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Reviews - November

Mixed-Ability Teaching
Edmund Dudley and Erika Osváth, OUP;

This is a 112-page practical guide for teachers in primary and secondary school settings. The introduction sensibly points out that ‘to some degree, all classes are mixed ability’. The eight sections cover a range of areas such as classroom management, using L1 and assessment. The book shows how collaborative ways of working can promote a positive classroom atmosphere. It provides differentiated learning activities and is packed with practical ideas. For example, ‘traffic-lights’ involves students using red, orange or green cups to indicate the level of help they need with a particular task. Includes an excellent list of useful websites. Recommended.

Straightforward Second Edition Starter A1+ Students’s Book plus Workbook
Lindsay Clandfield, Macmillan;

The second edition of this adult and young adult coursebook includes a useful 54-page black-and-white workbook at the back. The Starter level in this popular series is highly practical, with easy-to-use communicative exercises such as describing pictures of celebrities and deciding if your picture is the same or different from your partner’s. The grammar syllabus is appropriate. Unsurprisingly for this low level, the book includes many high-frequency words and uses the Macmillan star system, which shows the commonest words in red. The many engaging topics include power-napping – ‘MetroNaps’ – and exchanging houses for holidays – ‘Houseswap’. Worth investigation.