Children Learning English

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4 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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Children Learning English

Jayne Moon

Macmillan Heinemann English Language T
eaching

ISBN


0
-
435
-
24096
-
X



Children Learning English

was first published in 2000
.

It is

part
o
f the Teacher
Development

Series by Macmillan and was edited by Adrian Underhill.

These books
have as their hallmark a balance
of insightful

theory with experienced practice. This
book is no exception.



In the introduction the book states that it is a book:



Which provides insights into the special characteristics; abilities and atti
tudes
children bring to the classroom.



Which helps you to think about how you can learn from children and make use
of this information in planning your teaching and your work with children



Which offers you ideas and frameworks for teaching English as optio
ns to
consider carefully in relation to your own context



Which encourages you to develop yourself as a teacher.


It continues to state that it is
not



a book of teaching tips, though it does contain teaching ideas for you to consider
and try out



a book fo
r beginning teachers



a book which recommends a universal method for teaching children.

(

Moon,
page vii)


The book is divided into 12 chapters and each one
follows the same format. There is a
cartoon which exposes the problem to be addressed in the chap
ter in a
light
-
hearted

way. This is followed by the aims of the chapter

-

usually four or five.

For the most part the subsections of the chapters begin with a context

usually a story
about a primary teacher from another country.

This contextualisation is

maintained

throughout so rather than stating that children have difficulty staying in their seats for a
long time, we read that


Nino, a primary teacher, is describing some of this pupils:

Mario can’t sit still or concentrate


(page 26)


This
continuous

contextualisation
of course
reflects current theories of language
learning.

Moreover, i
t make
s

the reading of the complex issues involved in teaching
language to children far more
digestible
.


So with the issue stated the
author
then
ask
s

the reader to c
onsider how s/he would deal
with the problem


or what s/he would have done in that situation.
And this is not done
in using any academic rhetoric


it’s direct and bounces off the page


What challenges have you faced in dealing with classes of varying a
bilities?

(page 27)



T
his reader found herself answering the questions before moving on to the author’s
suggestions.
I would have like to have space within the book to note down my answers


especially as I think it is useful to look at these kind of t
asks over time


and to see
whether answers changes or not.

Next there are tasks. These tasks are all based around situations that will be familiar to
anyone who has taught (hence the note above that the book is not for beginner teachers).

That is th
e situations are familiar


but the task itself may not be.

For example in the chapter on supporting children ‘s language learning the task is to
analyse a tape script of a Malaysian teacher and to notice the pieces of support which
the teacher offers to
the pupils and to mark on the transcript whether the degree or
quantity or support was just right, too much or insufficient.
I’m not sure that many
teachers have ever had to analyse tapescripts!
However, it is an interesting way to
expose different forms o
f linguistic and non
-
linguistic support that the teacher can
offer.


Th
e task then is
followed by a
detailed

commentary in which the author gives her own
suggestions and sums up the subsection in a clear,
concise

way.

Each chapter then ends with a refer
ence section. This is far more
manageable, and
consequently useful
than a full bibliography at the end of the book.

Reflecting her own experience the author

takes us far away from Eur
ope

in this book


we hear about teachers in Colombia in Malaysia, in In
dia.

This is refreshing and is own
experience and is

refreshing as are the examples (tapecripts, situations) from real
teachers and real schools.

I have used
parts of it on

teacher training courses and the

activities work
ed successfully
with participants
reflecting and thinking about their practice.


The book is about reflection and this begins on the first page and goes right up to the
last page


where we are asked to reflect on why we were reading the book in the first
place. It’s therefore not really
a book to read from cover to cover


more one to dip into
and to read occasionally.


A useful addition to the thinking practioner’s bookshelf.


Reviewed by Niki Joseph


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