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Reviews - November 2017

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The book of the month

Lessons Learned
First steps towards reflective teaching in ELT
Gabriel Díaz Maggioli and Lesley Painter-Farrell
ISBN: 9-789-974-959170

Lessons Learned was conceived as a coursebook for use on teacher education programmes. The twelve chapters cover areas like classroom management, observation, lesson planning, literacy skills and assessment.

The book skilfully combines the theoretical (‘Learning about…’) and the practical (‘Learning how…). It includes thought-provoking quotes from academic sources, teachers and students which provide insights into each topic. Users can keep a record of how their understanding of a topic changes by completing reflective journal tasks. This 440-page book is packed with ideas and has several engaging features: mind maps which lay out the content of each chapter; the use of original metaphors to stimulate readers’ thoughts; and so-called ‘pit-stops’ – sections which allow pause for thought. Suitable for new and more experienced teachers. Inspirational.

Reviews in brief

Real Lives, Real Listening Advanced B2 – C1
Student’s Book, Sheila Thorn Collins ISBN 978-0-00-752233-0

This innovative 280-page book contains fifteen unscripted interviews, covering familiar topic areas, such as family and a typical day. Native and non-native speakers talk at natural speed, so that learners are exposed to the features of spoken English: sound linking, elision, weak forms, hesitancies, false starts, redundancy and colloquial expressions. The accompanying exercises are designed to train students in listening, and also focus on interesting language points. Transcripts and a glossary are provided. The CD itself contains 373 recordings. This thorough, systematic book can really help students deal with the challenges of authentic listening, and importantly, boost their confidence. Recommended.

English Pronunciation in Use Intermediate Second Edition,
Mark Hancock Cambridge University Press ISBN : 9781108403696

This updated book is packed with practical exercises that systematically address common areas of pronunciation over sixty two-page units. These areas are sounds, stress, intonation, speed, tone and accents. The final reference section is especially helpful and includes a guide for speakers of specific languages to help them decide which pronunciation areas to work on. A clear south-of-England model is provided for students to practise, and a variety of accents to listen to. With over four hours of audio material available online, I think this comprehensive and accessible book for B1–B2 students works best for self-study. Worth investigation.

Reviews by Pete Sharma for Bournemouth English Book Centre: www.bebc.co.uk