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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;

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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Book Of The Month - January 2017


Special Educational Needs
Marie Delaney, Oxford University Press;

Many language teachers have had little or no training in teaching students with special educational needs (SEN). This 104-page guide for primary and secondary school teachers is therefore most welcome. It has three parts. The first two provide a general understanding of SEN and teaching approaches such as differentiation. Part three explores seven types of SEN in detail: dyslexia, dyspraxia (coordination difficulties), ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), social difficulties, autism, speech difficulties and, finally, gifted students.

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Reviews - January 2017

Jetstream Upper Intermediate
Jeremy Harmer and Jane Revell, Helbling;

This new adult general English course is full of interesting topics including film heroes and villains and the Montessori method of education. It also includes deliberately controversial discussions such as immigration and the refugee crisis which should be approached cautiously. The twelve units include ideas for online research and opportunities for students to make videos with their smartphones or cameras. I especially like the collocation activities: students study extracts from several ‘concordance lines’ and work out the missing keyword from context. The six-module writing section is well-structured.

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