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Question About Books

 
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mcloo7



Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 422
Location: Hangzhou

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:33 am    Post subject: Question About Books Reply with quote

Im reading one of the ESL books that seemed to be highly touted on this board and am finding it to be extremely empty of any helpful advice on how to actually teach. It seems as if the author actually came up with stupid lists, and diagrams just so he could fill up space in the book. I'm looking for a book that teaches you how to teach English, and more importantly what to teach, rather than a book about theory. I wont say the name of the book in case it actually turns out to be decent because I don't want to give it any unfair criticism. But so far, it doesn't seem like a very good book.

The most meaningful language course that I ever took was a French class in college. The teacher was an older Frenchman. There was no book in the class. All that we ever did was write down a bunch of sentences that the teacher wrote on the board, and we would have to go home and translate them. By the end of the course, I felt like I was almost fluent in French. I want to learn how to teach like that--- not necessarily in the literal sense but I want my students to actually learn from my classes. Any suggestions?
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you think the book is crap then its not unfair criticism. People review books all the time for the benefit of others who might be considering making a purchase. If you criticized it without having read it that 's unfair. Without naming the book it's pretty hard for anyone to help you out here.

Last edited by Javelin of Radiance on Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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mcloo7



Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 422
Location: Hangzhou

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, fair enough. The book is Learning Teaching. I just didn't want to criticize it by name yet, because I'm only about a hundred pages into it, and it could turn out to be better.
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it'snotmyfault



Joined: 14 May 2012
Posts: 527

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of schools use some of the following textbooks

Interchange
Cutting Edge
Face2Face

There's loads more too, but if you can get a copy of a teachers book for one of these (try downloading one, they're quite pricey). They're usually full of practical tips, some of them virtually walk you through the lesson, holding your hand.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2668
Location: China

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like as not you will get a job teaching Oral English. This means giving students the opportunity to speak, either by forming their own English sentences or dialogues.
An intermediate step is to have class book that has simple dialogues that students can read from. Once their confidence levels are up wean them off the book to their own self formed speech.
The dialogues should comprise 5 or 6 speeches for each 'actor'.
I don't like New Interchange as dialogues are fat to short and cultural bias heavily USA.
'My names is Charles, but you can call me Chuck' etc.
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Songbird



Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Posts: 601
Location: State of Chaos, Panic & Disorder...

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this the 'Learning Teaching' by Scrivener? Well, that book is on pretty much every ESL teachers bookshelf, as well as being the number 1 reading for CELTA and associated courses.

You could try 'The Practice of English Language Teaching' by Jeremy Harmer. Though if you weren't happy with the above, you probably wouldn't like this one either!

BTW, these are not MEANT to give you lessons, or starters etc. They're about methodology, various ways of approaching teaching, ideas to get you in the right direction for lesson planning, assessment, classroom management etc.

Cambridge have a very good series of books covering a range of teaching areas, and include activites and ideas for, say, business students, 5 minute activities, grammar etc. Have a look on Amazon. I should warn though, they're not cheap! I've bought a few, but a number of them have been passed down to me over the years of teaching.

As "Itsnotmyfault" mentioned, Interchange is used by a number of schools and is actually a very good series. You would have to work out what level your students would be at of course but they're available in every major bookshop in China, and a new edition has just been released (anyone know if this is available in China yet??). The Teachers Edition is excellent, gives you a walkthrough of each lesson, with the Student Book printed alongside.
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Learning Teaching is possibly one of the best EFL books Ive seen. And as songbird has posted above me ... its a staple really.

mcloo - there is a difference between 'how to teach' and 'what to teach'. The early chapters do focus more on things like classroom management and who are the learners, but in my copy ... 'planning lessons and courses' is chapter 6, with 'speaking' chapter 7, and 'receptive skills' in chapter 8. Those chapters have more in terms of usable classroom content, and will help you understand how to use the resources in the back of the book.

Learning Teaching is a great book for understanding how to teach, and although it has some resources, it isnt a 'what to teach' book like a coursebook or textbook. In fairness, that great teacher you want to emulate probably read and understood lots of books like Learning Teaching, had lots of training, and tons and tons of experience. Thats why you admired them so. Reading the right books is one of the first steps on a long journey brother.

edited to add - just looking at my copy of the book. On page 52 of my edition it shows step by step, how to run an information gap task. It includes a stage by stage plan and thats about the best instruction you are likely to see on 'how to teach and what to teach' IMHO. If its not page 52 in your version look up 'information gap' in the index.
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