Language Teaching - An Anthology of Current Practice
Ed. Jack Richards
& Willy Renandya
Review written by Thomas
in Language Teaching is an anthology
of articles that 'seeks to provide an overview of current
approaches, issues, and practices in the teaching of English
to speakers of other languages'. The introduction then goes
on tell us that the anthology is relevant to just about any
teaching situation imaginable - quite a claim.
All of the articles
have been published in the last ten years by a wide range
of authors from the very well known, such as Nunan, Douglas
Brown, Richards, Swan, Ellis, Field, Raimes & Ur, to a
host of lesser known writers. In total there are fourty one
articles in sixteen sections. Each section begins with an
introduction of the articles from the editors plus a series
of pre and post-reading discussion questions, making the book
useful for the teacher development group, training course
and the individual reader.
All of the articles
are well-chosen but some of the more interesting ones to catch
to Teaching' section opens the book with an article by Douglas
Brown that attempts to pin down the 'principled approach'
by listing twelve commonly held principles.
Learning' by Jacobs & Hall is a very practical look at
helping form & develop the group in the classroom.
Tiered Tasks & Bias Tasks' by Bowler & Parminter provides
some guidelines on making their reading & listening coursebook
material more flexible in order to cater for the individual
within the group.
Language Teaching' by Beglar & Hunt looks at a twelve
week task-based project.
Strategies in a Nutshell: Update & ESL Suggestions' by
Oxford provides just what it says by drawing on research from
within & without the field. The suggestions are very practical
Training in the Classroom: An Action Research Study' by Nunan
describes the methods used to help his students reflect on
the learning process that did 'lead to greater sensitivity
to the learning process over time'.
The 'Teaching Grammar'
section summarises current approaches to grammar teaching
with articles by Swan, Richards & an article by Ellis
The 'Teaching Pronunciation'
contains two articles which try to cover a lot of ground but
there is room for a couple more articles here.
There are then
sections on the four major skills, vocabulary & assessment
with the book finishing with 'Technologies in the Classroom'
& 'Professional Development' sections.
The anthology does
have something for everyone, which is where some might feel
it falls down. The less experienced teacher may find some
of the articles overwhelming while the more experienced teacher
may find some of them fairly basic. This shouldn't put you
off though as there is more than enough to keep everyone happy.
Although the content
is by far sufficient you can feel even better about buying
Methodology in Language Teaching even before you have
opened the cover as all royalties from the book go towards
scholarships for English language teachers from South East
Asian countries to attend in-service courses offered at the
Regional Language Centre in Singapore. Overall an essential
buy for the practising teacher.
the book review index
the Books Page