'Knowing me, knowing
you - Classroom activities to develop learning strategies
and stimulate conversation'
by Jim Wingate
(Delta Publishing/English Teaching Professional)
Review written by David Holden,
Teacher Trainer at the BLC in Madrid
Knowing you is a resource book for teachers to use
in the classroom with a collection of activities laid out
in six main sections: Teaching and Learning, which
encourages students to think about their attitudes to teaching
and learning, The Brain, which enables students to
think about their thinking methods and learning styles, Sensory
Learning, which introduces ideas from Neuro-Linguistic
Programming, Intelligence, which deals with Multiple
Intelligences and two final sections, Future Planning
and Me and Others which provide fluency-based speaking
activities with a strong humanistic focus.
The book is very
clearly laid out and organised with an atttractive print style.
After a clear,concise introduction,each section is broken
down into a series of activities ( 29 in all) each with a
clear photocopiable Worksheet on the left-hand page
and Teaching Notes on the right.
I found the Teaching
Notes extremely helpful with the Aim of each activity
, useful hints for the teacher, methodology and clear indications
for level clearly laid out and easily accessible.
The first section
Teaching and Learning encourages students to think
about their individual learning styles and preferences and
to consider their attitudes towards teaching and learning.
I found the worksheets on attitudes and preferences particularly
useful, particularly the Toxic Teaching activity ( no.6) which
required students to think about opposites to "rules"
like "It is the students' fault if they do not learn",
or "The teacher's job is to tell students what to feel
and think." The only caveat I would make would be to
suggest that more reference to the context in which students
are learning English, for example their education system,
would be useful. Although designed for whole class and group
discussion, many of the worksheets would be equally suitable
for a one-to-one discussion of a student's needs, either as
part of a pre-course needs analysis or during a tutorial.
The second, third
and fourth sections are where I personally found the material
to be newer and more intellectually stimulating:
In the second section, The Brain activities cover left
vs. right brain specialisation. I felt that in this section
along with the others which dealt with newer ideas there was
maybe space for providing the students themselves with a mini
text or least the actual keys/ Notes provided in the Teaching
Notes because many students would actually benefit from more
access to and discussion of the ideas. Of course, a teacher
using the activities can provide extra listening or reading
texts when necessary.
the third section, uses questionnaires to do with study techniques
and learning styles to cover ideas to do with Neuro-Linguistic
Programming. For example, students find out if they are Visual,
Auditory or Kinaesthetic learners. This relates to how people
take in information through their five senses. VAKOG ( Visual,
Auditory, Kinaesthetic, Olfactory and Gustatory ).
The fourth section,
Intelligence, does the same with different types of
intelligence - Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Spatial-Visual,
Bodily-Kinaesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal
and Naturalist with useful questionnaires and activities.
I found this section to both very useful and productive.
The last two sections
have a nice selection of self-awareness building, group dynamic
type activities. For example activity number 29 encourages
students to find out what kind of team member they are.
Overall, I was
impressed by Knowing Me, Knowing You. You can
find useful and stimulating activities which develop your
students' spoken fluency and raise their awareness of learning
English. As a teacher you can learn about YOUR own styles
and preferences and develop accordingly. A book which is very
recommendable for use in the classroom and for your own development.
the book review index
the Books Page