Humanising Language Teaching
In this issue we bring you 21 short notices of books that may be of interest to EFL teachers and teacher trainers. They were originally published in our sister journal, The Teacher Trainer, Year 17 Issue 2 and Year 17 Issue 3. To find out more about the Tessa Woodward's excellent publication go over and read the classical articles she is re-publishing from the early days of TTTJ on her light blue website: www.tttjournal.co.uk
PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED From The Teacher Trainer 17/2
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.
Rethinking Teacher Education: Collaborative responses to uncertainty. Anne Edwards et al. (2002) Routledge/Falmer. ISBN 0-415-23063-2. This book describes and analyses sensations of dissonance in teacher education that three authors are living through within psychology, philosophy and sociology departments of education in England. Their concern is that contemporary official policy for teacher education in the UK will do little for an emerging knowledge-based economy. They suggest a re-think of teachers' positions in relation to knowledge, learners, economic demands and democratic values.
Issues in Teacher Education. A twice yearly journal of the California Council on teacher education, on pre-service preparation, the induction years, and the professional development of career teachers. Available via Caddo Gap Press, 3145 Geary Boulevard, PMP 275, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA. The issue I saw (11/1, Spring 2002) was on assessing teacher learning and teacher education outcomes. Obviously local in its concerns (e.g., articles on the redesign of the Stanford teacher education programme and having more statistics than is usual in, say, a European publication), it's nevertheless interesting to read the approaches to teacher education in one particular world area.
Managing Teacher Appraisal and Performance. Ed. Middlewood, D and C Cardno. (2001) Routledge/Falmer. ISBN 0-415-24222-3. Examines in 12 chapters the way various countries (e.g. the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Singapore) have tackled the issue, ranging from the 'hire and fire' approach to concentrating on professional development. Sections on performance appraisal and school leadership, and teacher development, and the way ahead.
Being a Teacher in Higher Education. Peter Knight. (2002) Open University Press. ISBN 0-335-20930-0. Drawing on research literature, the book gives detailed advice on instruction, learning activities, assessment planning and getting good evaluations. Including concern for the new part-time and established teacher, the author argues it is important to develop a sense of oneself as a good teacher despite increasingly difficult working conditions. He also deals with feeling motivated, managing your career and department-level actions.
Teaching and Learning English: A course for teachers. Ann Hewings et al. (2002) Open University Press. ISBN 0-7492-9457-4. This book is part of a distance education course prepared by the Open University for teachers in primary and secondary schools throughout the world. For use in the course it would be accompanied by a set book, audio cassette and video but the book is interesting on its own. Organised around 7 topics—the world of ELT; teaching and learning languages; ELT methods; teaching speaking, listening, reading and writing; assessing learners; and project work. Well laid-out, it includes timed activities, quotes, introductions and summaries. It simplifies a huge amount of material in an intelligent way. Recommended.
Teaching Languages in Higher Education. Editor, John Klapper. (2002) CILT. ISBN 1-902031-85-7. Ten contributions on subjects ranging from shifting perspectives on language teacher education, training post-graduate and foreign language assistants and preparing for residence abroad to tandem observation and the teaching portfolio. Written by lecturers and trainers in, e.g., schools of language and staff development settings at universities in the UK.
Coaching for Performance. John Whitmore. (2002) Nicholas Brealey Publications. ISBN 1-85788-303-9. Although coaching is a new buzzword in the counselling world, the first edition of this book was actually out in 1992. It is designed as a roadmap for fundamental transformations in business management style and culture and uses the GROW (Goals, Reality, Options, Will) model. Deals with what coaching is, what it can be used for, when and how much it can be used, who can use it well. Spacious page layout with useful side headings.
Learner Autonomy Methodology Project (LAMP). Handbook, SPU. (2001). ISBN 80-85756-62-5. Available from SPU, Pluhová 8, PO Box 26, 83000 Bratislava, Slovakia. The LAMP project started in 2000. This A3 spiral bound book supplies activities that help a teacher in Slovakia guide beginner students towards learner independence. Although it does contain parallel texts in Slovak, there are lots of ideas teachers could adapt for use in their own classrooms as well as the central idea of producing a booklet to help other teachers to move towards a more student-centred classroom.
51 Tools for Transforming Your Training. K. Hare and L. Reynolds. (2202) Gower. ISBN 0-566-08410-4 (Looseleaf). This attempt to bring 'brain friendly' learning ideas to the business trainer is based on the 5 principles— Keep it real, Facilitate the flow, Honour uniqueness, Make it multi-sensory, and State is almost everything. The aim is to have both sizzle and significance in training events. Contains information about the brain, group stages; ideas for improving welcome packs; and information on using brain gym, music, anchoring, etc. Short sections, large print, lots of graphics.
Marvellous Meetings. C. Newton. (2001) Gower. ISBN 0-566-08423-6. (Hardback). Aims to give a toolkit of resources, attitudes, knowledge and skills to manage and conduct successful meetings for trainers, chairs, minute-takers and attendees in business, social, church or education settings. Provides photocopiable sheets on principles of effective meetings, jargon, the responsibilities and communication skills of the different participants plus questionnaires to evaluate their participation. The layout and rubrics makes it slightly difficult to tell what is supposed to be done with some of the resources (e.g., the skill-building cards). Nevertheless, useful.
Working in English Language Teaching. F. Target. (2002) Kogan Page. ISBN 0-7494-3585-2. Aims to give an overview of job opportunities in the field of ELT and to work out what training you need to get the job you want. It also provides a questionnaire to help the reader decide if ELT is right for them plus lists of skills and qualifications needed, good and bad aspects of the job, and acronyms. Sections include state and private sections in Britain, moving, working and teaching abroad, and related careers. Useful for those considering moving into the field.
Professional Development in Higher Education. Gill Nicholls. (2001) Kogan Page. ISBN 0-7494-3207-1. Expansion in UK higher education, pressure from quality and funding bodies and the government have put pressure on academics to balance learning, teaching and research and to gain accreditation via the Institute for Language Teaching (ILT). This book presents an overview of these developments, and sees the way forward in professional development within and beyond the ILT.
Handbook of Personality. Editor, L. Pervin and O. John. (1999) Guildford Press. ISBN 1-57230-695-J. Introductory chapter on the history of the field, sections on major theoretical perspectives, interface and other fields and on specific research topics. This second edition details the recent explosion of knowledge about biological aspect of personality in chapters on evolutionary psychology, behavioural genetics, neuro-science and temperament. Small print. Scholarly. Dense.
Behavioural Support. R. Janney and M. Snell. (2000) Jessica Kingsley. ISBN 1-55766-355-6. In the 'Teachers' guides to inclusive practice' US based series, this book summarises current research and recommended practices, outlines field-tested strategies needed for working with students with disabilities. Chapters on assumptions about behavioural problems and change, individual behavioural support plans, design, use and evaluation, teaching social interaction and self-management skills, developing the classroom community with mutual respect, self-direction and problem-solving. Written from US 'inclusive schools' [primary and secondary] perspective. Includes photocopiable worksheets.
Action Research. Editor, Julian Edge. (2001). TESOL. ISBN 0-939791-92-7. The 18 contributors to this volume in the 'Case Studies in TESOL Practice Series' present individual accounts of how they have implemented changes and sustained practices that make their teaching more productive for learners. A lively read—exploratory, accessible and one that makes you glad you're a working teacher.
Participatory Workshops. Robert. Chambers. (2002). Earthscan. ISBN 1-85383-863-2. This book, filled with 21 ideas on, e.g., getting groups started, seating arrangements, forming groups, managing large numbers, helping each other learn, analysis and feedback, coping with horrors and common mistakes, draws from the author's experience in development work in, e.g., South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It is the perfect book to take with you when you work with huge groups in low-resourced settings as it is very honest and assumes no materials or luxuries. The 21s are designed to make sharing, learning and teaching more participatory, in voluntary, government and private sector organisations in community development and all kinds of settings. You will need to adapt here and there. Recommended. (See also article in this issue.)
Beginning teaching in the secondary school Joan Dean (19960 Open University Press ISBN 0-335-19619-5. Written mostly for newly qualified teachers in the UK, this book covers what the work of a newly qualified teacher involves, what difficulties are likely to be faced and how they can best be tackled, and what research tells us of relevance to these teachers. Contains case studies, further reading suggestions and self-evaluation checklists. Clear language and subheadings and practical down-to-earth advice makes this an easy, useful read. Not ELT specific.
Interactive computer-mediated teacher training D J Fernandez (2000) Centro de Publicaciones, UNL, Argentine ISBN 987-508-115-9. The purpose of this booklet and CD Rom is to analyse the theoretical framework underlying a FL TT programme conceived within a major reform programme in Argentina. Working from the general to the particular, chapters analyse current trends in TT and the framework of educational reform in Argentina, current in print and online TT programmes at one institution, the structure of one course with IT support and a sample section of the programme.
Modern foreign languages in the primary school Keith Sharpe (2001) Kogan Page ISBN 0-7494-36009-3. More and more primary schools now offer some form of MFL tuition. Why should MFL be included in the primary curriculum? What should be taught? Who should do the teaching? How? This book, written squarely from the UK perspective, touches on relevant research, includes some classroom tips and is accessible with some engaging quotes.
Investigating troublesome classroom behaviour Loraine Corrie (20020 Routledge Falmer ISBN 0-425-23710-6. Intended for early years and primary school teachers who want to spend more time helping kids to learn and less dealing with persistent misbehaviour, this book describes how teachers can investigate troublesome behaviour in order to plan interventions. Illustrated with case studies, anecdotes and questions. Not ELT specific.
Creating conversation in class Chris Sion (2001) Etp Delta ISBN 0-953309-886. A collection of some 60 activities for intermediate ELT students, requiring little preparation and few materials. The activities introduce topics indirectly, build them up slowly and relate them to students' lives in order to help students to want to talk and to know what to say. Clearly and succinctly explained with photocopiable worksheets. Recommended.
Using the board in the language classroom Jeannine Dobbs (2001) CUP ISBN 0-521-65417-3. Tips and suggestions to help language teachers to use their boards more effectively and efficiently. Over 130 activities help teachers to teach and assess ESL or EFL students of all ages and levels. Chapters on language and content based activities.