Magazine article NATE Classroom

Language Knowledge for Primary Teachers (Fourth Edition)

Magazine article NATE Classroom

Language Knowledge for Primary Teachers (Fourth Edition)

Article excerpt

Language Knowledge for Primary Teachers (Fourth Edition)

Angela Wilson and Julie Scanlon

Routledge 2011

ISBN 9780415564809

200 pages 21.99 [pounds sterling]


This book (updated to include the new curriculum) is written for student teachers, and also primary teachers and teaching assistants who lack confidence in their understanding of the language knowledge currently required by government documents and multi-strategy approaches to the teaching of literacy. The authors suggest the teacher's task is 'to help children discover the wonder and excitement and power' (p.xii) of making or sharing a text, and that increasing their own knowledge about language will help them to do that.

The book is written in an informal style, which this reviewer (not being part of the target audience) finds patronizing at times (e.g. 'graphs ... not to be confused with graphs in mathematics' p. 95). Despite the apparent simplicity of style, some of the explanations lack clarity (e.g. Nouns, p. 58). Using paragraphs to describe grammatical features may not be the best way to explain them. The authors make several references to the work of David Crystal, and for me, his layout and clear explanations and examples are much easier to follow, for both the experienced and the novice.

Part 2 gives explanations of the specific knowledge needed at word, sentence and text level, using some texts written for children to highlight grammatical features. …

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