Reviews - June 2016
Created: Wednesday, 01 June 2016 17:38
Penny Ur’s 100 Teaching Tips
PENNY UR, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS; 978-1-3165-0728-5
The author’s intention in this slim 120-page volume is to pass on many of her experience-based insights, saving teachers having to re-invent the wheel. She succeeds. Each tip is given a complete page, and the book covers nineteen areas – including error correction, discipline, games, pronunciation and testing. The inclusion of academic references provides weight to the advice, allowing further exploration. I like the catchy counter-intuitive approach of some tips (‘Don’t give homework at the end,’ ‘Don’t always pre-teach vocabulary’). There are sound ideas for integrating technology where appropriate, such as using SMS texting. A wealth of experience, presented clearly and concisely.
David Spencer, Macmillan;
This general English course is for students working towards school-leaving exams, and appropriately includes an extensive focus on study skills. Gateway contains ten units, plus regular review pages. The topics are generally stimulating and engaging; for example, learning to speak Klingon, translations of the Harry Potter novels and making silicon chips. I like the use of the Macmillan star system to show the frequency of vocabulary in the wordlists. The CLICK strand provides input in cross-curricular areas, culture and literature. The coursebook comes with extensive digital support. It is full of interesting content, and should appeal to the target learners. Recommended.
Book of the month - April 2016
Created: Friday, 01 April 2016 12:06
Get ready for IELTS, Pre-Intermediate to Intermediate Student’s Book
Fiona Aish, Jane Short, Rhona Snelling, Jo Tomlinson and Els Van Geyte, Collins;
This new exam preparation course takes a ‘flipped learning’ approach, which means students receive language input before their face-to-face class. This pre-class preparation can be done online or using the excellent 112-page workbook. Class time is then spent developing language skills and exam strategies. The teacher’s book is essential, providing spot checks to clarify students’ understanding of language points, and extension activities. Each of the twelve units finishes with exam practice tasks, which can be done for homework. The book is full of useful exam tips. I think teachers will need to spend some time getting familiar with the self-study content. The innovative flipped approach is ideal for an exam preparation course; this suite of material for Ielts 3.5 candidates currently at A2+ is worth investigation.