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Source Reviewed:

: McDonough, J. & Shaw, C. (2003). Materials and methods in ELT: A teacher’s guide. (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Audience:

Teachers of English as a second or a foreign language.

Topic:

Language Learning and Related Issues

Description:

The authors address the following topics: ESL material design; material analysis and evaluation; ways of adapting materials for effective teaching; teaching strategies; learning styles; and classroom management.
The book presents current trends in the field of second/foreign language teaching methodology and discusses them in relation to material development. McDonoough and Shaw highlight principles and assumptions adopted from the field of applied linguistics, that underlay the content of teaching materials, and show how such views are operationalized through the activities and practices included in text books and course wear. Addressing the four different skills, (reading; writing; speaking and listening) the authors thoroughly discuss various teaching strategies and material designs providing readers with practical knowledge to guide them to analyze, understand and evaluates various language teaching materials. Moreover, and what might be most useful for teachers since the perfect material for all learners is rarely found, the book includes a comprehensive chapter on reasons for, and ways of manipulating materials to better fit particular learners and contexts.


Strengths:

*It is theory-practice oriented reference book that is practical and user friendly.
•Useful for all language levels and contexts.
•Empowers teachers by providing them with deeper understanding of the logic behind the package of activities included in their teaching materials; and thus it enables them to become well-informed classroom managers rather than simply be consumers of materials.
•Includes practical tasks into texts that enable readers to gain the skills to make informed decisions about their use of teaching materials as well as their everyday classroom practices.
•A list of further readings is provided at the end of each chapter to assist in further investigating the issues discussed.


Weaknesses:

None

Comments:

It is an up-to-date compact reference useful for ESL teachers of all levels.

Your Recommendations:

I recommend that teachers read and use this book as a tool in understanding and evaluating their teaching materials.

Submitted by: Hana El-Fiki

 

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