Humanising Language Teaching
The 16 short reviews below we are reprinting from The Teacher Trainer, our sister publication, Year 16, Issue 3, with thanks to Tessa Woodward, the editor of TTT.
This column is designed to keep you informed of recent publications in ELT and related fields. Our aim is to save you time by giving swift descriptions of each publication. You can then decide whether it's for you or not.
Becoming a teacher Eds Justin Dillon & Meg Maguire (2001) Open U. Press. ISBN 0-335-20861-4. Written for UK student and starter teachers of all subjects at primary and secondary level, this collection of articles is designed to provide accessible, readable, accurate accounts of research findings, how experienced teachers think and feel and historical background on a wide range of issues including teacher qualities, curriculum, values, inspections, parents, citizenship, school and teacher quality. Small print but some nice short articles useful to trainees and teachers.
Thinking about teaching ed Tony Cotton (1998) Hodder & Stoughton ISBN 0-340-70513-2 Eight educators started meeting in April 1997 and over the following months, through discussion of memories and anecdotes, collaborated on writing up their thoughts anxieties and confidences on the issues of teaching competence, best teachers, careers advice, expectations and motivation, watching others teach, and best lessons. Slim book. Recommended.
Teaching English worldwide by Paul Lindsay (2000) Alta Book Center Pubs. ISBN 1-882483-77-4. Designed for those who are thinking about teaching English but have had no training, are planning to take an initial course or have just started work in an English language school. Based around a series of questions such as “What is the role of the teacher?” “What are the basic language skills?” each of 21 chapters has sub headings, bullet points and a couple of further reading leads.
Teaching modern foreign languages by Carol Morgan and Peter Neil (2001) Kogan Page ISBN 0-7494-3347-7. Written from a UK context and closely related to the delivery of the MFL national curriculum in a time of fading interest in MFL as subjects, the book aims to guide trainees through Circular 04/98. Includes current research findings as related to classroom practice and insights from the rest of Europe. There is much here that would be familiar to an ESOL teacher including sections on teaching FLs at primary level, CLIL, and ICT.
Teaching languages to young learners by Lynne Cameron (2001) CUP ISBN 0-521-77434-9. Not a course book or recipe book this winner of the recent Ben Warren prize offers a theoretical framework to structure thinking about children's language learning and gives practical suggestions on how to analyse and evaluate classroom activities language use and development.
Mentoring in the new millenium ed Napoca Star (2001) British Council ISBN 973-8169-50-X A selection of papers form the second British council regional mentor conference April 2000 Romania. This conference brought together 220 participants from 14 different countries. The collection includes papers from plenaries, workshops and discussion groups and is divided into preparation, implementation, evaluation and non-elt. .A lively read.
Planning and designing training programmes by Leslie Rae (1997) Gower ISBN 0-566-07929-1 (Hb) Written from an industrial, commercial background this book describes a logical pattern of identifying and analysing needs, planning and designing programmes and sessions and evaluating them. Lots of bullet points, diagrams and flow charts.
Structure in fives: designing effective organisations. by Henry Mintzberg (1983) Prentice Hall ISBN 0-13-854191-4. Managers, staff specialists and consultants will find here a synthesis of messages from research on what it takes to design an effective organisation. The central theme is that the design seems to involve the consideration of only a few basic configurations. Division of tasks, co-ordination among divisions, visual representation of organisations, decentralisation, structure and situation are all seen to take five basic forms.
Pen and paper games for training by Lucy Seifert (2001) Gower ISBN 0-566-08299-3. An A4 hardback with 40 games needing only pen and paper, flip chart and pens, handouts and an occasional prize. They are described in recipe use and for relaxing, engaging, bonding, teaching and assessing trainees. Some photocopiable visuals and worked examples.
Basic concepts of intercultural communication ed Milton Bennett (1998) Intercultural press ISBN 1-877864-62-5. A collection of twelve classic and more contemporary articles designed ad a text for courses in cross-cultural understanding, multiculturalism etc Chapters on the global village, multicultural education, black and white cultural styles transition shock . A useful introduction and a chapter by Whorf on science and linguistics.
Developing intercultural awareness a cross-cultural training handbook by L.R. Kohls & J.M. knight (1981) Intercultural Press ISBN 1-877864-13-7. The book demonstrates how to led a workshop designed to develop awareness in a culturally naïve audience. Contains culture general and culture specific (USA) ice- breakers, simulations, case studies.
Access and inclusion for children with autistic spectrum disorders by M. Hesmonhalgh & C. Breakey (2001) Jessica Kingsley pubs ISBN 1-85302-986-6 The authors set up and run an integrated programme for children with ASD within a mainstream secondary school. They use a combination of stories, school documents teaching ideas and accounts for the special pupils, peers and teachers to explain how they have managed the remarkable feat of integrating the ASD children in the regular school curriculum with extra life skills classes, work placement and further education links.
Teaching critical literacy eds Anne Burns and Susan Hood (1998) NCELTR ISBN 1-86408-307-7. In the Teachers' Voices series from Macquarie Univ. Critical literacy, which is more than just a functional ability to read and write, is concerned with having an understanding of the politics and ideology behind texts. This A4 booklet highlights the action research of a group of six adult migrant teachers investigating approaches to teaching crit lit. to second language learners. Good first chapters on action research and crit lit followed by six chapters containing neat descriptions of the action research projects, what was learned from them, suggestions for the future, discussion and classroom tasks. Interesting.
The dynamics of the language classroom by Ian Tudor (2001) CUP ISBN 0-521-776767 Leaving behind the linear input-output model this book explores the dynamic and unpredictable ecological nature of the language classroom. Includes chapters on visions of language, learning, the classroom, methodology and context, local dynamics and negotiation. Ends with seven guidelines for teachers wishing to explore their own situations and to approach decision-making in a locally meaningful and sustainable manner.
The whole world guide to language learning by Terry Marshall (1989) Intercultural Press ISBN 0-933662-75-0 If you or your students are going abroad for a long time and plan to learn the language of the host community, you might like to consider this book. It advocates an 'in situ' approach to language learning that involves use of a mentor (native speaker in the host community) and a “daily learning cycle” of planning, practicing, communication face to face and evaluating. The method is explained and six lesson plans get you started.
Impro learning by Paul Jackson (1998) Gower Pubs ISBN 0-566-07928-3 (Hb) Written for corporate trainers and designed to draw form the world of drama by using spontaneity and fun, this book offers the tools, models, principles and attitudes of improvisation to invite, greet, meet, bond, energise, elicit from and leave a group of participants.