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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 6; Issue 3; September 04


Five short book notices, re-published from THE TEACHER TRAINER, Vol 18 Issue 1

[The Teacher Trainer has a rich website at www.tttjournal.co.uk; it is well worth a visit, full of classically good things]

The following thumbnail sketches of books are written to save you time. By reading the swift descriptions below we hope you will know if the books are useful in your setting or not.

Improving teacher education practices through self-study, Ed J Loughran and T Russell (2002) Routledge/Falmer ISBN 0-415-27671-3.
This book introduces teacher educators to the theory and practice of self-study in order to explore, understand and improve their own teaching of teachers.16 separate contributions mostly from US, UK, Australian and Canadian universities are divided into four sections: understanding teaching within teacher education programmes, teacher educator roles and responsibilities, fostering social justice and exploring myths of teacher education. Not ELT specific.

Essential motivation in the classroom, Ian Gilbert (2002) Routlege Falmer ISBN 0-415-26619-X.
This pocket-sized paper back contains freshness of expression and much entertainment as it romps through theories of learning, teaching and thinking to highlight seven keys to motivation. Recommended. Not ELT specific.

Film, S Stempleski and B Tomalin (2001) OUP ISBN 0-19-437231-6.
After a useful summary of basic techniques for use with video such as silent viewing, sound only and freeze frame, the book offers a collection of ready-to-use, film-based classroom activities for teachers of EFL /ESL at all levels. Activities range from working on the conventions of film scripts, favourite lines and films, film posters, trailers and clips, storyboards and shots, and projects.

The magic of metaphor, Nick Owen (2001) Crown House Pubs ISBN 1899836705.
A selection of 77 stories for people who work with people plus suggestions on effective story telling, organisation and style. The stories can be used for pleasure, to change mood, to teach, to challenge unacceptable behaviour or other things. They are divided into four slightly mysterious categories but nevertheless form a useful bank.

The languages of the world, Kenneth Katzer (2202) Routledge ISBN 0-415-25004-8.
This third edition includes 600 identified languages, 200 of which are individually but very swiftly described with sample passages and English translation. Includes a list of every country in the world showing its principal languages and number of speakers of each. A VERY fast Cook's tour. Lacks linguistic information.

Exploring culture, Hofstede G J et al (2002) Intercultural Press/ Nicholas Brealey Pubs. ISBN 1-877864-90-0.
If you are familiar with Hofstede's five dimensions of national culture or even if you are not, this book of ten synthetic cultural profiles derived from the five dimensions will strike you as a playful book of practice rooted in theory. Through activities, dialogues, stories and incidents the reader can gain awareness, knowledge, and skills. Interesting.

Issues in applied linguistics, Michael McCarthy (2001) CUP ISBN 0-521-585465-5.
Outlines the historical roots of the field, its major developments and examines current issues such as language modelling and discourse analysis. It could be dry as dust throughout but McCarthy is a fiddle player with a lively eye who knows how to enliven his writing when he chooses. Small print.

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