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Grammar rules ok?

PICTURE REVIEWS PAGE 35 pic courtesy Karl Ludwig Poggemann

Wayne Trotman on a thought-provoking volume

Chris Sowton, Garnet Education; ISBN: 978-1-7826-0222-4

Go on, admit it! When you first saw the name of the book under review here you probably thought it would be yet another dense, inaccessible tome. Actually, until I began perusing it, so did I. Which just goes to show once more how you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

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Question Of Identity

Magali Arteaga on a thought-provoking volume
What’s Your Teaching Identity?
Helen Waldron, Academic Study Kit;

The term ‘identity’ is inescapably present in our EFL classes, but often we only look at our students’ identity as they take on a new one that corresponds to their emerging language. EFL teachers are encouraged to reflect on how they have performed after almost every lesson. However, very little has been said about EFL teachers’ reflections on what constitutes their own identity. Helen Waldron’s What’s Your Teaching Identity? encourages us to reflect on our place in EFL teaching and reminds us how a lot of EFL teachers still work under unreasonable conditions in a job which is considered 24/7, especially when your interlocutors discover that you are a native speaker.

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EL Reviews - February

Pass Trinity Now, GESE Grades 5-6
Laura Clyde and Ray Parker, Black Cat;

This slim 96-page book is an exam preparation course book for the Trinity GESE (Graded Examinations in Spoken English), Grades 5 and 6. It has been revised for the ISE (International Skills in English), level 1. The book includes an exam overview and a diagnostic test. Eight topic-based units cover grammar, functions, phonology and writing.

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Positive Assessment

Wayne Trotman looks at a solid title on EAP testing

Assessing EAP: Theory and Practice in Assessment Literacy
Anthony Manning, Garnet Education;

The past decade has quite rightly seen the teaching of English for academic purposes (EAP) come increasingly into the language teaching and learning spotlight. This movement has been a move away from an unhealthy over-emphasis on the design of courses and material aimed at getting students to pass English language proficiency exams which will hopefully enable them to cope when they move up to faculty classes. The title under review here goes to great lengths to extend this; it focuses on how to design tests that accurately assess the language ability of students on the many varieties of faculty-related language courses – an area that in my own experience is generally neglected.

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The Book Of The Month - February 2017


Focus on learning technologies
Nicky Hockly, Oxford University Press;

Focus on Learning Technologies is a timely addition to the innovative Oxford Key Concepts for the Language Classroom series, which aims to link research and practice. This 167-page book focuses on school-age learners and touches on many areas, including a history of technology in ELT, e-safety and educational policy. It masterfully condenses research from an impressive range of perspectives. ‘Classroom snapshots’ show different teaching approaches, including video-conferencing in Uruguay. This book addresses the critical question: do digital technologies support language learning? Hockly concludes ‘the jury is still out’, as the effectiveness (or lack of effectiveness) of a particular technology depends on a wide range of factors, such as how it used. Highly suitable for teacher development programs, this book is accessible, balanced and authoritative. Excellent.

Book Of The Month - January 2017


Special Educational Needs
Marie Delaney, Oxford University Press;

Many language teachers have had little or no training in teaching students with special educational needs (SEN). This 104-page guide for primary and secondary school teachers is therefore most welcome. It has three parts. The first two provide a general understanding of SEN and teaching approaches such as differentiation. Part three explores seven types of SEN in detail: dyslexia, dyspraxia (coordination difficulties), ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), social difficulties, autism, speech difficulties and, finally, gifted students.

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