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The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) Paperback – 31 May 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Whilst I did find some of the information plain common sense it is still a 'must read' to get a foot up in the world of TEFL/TESOL
Peculiarly enough, Harmer's other book, 'How to teach English' is probably the best introduction to English teaching. It's compact and leads to you having a basic understanding of what you should be attempting to do in class.
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..."
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At last teaching can be learned as a science, time for books like this to be consigned to hisstory.
A good book no doubt, thick on pages and little said. Read more
The book for professionals and teachers about language theory and language teaching. EvaPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
A great book on teaching methodology, with a range of useful tips on classroom management for any teacher. I always use this book as my primary reference for classroom management.Published 11 months ago by Skulldac