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Positive Assessment

Wayne Trotman looks at a solid title on EAP testing

Assessing EAP: Theory and Practice in Assessment Literacy
Anthony Manning, Garnet Education;
978-1-7826-0226-2

The past decade has quite rightly seen the teaching of English for academic purposes (EAP) come increasingly into the language teaching and learning spotlight. This movement has been a move away from an unhealthy over-emphasis on the design of courses and material aimed at getting students to pass English language proficiency exams which will hopefully enable them to cope when they move up to faculty classes. The title under review here goes to great lengths to extend this; it focuses on how to design tests that accurately assess the language ability of students on the many varieties of faculty-related language courses – an area that in my own experience is generally neglected.

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Question Of Identity

Magali Arteaga on a thought-provoking volume
What’s Your Teaching Identity?
Helen Waldron, Academic Study Kit;
978-0-9956-7011-2

The term ‘identity’ is inescapably present in our EFL classes, but often we only look at our students’ identity as they take on a new one that corresponds to their emerging language. EFL teachers are encouraged to reflect on how they have performed after almost every lesson. However, very little has been said about EFL teachers’ reflections on what constitutes their own identity. Helen Waldron’s What’s Your Teaching Identity? encourages us to reflect on our place in EFL teaching and reminds us how a lot of EFL teachers still work under unreasonable conditions in a job which is considered 24/7, especially when your interlocutors discover that you are a native speaker.

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Reviews in brief - March

WORK ON YOUR GRAMMAR, Intermediate B1, Collins;
ISBN: 978-0-0074-9962-5

Intermediate students often wish to improve their grammar. This 128-page practice book, part of a series, could certainly help. It aims to provide simple grammatical explanation; for example, the term ‘-ing form’ is used instead of ‘gerund’. Each of the thirty units explains an area of grammar typical of this level, such as conditional forms. The book contains over 200 exercises, typically gap-filling, matching and multiple choice activities; answers are provided.

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