Learning Teaching: The Essential Guide for EL Teaching – Book Review

Posted by claudio on August 29, 2014 in Book Reviews |

Learning Teaching: The Essential Guide to English Language TeachingLearning Teaching: The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching has been around for more than 20 years and is still one of the most popular TEFL books. There is a DVD included with all the sample lessons as well as demonstrations of the teaching techniques taught in the book.

Chapter 1 is mostly aimed at teachers just starting out. It explains the role of a teacher and methods of teaching English as a second/foreign language.

Chapter 2 deals with how to plan and deliver classroom activities, explaining the benefits of pair- and group-work.

Chapter 3 is a comprehensive view at classroom management. It ranges from seating arrangements and monitoring the classroom to giving instructions and using the board effectively.

Chapter 4 of Learning Teaching: The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching is titled “Who are the learners?” and explains the difference between individual and group lessons, how to assess the level of your students, and how to get feedback from them.

Chapter 5 introduces language analysis. It provides a good introduction on grammar and vocabulary.

Chapter 6 teaches how to best plan your lessons and courses for maximum success.

Chapter 7 goes into details of teaching grammar with a good explanation of what grammar really is. It introduces the reader to activities that makes learning grammar fun and exciting for your students.

Chapter 8 shows how to teach lexis (compared to just teaching vocabulary) and is based on The Lexical Approach by Michael Lewis. This chapter contains practical activities and games to ensure students will remember lexical items.

Chapter 9 and 10 deal with the four basic language skills, broken into two parts: productive skills (speaking, writing) and receptive skills (listening, reading). As in other chapters, the emphasis is on interactive classroom activities with practical examples.

Chapter 11 covers phonology and pronunciation. It teaches the importance of sounds, word-stress, and connected speech.

Chapter 12 is a focus on language. It shows how to utilize a learners first language, how to correct errors, and how to use dictionaries most effectively.

Chapter 13 provides an overview of the different classes you might encounter: from young learners to teenagers to adults, from exam classes to large groups to business English. This chapter covers pretty much any scenario that you will come across at one time or another in your teaching career.

Chapter 14 introduces technology in the classroom. In today’s classrooms, you will often find interactive whiteboards and projection devices. This chapter shows how to best utilize these technologies effectively.

Chapter 15 is a collection of tools, techniques, and activities that will help you make your classes fun and exciting for your students: flash cards, picture stories, songs and music, drama, projects, and many more.

Chapter 16 finishes the book with closing comments and the question “What’s next?” It explains the importance of continued education to keep your teaching skills fresh and shows ways how to study your own teaching.

Why I recommend Learning Teaching: The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching?

Learning Teaching: The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching is the most comprehensive, well written TEFL book I have read. It helps beginners with a structured approach and many samples on DVD as much as it is a reference manual providing inspiration and ideas for experienced teachers.


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