Reviews - February 2016
Created: Monday, 01 February 2016 15:17
John Hughes, Pavilion;
This highly practical 168-page book introduces language teachers to the world of teacher training. The six chapters cover training techniques, monitoring teaching practice, lesson observation and managing training programmes. One innovative aspect of the book is the focus on online training, such as delivering webinars. I like the ‘graph observation form’ which provides a visual snapshot of a lesson. ‘Terminology pelmanism’ is a useful game-like activity; cards are supplied. The prose is clear; the tone is friendly and personable. This handbook fulfils the aim outlined in the title and is most suitable for those new to this area. Worth investigation.
Paul Dummett, Jake Hughes and Katie Wood, OUP;
The A2 level of this new flagship coursebook consists of twelve units. The vocabulary syllabus is based on the Oxford 3000, a list of frequent and relevant words. Like the other books in this general English series, the approach to teaching the four language skills is based partly on recent academic research. The texts are suitably short and often intrinsically interesting; ‘Geo-caching’ – using an app to locate hidden treasure – is a fascinating topic. The digital support material includes online exercises, an ebook version and a ground-breaking app which recycles vocabulary. The book has a fresh, modern design. Recommended.
Reviews - January 2016
Created: Friday, 01 January 2016 11:57
Nestor Kiourtzidis, Pavilion;
This slim 124-page guide is aimed at language teachers interested in the growing phenomenon of teaching online. Chapter one looks at Skype and various tools like Google Docs. It describes how to record online classes and share documents. I found the book helpful on the business side, dealing with the practicalities of setting up and marketing online courses. It provides tips on finding students, building a blog and, importantly, processing online payments. Chapter seven contains teaching ideas and includes links to online materials like Expemo, a flashcard app. Users will need to supplement this book to get further teaching ideas.
Janet Hardy-Gould, OUP;
Merlin is a 34-page graded reader. The level is ‘quick starter’, aimed at A1 students; it uses 250 headwords. The intriguing story concerns a young wizard, Merlin, who through drinking a magic potion can change into different animals. The book incorporates some tricky words, like kingdom, enchantress, potion and cauldron, and manages to remain accessible for the target readers by providing simplified definitions. I especially like the imaginative, stylish illustrations, and the language exercises at the back are useful. The accompanying MultiROM includes a dramatised reading of the story. A new Gamebook version on the web includes fun vocabulary games. Engaging.