóbeginner, intermediate and advanced. Divided up into units concentrating on particular phonemes. Each unit has a series of lesson plans, background for the teacher, photocopiable practice materials and suggested test words.
Learning and teaching in distance education by Otto Peters (1998) Kogan Page ISBN 0-7494-28554. An overview of historical developments in distance education and the thinking behind current practice in different cultures. Provides case studies, references and an argument for integrated distance- teaching pedagogics in a hard-back, scholarly volume.
Contrastive rhetoric by Ulla Connor (1996) CUP ISBN 0-521-44688-0. CR is the study of how a person's first language and culture influence their writing in a second language. This book gives an overview of research in the field, draws connections between it and composition studies, cultural anthropology, translation studies and text linguistics. One goal is to make teachers aware of the many factors influencing their students' attempts to compose effective texts.
Thailand by K. O'Sullivan and S. Tajaroensuk (1997) NCELTR, Macquarie University ISBN 1-86408-219-4. What are Thai people really like? What makes them the way they are? How do Thais live? How should you approach Thai people? Answers to these and other questions, based on questionnaire survey results, make this book interesting to all with a professional or personal interest in Thailand.