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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.



Happy Teacher’s Day (Jan. 16)

Posted by claudio on January 16, 2014 in Teaching in Thailand |

To all the teachers in Thailand:  enjoy the Teacher’s Day and let yourself be celebrated! Today, the 16th of January, Teacher’s Day (วันครู) is celebrated throughout Thailand.  It’s a special day and most schools are closed to honor teachers for their contribution to society. The first Teachers’ Day was held in 1957; the date was chosen as it marks […]


The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide – Review

Posted by claudio on November 29, 2013 in Book Reviews |

The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide is full of practical strategies that can be immediately implemented in the classroom. Experienced English teachers will benefit from this book as much as people who are just starting out. It is well organized. The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide includes much relevant information about teaching English as a second/foreign language. Part 1 starts with the […]


Being a Novice Monk at a Thai Funeral

Posted by claudio on July 15, 2013 in Living in Thailand |

At first I was hesitant when I was asked to be a Novice Monk for a Thai funeral for two reasons: I’m not exactly what you would consider a religious person, and I wasn’t too keen on getting my head and eyebrows shaved. My eyebrows are one of my most defining features and just the […]


TEFL For Dummies – Book Review

Posted by claudio on May 29, 2013 in Book Reviews |

TEFL for Dummies is a comprehensive, well written book. If you are familiar with other books in the “for Dummies” series, you know that they are not really dumbed down books. I consider them typically well written and organized with useful information on the book’s subject. TEFL for Dummies is mainly written for people who are starting […]


A Cola War Made in Thailand

Posted by claudio on April 19, 2013 in Living in Thailand |

Is the Cola War really over as  reported a while back in the article How Pepsi Lost Cola War Against Coke?  Not in Thailand, where a new chapter has just begun. Last November a new cola brand appeared in shops and restaurants all over the country. est – the Beverage that Reignites the Cola War in […]

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