Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Really useful introduction
on 17 May 2014
Jim Scrivener’s “Learning Teaching” is an excellent introductory guide to teaching English as a foreign language that achieves what many text books find so difficult: it can be read “cover to cover” without getting dull or dry; and it can be used as a reference book for ideas and examples. Scrivener’s tone is supportive - you get the sense that if you asked him about a problem you were having, he would begin with a comforting “ah, yes, that can be difficult ...” before coming up with some ideas to help. This is important because it allows him to avoid being prescriptive and gives space for the readers’ own choices and preferences.
The layout is logical and the text easy to follow. The world of English Language Teaching is rife with TLAs (three letter acronyms) and yet somehow he manages to make this bewildering range of terms seem natural and you do understand what he is talking about at all times. Best of all, it appears to be based on real experience rather than some theoretical ideal class who respond in just they way you would want them to in class.
Two very minor gripes - towards the end he switches from giving the answers to tasks from the more helpful “in text” to the less helpful “at the end of the book” for no discernable reason. I also found a couple of clear typographical errors which is a bit naughty for a book on English language (regrettably, I didn’t note the exact references but they were in the first couple of chapters).
The accompanying DVD is helpful with some useful resources, although there are books that are more dedicated to providing resources and these are more by way of example. Useful nevertheless.
The book will certainly be a great help to anyone studying TEFL (see what I mean about the acronyms?) but even more useful as preparation reading to read before embarking on study. It’s a widely recommended book by courses including CELTA - it’s not hard to see why.