Content and Language Integrated Learning (“CLIL” for short) is currently an area which is arousing much interest among ELT researchers and practitioners. Building on strong communicative approaches such as task-based language teaching, CLIL classes combine the teaching of content with the learning of a language with a focus either more on the former or the latter, depending on the context and course. As the amount of research into CLIL grows and as more teachers find themselves teaching using the method, a study into how language is manifested and can be exploited for learning opportunities in in the CLIL classroom would seem a timely addition to the professional literature. The Roles of Language in CLIL has been written to fill that position. Read on »
All English teachers are happy and proud when they get their students really talking. Engaging the students with a loud and lively conversation, discussion or debate is the goal of many an English language lesson. It can often be the most interesting part of the lesson, and, most importantly, can be exactly what an ESL/EFL student wants from their lesson.
Teaching Speaking: A Holistic Approach acknowledges this, but says that simply getting students to talk is not enough. The first two parts of the book give an overview of what fluent speaking means for a language learner, and the discourse and structure of speaking. The next two parts then show how to turn academic ideas into a functional framework for speaking activities, courses and assessments.
Parts one and two are a nice overview of research into speaking. There is information on psycholinguistic models of speech production, in-depth synopsis on learner speaking strategies, and information on what knowledge is needed to be a competent speaker of English. There are also detailed summaries of the features of pronunciation and intonation. This is then followed up with what facts conversation-analysis and corpus linguistics can tell us about how competent, fluent speakers communicate. Read on »
400 Ideas for Interactive Whiteboards is a practical resource book published by Macmillan Books for teachers as part of an accessible series edited by Adrian Underhill. This book follows other titles such as 500 Activities for the Primary Classroom and 700 Classroom Activities in providing an exhaustive set of ideas for the classroom. Written by Pete Sharma, Barney Barrett and Francis Jones, all of whom are established figures in the field computer-assisted language learning (CALL), 400 Ideas for Interactive Whiteboards is aimed at providing users of IWBs with a wider scope of activities than they may already be aware of, or for newcomers or buyers of the apparatus who may be looking for ways or reasons to introduce the technology into their schools or classes.
The core of the book is divided into four chapters, all dealing with different aspects of IWB usage. These chapters are preceded by a foreword by the authors and a brief introduction, which include a helpful assortment of explanations about the many IWB features there are as well as a page detailing the benefits of using IWBs. The authors also shed brief light on the challenges facing IWB users and some forecasts of their uses in the future. The four chapters of activities which follow are all preceded by a pair of case studies displaying firsthand experiences of IWB in action. Read on »
Michael Swan is well known in both the teaching and applied linguistics field and has written numerous articles and books over the years. This book is a compilation of his most cited and well-known articles. It has a generic index which lists the title of each article and is followed by an interesting Introduction written by Swan. The book is then divided into 2 parts. Part 1 contains eighteen pedagogic and academic articles which were published between 1985 and 2011. Most of them include a short introduction to the article telling readers about the context in which he originally wrote them and at times includes a reflection and how he would write it differently. Part 2 contains seven satirical pieces on the world of language teaching.
Part 1 includes articles on a wide range of topics within the field of language teaching and theory. It covers topics such as English as a Lingua Franca, text-based teaching, grammar, language teaching versus teaching language, vocabulary, task-based instruction Read on »
Ever since David Marsh and Anne Maljers ushered in the era of CLIL in 1994, this new methodology has remained a source of hot debate in ELT. While many teachers are suspicious of or indeed resistant to the very notion of Content and Language Integrated Learning, others view it as the future of language teaching. For those unfamiliar with the concept, CLIL is an approach which aims to marry the learning of content to the acquisition of an additional language, thus teaching both the subject and the language simultaneously. While several notable books have been written on this methodology, our profession has been crying out for a definitive guide to CLIL: it is with this mission in mind that Liz Dale and Rosie Tanner have created this book.
Turning to the content pages, it immediately becomes evident that CLIL Activities stands out when compared to other publications on the subject. This resource book has clearly been written by experienced CLIL practitioners. CLIL Activities is split into three parts; Background to CLIL; Subject pages, and; Practical activities. This no-nonsense layout serves to suck the reader in from the start: first you are told what this phenomenon is, you are then shown clearly how this might play out in your specific subject area, before finally you are given a large number of adaptable activities to help you in your teaching. Read on »
In this audio review of Techniques & Principles in Language Teaching you can hear Lara Promnitz-Hayashi and Jamie Dunstan discussing the book and giving their (on the whole favourable) reactions to it.
You have several options for listening:
online using the player controls below
in a popup player (click “Play in Popup”) – this allows you to listen while looking at other pages of this site or the web
download to your MP3 player (use the Audio MP3 button – in some browsers you may need to right-click and save link as…)
Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching[ 27:52 | 12.76 MB ]Play NowPlay in Popup
The Cambridge Guide to Pedagogy and Practice in Second Language Teaching
Need a book that has a number of good articles covering the important issues and approaches in current language teaching? The Cambridge Guide to Pedagogy and Practice in Second Language Teaching could be what you are looking for. This book is a compilation of short up-to-date papers covering a wide range of topics in second language teaching. The book begins with a very informative Introduction written by the editors. Many people usually skip the introduction and dive straight into the content, but with this book it is highly recommended to read this part first as it is very interesting and extremely informative, giving an overview of the issues relevant to pedagogy and methodology today. It is written in a way that even readers new to the field can understand, tells you where to find the relevant articles, and ends with a list of additional references. Following the introduction, the book contains 30 papers or “chapters” which are divided into five sections. They are well-categorized, making it easy to jump around the book for chapters relevant to your interest. The editors have written brief useful introductions at the beginning of each section. Read on »
Digital Play, written by Kyle Mawer and Graham Stanley, is the latest in Delta Publishing’s Teacher Development Series, an impressive strand that includes Nickly Hockly and Lindsay Clandfield’s guide to Teaching Online and Scott Thornbury and Luke Medding’s seminal Teaching Unplugged. This book concentrates on the use of computer games in language teaching.
The book is divided into three sections. The first looks at the wider place that video games occupy in society, how they are currently used in education and how they can be used with language learners. The second part includes a variety of activities, concentrating on all four language skills and the full spectrum of technical scenarios. The final part highlights the ways that video games can be incorporated into a syllabus and offers suggestions for how they help teachers to develop. Read on »
The world of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) is an area which is growing in momentum at a very quick pace. There are numerous books available to instruct EFL/ ESL teachers in the basics of CALL, but what may be of even greater assistance are journals, especially if you are interested in CALL itself and not just setting tasks for your students to do in word processing! If you are like me and relatively new to the wonders of CALL, then I advise you to look at as many research articles as you can and journals are a great place to find ideas. ReCALL (The Journal of EUROCALL [European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning]) is one of the most well-known and esteemed international CALL journals whose self-stated aim is to include “…the use of technologies for language learning and teaching, including all relevant aspects of research and development”. It is a refereed journal published by Cambridge and it is released three times a year in January, May and September, with the May issue containing papers from the EUROCALL conference. Read on »
When I heard that Cambridge was bringing out a new book in their Handbooks for Language Teachers series entitled Learning One-to-One I was keen to get my hands on a copy. The series is a favourite of mine and over the past few years I’ve found an increasing number of one-to-one lessons on my timetable. I prefer teaching groups as I find one-to-one teaching less dynamic and more tiring, so I was hoping that Ingrid Wisniewska’s book would give me some new ideas and stop one-to-one lessons being such a chore. Read on »
Perspectives on Language Learning Materials Development
One of the most interesting things about this book is the breadth of its scope. It is divided into three sections: Materials Development and Naturally Occurring Discourse (four chapters); Technology and Materials Development (two chapters); and Tailoring Materials for Learner Groups (four chapters). Six of the ten chapters were originally given as papers at the MATSDA (Materials Development Association) conference held in Ireland in 2008. The second section is entirely composed of new articles (one by the co-editor of the book) and there is one new article in each of the other two sections. The authors work in many different environments, with learners from a wide range of ages and backgrounds, using many different types of material, and in countries as far apart as Japan, Pakistan, Tunisia and Venezuela.
One of the postulates here is that every language teacher is a materials developer, and it is for this reason that the book is a must-read for those of us who want to take things just that little bit further. Naturally occurring discourse is far more readily available now, in the age of internet, than it was in the past. The problem now is one of knowing how best to use the vast quantities of material available. The first chapter shows how the authors McCarthy and McCarten, well-known in the field of ELT publishing, used the Cambridge International Corpus to build a conversation management syllabus. The four macro-functions identified are: organising your own talk; taking account of the other speaker(s); listenership; and managing the conversation as a whole. Part of the problem of using a corpus of naturally occurring speech is that such conversations rarely fit the ideal textbook format of 50-word snippets. The authors suggest strategies for overcoming these problems, illustrating them with examples taken from their Touchstone series. Read on »
From the same collection as From Corpus to Classroom, Reppen’s book is the perfect introduction to corpus linguistics from the classroom viewpoint. One possible quibble could be that the book is quite short, but even that can be seen as an advantage: it leaves the reader hungry for more.
The book follows the popular American textbook format: there are grey “Your turn” boxes at regular intervals to encourage active reading; and each chapter starts with an outline in the form of questions and ends with a brief recap of what has been learnt. This makes navigation easy, and the index is also quite useful, although sometimes frustrating: Word Pilot sounds fascinating but, alas, the only mention of it is to be found in the index, whereas Voice Walker is mentioned in the text, but is absent from both the index and the software list in Appendix B.
The book is divided into five chapters. The first provides a rapid review of what a corpus is, and what different types of corpora there are. From the beginning, the text is easy to read and abundantly illustrated, with examples of word frequency lists, KWIC (key word in context) concordance lines, screen shots of online corpora, and concrete examples of exercises based on corpus data or using corpora. Read on »
English Language Teaching Materials: Theory and Practice
English Language Teaching Materials: Theory and Practice is a very useful book for all teachers of English as a foreign language, and especially for experienced teachers looking for more specialised help with lesson planning or understanding course content. In addition, it is a great tool for those involved with (or considering involvement with) materials writing. The teaching materials covered in the book are wide-ranging and not just limited to textbooks. Of course, textbooks are covered, but so are realia, worksheets, specific exercises, and the methodology for using these materials. The book also covers the production and publication of materials.
The book is divided into chapters, in this case each written by a different author or group of authors. All the contributors to this work are practising teachers or academics from university departments, covering a range of English-speaking countries. Some names will also be familiar to those readers who often read research papers about EFL.
This last point is significant because the content of the book is very academic. The chapters are written more like journal articles than book chapters. Because of this, I would say that while the book is of use to all teachers of EFL, for those who are newer to the profession or those who do not have so much academic knowledge of language and language teaching, it may be quite heavy-going.
At the end of each chapter, there are points for discussion and other such tasks designed to enable the reader to reflect upon what they have just read and to give the reader a chance to put into practice the ideas and content of the chapter. Read on »
The TKT (the Teaching Knowledge Test) is a Cambridge ESOL test about teaching English to speakers of other languages and aims to provide teachers, both experienced and less experienced, with the tools and confidence to develop their knowledge and skills. No formal qualifications or preparation courses are required to take the test, but Cambridge recommend an intermediate or B1 (CEFR) level of English.
The TKT consists of three core modules, each of which is tested separately, on language and background to language learning and teaching (Module 1), planning lessons and use of resources for language teaching (Module 2) and managing the teaching and learning process (Module 3). In addition, there are three other optional modules, TKT Practical, TKT Knowledge About Language, and TKT Content And Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). Read on »
My favorite kind of professional text is books of practical techniques that are full of thoughtful, creative and interactive language tasks and activities. These kinds of books can range greatly in quality and usefulness, however. The most notable exception is the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers series, guided by Scott Thornbury. Like all the other valuable contributions to teachers’ professional libraries that Cambridge has produced, Wisniewska’s Learning One-to-One does not disappoint. As the title succinctly indicates, this is a book for ESL/EFL instructors who work individually with learners, in person or at a distance. It fills a gaping hole in the field today, as many teachers have been trained to teach classes of English language learners (ELLs) but are being asked to pull learners out of mainstream courses for one-on-one support or to teach an individual online. This text orients teachers to both of those two types of environments, as well as the intellectual shifts necessary to teach one individual well.
After a brief introduction to this instructional format and its challenges, the book has two large sections entitled “Basic Principles” and “Activities”. These are followed by references and a slightly annotated list of useful websites. The text also includes a CD-ROM of photocopiable worksheets. Read on »
Teaching English Language Learners through Technology
The number of books on computer-assisted language learning or technology-based language learning has increased dramatically in the last two or three years. It seems like everyone now working in teaching methodology or preparing books for teachers has to complete or reshape the topic just a bit and “computerize” or “technologize” their titles. I have to say that by the time I received this book I had already reviewed many similar ones, at least in title and contents, so when I first opened this volume I was wondering whether I would really find anything new here. One heading that immediately caught my attention was “Not all ELLs [English Language Learners] are the same” (p. 32), about when and how to teach with technology. That was indeed new! In a way, I feel the same about the rest of this volume – it is not only another book on the topic, but also very versatile and adaptable to each individual’s needs.
The book is divided into three main sections. The first part (titled “Your English Language Learner”) consists of eight chapters, and each addresses different aspects of teaching needs or realities of different students such as the process of second language learning and teaching, the features of the best TESOL programs, how to orientate bilingual education, adjustment to different kinds of learners (one of my favorite parts of the book), technology-based language Read on »
Teaching and Researching Computer-Assisted Language Learning
Teaching and Researching Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) was first released in 2003 but it has been revised and the second edition has just been released. For anyone who wants to conduct research or just has an interest in CALL, then this book is definitely a must have. There are so many CALL books out there and a large number of them are bogged down with large amounts of technological terminology that only the tech-savvy can actually understand. Thankfully this edition is not like that. Tech terms are explained in a very clear and easy-to-understand manner, and it is very interesting even if you know nothing about the world of CALL.
The book opens with a very detailed Table of Contents which enables you to find specific information and makes it possible for you to find what you are looking for very quickly. You don’t need to skim through every chapter as the contents are well set out and clearly labeled. Following the Contents is the Introduction, which I recommend reading as it contains a brief look into the world of CALL and outlines the book’s contents. Read on »
At first glance I thought this book would be another book about the recent TEFL buzzword “CLIL” that left me with more questions than answers. Luckily I was wrong. The book answered and resolved many of the doubts that I was harboring about Content and Language Integrated Learning.
The book CLIL draws on the extensive knowledge and experience of the authors to give a comprehensive overview of Content and Language Integrated Learning. It is divided broadly into three sections: the background to CLIL, classroom practice and, ways of sustaining and critically assessing CLIL.
It is written with Pre-school, Primary, Secondary and Vocational levels in mind and is divided into eight chapters. Each chapter deals with a relevant theme in CLIL, from an introduction to CLIL in the first chapter, to the last chapter on future directions. Read on »
Although I already have a thousand things I know I should be doing to develop my teaching (reading those books stacked up in my bedroom might be a start, and volunteering to be observed is always valuable torture), I was so intrigued by the idea of a whole book full of ideas on how to keep developing that I picked this title out of all the interesting-looking ones that Delta Publishing were offering in 2009. My main questions when I read through it were how much it would affect my development, what other kinds of people the book might be interesting for, and whether anyone would really want to read a whole book on the topic. Read on »
Provoking Thought is a resource book for ESL/EFL teachers. The book is divided into 5 chapters – Thinking, Memory, Creativity, Critical Thinking and Organizing Ideas on Paper. The unique aspect of the activities in this book is that the author, Hall Houston, hasn’t just created activities to get the students to use new language. The activities he has chosen also make the students think about how they use language in general while teaching them ways to make the language learning process easier. The exercises How We Learn New Words and Learning Phrases in the memory chapter of the book are particularly helpful for the latter.
Every chapters starts with a brief explanation to why the particular topic is important to language learning. The author however only gives essential information. It’s not too detailed and heavy, but is enough to raise awareness and get you interested. Should you then want to read more into the topic, you can revert to the extensive bibliography and recommended websites sections at the back of the book. Read on »
How to get these books We do not sell books that we review. To help you in locating any book you may wish to buy, we list the publisher and (more recently) the ISBN (International Standard Book Number). You can use these to search for how to buy the book from your country. Generally, a quick search for the ISBN alone will throw up a number of suitable options. Note that the ISBN may refer to only one component of the title under review.