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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Practice of English Language Teaching
New to teaching English, I bought this book in preparation for the CELTA course which I'm about to start. It was on the pre-course reading list and I had heard that it is one of the most popular and highly recommended books for English teaching methodology.

Of course I am yet to use the book into the context of the CELTA course - but having now read a good...
Published on 8 Oct 2009 by Amazon shopaholic

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and insightful
As part of my CELTA course, this book was recommended.
This is a useful reference book to learn the background to language teaching, some key concepts and explores ideas of language teaching. It doesn't recommend as much as mention what methods are used. It is a quite an objective and informative book and does cover a comprehensive set of topic areas in...
Published on 3 Oct 2010 by Moonflower


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Practice of English Language Teaching, 8 Oct 2009
This review is from: The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) (Paperback)
New to teaching English, I bought this book in preparation for the CELTA course which I'm about to start. It was on the pre-course reading list and I had heard that it is one of the most popular and highly recommended books for English teaching methodology.

Of course I am yet to use the book into the context of the CELTA course - but having now read a good chunk of it (1/3) I can say that it is very thorough and detailed in its explanation and approach.... But if anything it is sometimes too wordy. Coming from a business background, and being used to reading business books, I would have appreciated more diagrams and charts to explain things where possible and cut down on the volume of text- I find visual representation (diagrams, graphs, chart etc), backed up with some text can provide a speedier way for a reader to grasp a methodology or a concept without getting too bogged down in pages and pages of text - the old adage: a pictures speaks a thousand words.
Definitely a worthwhile read though if you are going the CELTA route.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Practical, 26 Dec 2009
By 
Steve Keen "therealus" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) (Paperback)
Another recommended text for CELTA, but one I never got round to reading until I'd completed the course. Believe me, in retrospect I can say that if you're doing the course it's worth reading beforehand, even if it's just so you know some of the answers when you start, but mostly so some of the concepts don't come new to you and you can ask some smarter questions.

Harmer is, of course, one of the "names" in ELT writing, and on the basis of this work it's easy to see why. And not only is the content here highly practical for "Teaching English as a Lingua Franca", as he convincingly argues it should be called, some would be of value to any teacher, with general sections regarding learning styles, lesson structures and classroom management, to name just a few. I also found it useful in structuring my own approach to learning a "second language" myself.

For the language specialist, there are sections on language acquisition, different approaches to presentation, motivation, types of learner and teacher, and alternative theories and approaches to paradigms such as PPP (Presentation, Practice, Production).

There are also some very useful-looking lesson plan ideas, for the range of abilities, skills and learning styles.

As you'd expect, it's not the only book you'll ever need as a teacher, but it's possibly in the category of "If you only have time to read one book about being an English Teacher..."
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and insightful, 3 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) (Paperback)
As part of my CELTA course, this book was recommended.
This is a useful reference book to learn the background to language teaching, some key concepts and explores ideas of language teaching. It doesn't recommend as much as mention what methods are used. It is a quite an objective and informative book and does cover a comprehensive set of topic areas in teaching.
I have found that a lot of the teaching training classes have lessons taken out from this book so definitely worth it for the course! However, it is a little hard to read and you are often trying to read between the lines. I do often find myself asking questions after reading it so things are not as clear as they could be as to which method is generally considered 'better'. This is can be a good thing as it invites the reader to make their own judgements. The author of the book actually teaches at the school I am being trained at. He is a well respected ESL expert and active in the practice.
Though in just my opinion, a lot of what he says could be cut down to a mere few sentences. The book is very long and heavy to carry around. If I were to re-write I would cut out a lot of the author's commentary and side/background information which isn't particularly useful and place them in an appendix (perhaps as a separate booklet) as when you're looking for specific information, there's an awful lot of scanning involved.
I favour Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener which is written much simpler, easy to follow and is more 'modern'. Plus you can go in and out of the book fairly easily.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Practice of English Language Teaching, 13 Sep 2009
This review is from: The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) (Paperback)
Harmer provides very thorough coverage of all the main issues in English Language Teaching. He does not hide the difficulties and problems but provides practical, 'can do' advice to trainees and practicing teachers. The DVD in the new edition shows lessons by a wide range of teachers followed by sympathetic discussions between Harmer and the teachers. This book is essential reading for trainee teachers and a broad and stimulating analysis for experienced practioners. Every reader will find new ideas and thought-provoking consideration of issues. The excellent bibliography directs teachers to further discovery.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Academically thorough..., 4 Nov 2009
By 
Mrs. J. Barnett (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) (Paperback)
A very detailed methodology book that includes all a trainee ELT teacher needs to know complete with academic references. Heavy going in the early chapters around theory and context but worth persevering. The DVD that accompanies it was interesting and useful.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best ELT handbook out there!, 26 May 2009
By 
G. R. STANDISH (Torun, Poland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) (Paperback)
This book is superb! Well-written and everso easy to read. It is jam-packed full of ELT information...including some relatively new techniques (such as Dogme, interactive whiteboards, etc). The DVD featuring real-life lessons followed by a Harmer-led Q&A session with the teachers is a welcome addition. This was defintely at the top of my reading list when I did the DELTA but its also recommended for those taking CELTA.

Highly-recommended. Together with Thornbury...Harmer is most-definetly the King of ELT!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up to date and VERY informative!, 6 Sep 2008
By 
G. R. STANDISH (Torun, Poland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) (Paperback)
Jeremy Harmer has been prominent in the EFL industry for many years. This latest version of his classic 'The Practice of English Language Teaching' is very informative and full of all the neccessary aspects of the EFL industry. It also includes comments on some very modern methods and techniques, such as DOGME EFL, interactive whiteboards and cuisinere rods.

Harmer is very easy to read and is not heavy like some of the earlier English language writers. The DVD is a welcome edition, and though it really doesn't offer anything new it is still enlightening to watch other teachers teach in a real-life classroom situation.

Although, bearing the same title as the 3 previous versions, it is pretty much a whole new book...with a lot of new chapters. So if you do have an older edition, it is still highly recommended to update your library with this one.

The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) is recommended for any teachers wanting to develop their teaching techniques or indeed wanting to take the DELTA course. It is probably too detailed and in depth for CELTA trainees or newly qualified EFL teachers.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Longwinded and frequently vacuous, 18 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) (Paperback)
I am afraid to say that I have to disagree with many of the reviewers who regard this book as thorough and challenging. There is no doubt that Mr. Harmer is enthusiastic and experienced, and indeed does cover a lot of ground in terms of the topics he has chosen to address. However, it seemed at times as if he was working with a huge word limit and taking as scenic and (at times) tortuous a route as possible in order to get there. The fact that he uses almost 500 pages to cover material that could conceivably have been covered in 50 does not enhance the usefulness of his book.

My main criticism is that, despite its obviously good intentions, this book assumes that teachers have no experience whatsoever - which may be fair enough for some - but that this lack of experience also includes ever having been a student at all or ever having learnt, or attempted to learn, another foreign language (which is hopefully a prerequisite for the profession). In addition, the repetitiveness of ideas and considerations that teachers are supposed to internalise here suggests that Mr. Harmer assumes that his readers lack creativity, the ability to think laterally, a basic knowledge of the digital world and the ability to transfer one set of principles to multiple skill areas (ie everything written in the chapter on listening is repeated with different packaging in the chapter on reading). To be honest, if readers are so lacking in initiative and (to be blunt) common sense, then they really don't have much business teaching to begin with.

I do not wish to be over-critical, despite appearances, and would admit that Harmer includes excellent and well-thought out teaching examples (suggesting that he is perhaps better suited to teaching than to writing about teaching). But really, unless you have copious free time and patience, I would choose a more concise or imaginative course book (Scrivener's Learning Teaching for example).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough, 5 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) (Paperback)
Very pleased with this book, had everything I was looking for. This book was recommended to me before starting my CELTA teaching course, as it was supposed to give a decent introduction to ELT for people who hadn't taught before. This absolutely ticked all the boxes, as it helped me in getting up to speed when starting the course.

Well written, not monotonous and geared towards beginners as well as people with more experience. CD was also a nice accompaniment, very good quality. Overall, would thoroughly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful book, 20 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) (Paperback)
Bought for CELTA course, not used it nearly as much as I thought I would but what I've seen of it is good. Be careful with the dvd sleeve if you remove it from the book, the glue used to secure it gets on everything it touches and never comes off, so now I have two textbooks which are tacky to the touch.
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The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers)
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