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Reviews in brief - May 2018

Jack C Richards’ 50 Tips for Teacher Development, Jack C Richards, CUP;

This pocket-sized 120-page book should prove invaluable to teachers and teacher-trainers interested in professional development.

The fifty tips are divided into twelve broad areas, including observing lessons, engaging in critical thinking and research. Each tip is succinctly presented over two pages, a format that makes the book easy to dip into. I especially enjoyed learning about using wikis for collaboration and the use of narrative frames, where teachers complete a story from their past, encouraging reflection and discussion. Appendix three provides a comprehensive lesson observation form. The well-known author draws on a lifetime of experience in teacher education.


Crooked House, Level 5 CEF B2+, Agatha Christie, Collins English Readers;

Agatha Christie, the so-called Queen of Crime, needs little introduction. This 112-page reader uses the Collins COBUILD grading scheme to match the language input to the upper-intermediate level. The number of headwords is around 2,200; the total word count is just under 26,000. The book includes an indispensable family tree of the characters, a glossary of difficult words and explanations of cultural references like ‘nursery rhymes’, ‘Scotland Yard’ and ‘telegram’. A downloadable recording is available. Who murdered Aristide Leonides? The ‘whodunnit’ format is a real motivator – I found myself keen to learn the solution to the mystery. A great read.

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