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Book of the month - September 2014

Bringing online video into the classroom

Jamie Keddie, OUP;












 Many language students have a video camera in their mobile phone, and can create and share videos through websites such as YouTube. So this is a good time to bring out a book on online videos aimed at teachers of learners aged six to sixteen. Four sections cover hardware and software, video content, teaching ideas and, finally, students and teachers using video cameras themselves to create content. The author is enthusiastic and describes the steps of finding videos, embedding them in an online platform and editing them. The book contains around 150 practical activities, including ‘videotelling’ (interactive storytelling with video) and familiar techniques such as ‘sound-down’. The guide to file formats (like .mp4 and .mov) is especially useful; the list of online resources is extensive. A solid 160-page guide.

Review - September 2014

English for Life Reading B2+ Upper Intermediate

Naomi Styles, Collins;


This 128-page book, part of a new skills series, provides a range of text types, including business correspondence, blogs, factual articles and poetry. Many texts are authentic. One section includes texts to encourage reading for pleasure. The appendices contain useful study tips for improving reading. A mini-dictionary of idioms and phrasal verbs provides definitions based on Collins Cobuild content. Many of the reading tasks are engaging, giving students reasons to read and practise in areas such as noticing tone and inference and understanding word play. The unit on humour is fun, containing jokes based on puns and homophones. Good for self-study.

Review - September 2014

Working Virtually

Jackie Black and Jon Dyson, Delta Publishing and York Associates;


This new management book starts with a clear definition of ‘virtual communication’ – those interactions which occur across the internet, not in a physical space. The eight units successfully combine a focus on language skills with management skills such as team-building at a distance. The excellent input on communication styles (for example, direct vs non-direct, emotional vs non-emotional) and on how culture affects virtual communication would benefit native speakers as well as language learners. The book includes a useful checklist on how to prepare for successful online communication. I would have liked to see some mock-up screens showing a real online platform. Recommended.