Skills: Writing

Review ~ Email English
Reviewed Jun 2013 by Adam Simpson
Email English

Email English

On very few occasions during a teacher’s career will they find a book that is universally hailed by educators and learners alike as a fantastic, indispensable resource. When Macmillan first delivered Paul Emmerson’s Email English back in 2004, it found immediate success in tapping into a market that had been crying out for a title devoted to this still emerging form of communication. Now, almost a decade on, what changes have been made to this classic text, and, importantly, how has this book adapted itself to meet the current conventions of email communication?

Like its predecessor, this second edition of Email English is primarily for learners of Business English who need supplementary support in the fine tuning of their writing of effective emails, as well as developing their social media communication (although by no means is it limited to this niche; as it is equally useful for General English). Perhaps the clearest benefit of Email English is that it is based on countless real life examples, systematically presenting its users with key language for constructing effective and convincing emails, as well as developing an appropriate style for interacting on the likes of Facebook and Twitter. This feeling of working with authentic email communication is something that shone through in the first edition. This thankfully remains the case with this updated version.
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Review ~ Genres across the Disciplines
Reviewed Apr 2013 by Adam Simpson
Genres across the Disciplines

Genres across the Disciplines

Why do university students write? What are they expected to write? To what extent do academics understand the process of setting a writing assignment, and – significantly – how proficient are they in creating appropriate prompts to elicit the kind of writing they expect? On first reading, none of these questions seem that demanding, nor might you expect them to have interesting answers. Nevertheless, it is precisely with such issues that Genres across the Disciplines concerns itself.

Those aspiring to read this title should know that it is intended for a fairly select audience. If, say, you’re currently doing an MA and at some point need to analyse student writing, this title will be at the top of your wish list. Indeed, it is with such an audience in mind, along with those tasked with preparing and assessing a writing-related curriculum and/or materials design, that this title has been written. As such, it presents the reader with what is ostensibly an unparalleled, forward-looking, corpus-based body of research into contemporary student writing in higher education.
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50 Steps to Improving Your Academic Writing

50 Steps to Improving Your Academic Writing

50 Steps to Improving Your Academic Writing offers students a step-by-step guide for creating well written and well-structured academic appropriate writings for non-native speakers of English. While addressing issues to writing and common problems students face when understanding the various steps involved in creating quality writing including: avoiding plagiarism, the differences in academic writing versus other forms of writing, using unfamiliar words, and other special topics necessary to create solid work. Speakers of other languages are able to focus on their specific needs and goals in order to improve their academic writing and the book is a great academic aid for students and teachers alike.

50 Steps to Improving Your Academic Writing is, as stated in the introduction, “…primarily intended for students who are new to or inexperienced in academic writing (5)” and focuses on university-level academic writing. It is primarily a self-study book made for students to use on their own, but teachers can also use it to help plan lessons.
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Review ~ Writing from Within 1 Teacher’s Manual
Reviewed Jun 2012 by Margaret Bade
Writing from Within 1 Teacher’s Manual

Writing from Within 1 Teacher’s Manual

Writing from Within 1 Teacher’s Manual, written by Arlen Gargaliano and Curtis Kelly and published by Cambridge University Press in 2012, is an essential accompaniment to Writing from Within 1, the first of a two-level writing series for high-beginning (A2) students. Not only is its content indispensable to the teachers, with its comprehensive overview of each of the twelve units, but extensive guidelines for dealing with each unit of the Student’s Book are given, as well as the answer keys for the exercises.

The Teacher’s Manual is a slim 63-page paperback, smaller in size than the Student’s Book, containing, in addition to the things mentioned above, the contents page and a two-page plan of the Student’s Book. According to the authors, its main purpose is to give specific ideas
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Review ~ Writing from Within 1
Reviewed Jun 2012 by Margaret Bade
Writing from Within 1

Writing from Within 1

Writing from Within 1, written by Curtis Kelly and Arlen Gargagliano and published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press, is designed to be used by teachers to teach their students at high-beginner level how to generate topics and develop their ideas into one- and two-paragraph compositions. Teachers could use the book as a supplementary resource for their usual coursebook, or, indeed, as a stand-alone coursebook for a writing course for low-level learners. Writing from Within 1 prepares students for a variety of writing assignments in its clearly-formatted twelve units, each ten pages long and including a model for each writing assignment, self-reflection and optional “fun” writing activities.
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Review ~ Engaging Writing 1 + 2
Reviewed Feb 2012 by Sara Randrianasolo
Engaging Writing

Engaging Writing

Engaging Writing: Essential Skills for Academic Writing 1 andare designed to teach academic writing skills, with the two texts comprising a total of eleven thematic chapters. Topics range from level one’s accomplishments, occupations, and growing up in different cultures to level two’s units on role models, culture, identity, and homeland, and marriage and family. The textbook is designed for students of American English who have attained an intermediate (level one) to high intermediate or low advanced (level two) proficiency level.

Engaging Writing 1 contains six chapters, each of which begins with a reading and is followed by sections on the writing process and revising. The text does a fine job of preparing students for the respective reading passages
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Teaching Spelling to English Language Learners

Teaching Spelling to English Language Learners

Teaching spelling has long been deemed a daunting task by ESL instructors. Frequently considered a chore at best, the presentation of orthographic rules and patterns is often sidestepped in the wake of more important class-time affairs. Johanna Stirling aims to shed light on the importance, and perhaps, ease of spelling instruction in Teaching Spelling to English Language Learners.

The text is written for teachers of adult English Language Learners, although the author points out that teachers of young learners and native English speakers would also benefit from the presented methodologies. Divided into sections, this guide deals with the problems associated with teaching spelling, and offers solutions to those problems through pedagogically focused activities.
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Review ~ Writing to Communicate
Reviewed Jan 2010 by William Peters, Ph.D.
Writing to Communicate

Writing to Communicate

Designed for intermediate level students, these books are plainly written with a lot of sound and timeless good sense about clear writing. Engaging and illustrated with scores of telling examples, these plainspoken how-to books identify those qualities that most typically distinguish good writing from bad and provide practical measures for avoiding common pitfalls.

Some key tips given in the books are: do’s and don’ts for achieving concision, clarity, and flow; pointers on using punctuation; writing gracefully; citing sources; and structuring essay writing. There are tons of lessons and assignments here that you can use in class from the day you get the book as the lessons are very straightforward and easy to use. Each writing strand has its own chapter divided into a set of lessons that help you teach any of the major writing genres, including persuasive essays, literary essay
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