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June 2020 - Year 22 - Issue 3

ISSN 1755-9715

Book Review: Teaching English Today. Contexts and Objectives by Susan Holden and Vinicius Nobre


                                                                                          You are a model for success.

This quotation is one of the inspiring statements you can find in this practical book by Susan Holden and Vinicius Nobre. Both of the authors have rich teaching, training and publishing backgrounds and have a lot to offer the teaching community through their book Teaching English Today. Contexts and Objectives, published in 2018 as the original edition for Latin America, written in American English; a 2019 European edition with slightly different references is written in British English. Based on the title, the book draws attention to three main areas – teaching English today, contexts a teacher encounters, and objectives the educators should set for themselves.

The cover of the book catches attention. It is red with green, yellow, red circles that may depict a metaphorical connotation of a traffic light in a way and the importance of good timing and being ready when the right objectives and given context are set for teachers, as the title of the book suggests.

This book is intended for teachers in training or teachers at the beginning of their career. It is also for teachers who need help selecting the right materials or need relevant and practical ideas for the classroom and want to keep up with developments in language teaching. Moreover, it is for educators who want to be better teachers.

The content of the book is divided into 4 parts with 17 chapters. Each of the chapters has about 10 pages and touches on various aspects, such as a description of the situation with English and its learners today to activities in the classroom based on the communicative approach and the impact of technology as in chapters in part A.  Then in the chapters in Part B, the book moves on to the skills – language and other skills with an emphasis on autonomy and self-awareness skills. Later, it underlines the development of reading, writing, listening, speaking skills for today´s world. The authors in this part also touch on integrating grammar, vocabulary and do not forget to mention testing and assessment. Part C of the book is based on chapters that enrich the content, such as project work, using music, role-play and drama and literature. The last D part is on evaluation of materials – textbooks, supplementary material, online material, and on teacher´s professional development. Each chapter becomes a conversation between you and the authors. They are very welcoming and are on a journey throughout the whole book. The book is based on the questions displayed in the margins – What about you? and in the sections -  Thinking and Discussion and Discovering more.

The book is very user-friendly and well organized. The language should not be a problem for a language teacher to read. Each chapter makes sense and is written in a logical order. It can inspire teachers in many ways and help them think deeper and analyze their own practices. What is great about the book is that after each chapter, there are up-to date valuable links, videos and books recommendations. At the end of the book Vinnie recommends his favorite books, links and channels, which influenced him in his career.

The book emphasizes the importance of a voice of every singular teacher as this book requires reflection and answering the questions in the margins. Therefore, it encourages English teachers to be better teachers of the language and it suggests them to think about the context they are teaching in, and nevertheless, it emphasizes connecting the outside world and the classroom life.

Tagged Publications 
  • Book Review: Teaching English Today. Contexts and Objectives by Susan Holden and Vinicius Nobre
    Katarina Zamborova, Slovakia

  • Author’s Review: Teacher Wellbeing, Sarah Mercer and Tammy Gregersen
    Oxford University Press

  • DELTA Publishing

  • Pavilion

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