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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 4; Issue 5; September 02


Brief Reviews of 17 Titles

Re-published from The Teacher Trainer
Year 16 Issue 2

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.

Teacher education Ed. Karen Johnson (2000) TESOL ISBN 0-939791-81-1. Fourteen teacher educators document in chapter form how they think about and carry out their work. It is divided into three sections, innovations in and structured activities within TESOL teacher education and, thirdly, reflective experiences of TESOL teacher educators. The chapters contain detail on the experiences of teacher learners, their contexts and entry into a professional community, and on the experiences and learning of the authors as they prepare the teachers for work. Practical suggestions and references included.

New directions in mentoring Ed C. Mullen & D. Lick (1999) Falmer Press ISBN 0-7507-1011-X Some eighteen narrative research accounts of a new kind of mentoring involving synergistic co-mentoring, partnership support groups communities of teacher-researchers and lifelong mentoring. Based on action research in Florida USA in secondary and higher education.

Teachers' stories Ed David Thomas (1995) Open University Press ISBN 0-335-19254-8. Th e contributors argue for educational biography to be added to more formal theoretical and practical content and processes in mentoring and teacher training. By making personal stories, teacher students are introduced to critical reflection on their own educational beliefs and values. Teacher students will find support in the book for adding, through journals, logs etc their own voices to those more eminent discourses in their training institutions. It highlights the significance of the personal in initial teacher training

Leading your team by A. Leigh and M. Maynard (1996) Nicholas Brealey Pubs. ISBN 1-857888-101-X. Written for new managers wanting to know how to lead, involve and inspire their team. Starts with a basic survival kit and deals with e.g. running meetings, briefing, setting goals, reviewing progress. Sub-headings and graphics break up the text. Useful.

The excellent manager's companion by Philip Holden (1998) Gower ISBN 0-566-07947-X. A book for business people, it deals with corporate culture, employee commitment, management jargon, customer satisfaction and personal effectiveness. It contains self-assessment questions, do's and don'ts, quotations, facts, summaries, case studies, reviews of best books and bullet points galore. If managing is part of your job, this book is a no nonsense short- cut to learning more about it.

Getting the buggers to behave by Sue Cowley (2001) Continuum IBN 0-8264-4978-6. This one provides plenty of information on the basis of behaviour management, lots of tips on controlling your classes and ideas for managing the physical aspect on the classroom. Common sense language and approach from first meetings through sanctions and rewards to getting out of the profession! Examples given of minor and major problems at primary and secondary level. Recommended.

Learner autonomy by A. Scharle and A. Szabo (2000) CUP. ISBN 0-521-77534-5. A collection of ideas for ending student over-reliance on the teacher, this book advocates a slow process by grouping ideas under text sections: raising awareness, changing attitudes and transferring roles. The ideas are designed to blend with a regular curriculum.

DIY techniques for language learners by M. Fernandez-Toro & Francis Jones (2001) CILT ISBN 1-902031-46-6. No nonsense practical advice for learners of a foreign language in the UK keen to practise the language outside the classroom. 82 techniques for developing grammar, vocabulary and the four skills explained in recipe form. All encourage learner initiative and can be self- assessed so could be useful for teachers to set as supplementary out of class work once adapted to language and age level..

The minimax teacher by Jon Taylor (2001) Etp & Delta pubs. ISBN 0-953309-89-4. This book helps teachers to reduce their input, encourage greater student involvement thus freeing themselves from stress and overwork so they can focus on key areas like monitoring and feedback. Ten key principles and 87 activities written in recipe form.

Motivational strategies in the language classroom by Zoltan Dornyer (2001) CUP ISBN 0-521793777. 35 strategies a teacher can use with language learners plus theoretical overview and a conclusion. This is a short book that the author advises should be read form the back. He also advises us to select just a few of the ideas in the book to become a "good enough" teacher rather than trying to be perfect. Pages 137-145 contain useful tables on all the strategies for quick checking.

The Cambridge guide to TESOL Eds Ro Carte and David Nunan (2001) CUP ISBN 0-521-80516-3. 30 chapters by experts on e.g. listening, vocabulary, socio-linguistics, EAP, genre, intercultural communication, teacher education. Its main aim seems to be to update the reader and map out future developments. Glossary and loooong reading list.

Using the board in the language classroom by Jeannine Dobbs (2001) CUP ISBN 0-521-654173. Oh Praise for the board! The public writing space immediately accessible to teachers and students, inexpensive, requiring no electricity, technological skill or accessories. This knowledgeable little book helps us to improve on use of the board for management, teaching, recording student input, visual stimulus, memory, language and content based activities. Illustrations throughout. Recommended.

Unauthorized methods: strategies for critical thinking Eds. J.Kincheloe and S.Steinberg (1998) Routledge. ISBN 0-415-91842-1 Twenty some contributors from different countries, subjects and levels consider how integrating popular culture and cultural studies into the lesson plan can transform the classroom into a truly multicultural and democratic space. Heady stuff.

Thinking from A to Z by Nigel Warburton. (1996) Routledge. ISBN 0-415-09686-3. An unusual, pocket- sized, reference book to help readers understand the basic tools of clear thinking. Organised alphabetically, it identifies the various moves in an argument from "ad hoc" and "analogy" through "bias " and "black and white argument" to "pedantry" and "spurious" . Clear, brief, readable and entertaining, you can read the entries and examples, follow them up in the cross references and then apply them to new cases of your own.

Contentious issues by Marianne Csoti (2002 Jessica Kingsley Pubs ISBN 1-84310-033-9. This book consists of 40 discussion stories for young people t help them challenge prejudice, stereotyping and judgemental behaviour. Primarily intended for group work by parents, schools, youth groups and teachers . Each story is short (1-2 pages max), could be simplified and is followed by a discussion sheet and leader (answer) sheet. The index of subjects goes from Abortion through Depression and Panic attacks to Video- nasties.

Professional development in higher education (HE) by Gill Nichols (2001) Kogan Page ISBN 0-7494-3207-1. In the UK, with the expansion of HE and the widening of the client group, academics are being called to account by the rest of society. A new national body the Institute for Learning and Teaching in HE is encouraging academics to be explicit about developing their professionalism in teaching and learning (as distinct from research) This book provides an overview of the debate on how quality teaching, learning and research can be achieved.

Active learning in seminars: Humanities by Peter Davies available from SEDA, ISBN 1-902435-15-X A pack of 12 resource cards in a plastic wallet for use in higher education for professional development of tutors. The cards deal with six seminar genres (including games, group work, role play) , three types of difficult territory for tutors ( abstract ideas, numerical data, and primary sources) and video sessions, interactive lectures and self and peer assessment. Each card acts as a kind of summary of the issue giving an introduction, quotes, practical ideas, examples and evaluation.

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