Teaching English Language 16-19

Article excerpt

Teaching English Language 16-19

Martin Illingworth and Nick Hall

Routledge/NATE 2012

ISBN 9780415528252

Paperback 19.99 [pounds sterling], NATE members 15.90 [pounds sterling]

(nate.org.uk/bookshop or email maureen@nate.org.uk)

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The last decade has seen the rapid growth of A level English Language. Over that same time, exciting new university courses in applied language study have left dusty old linguistics modules with diminishing numbers taking them as a thing of the past. The future for the subject certainly appears bright. However, increased student numbers at post-16 have meant that teachers with no background in the subject are frequently required to teach unfamiliar content. Furthermore, recent research has shown that many teachers from 'Literature' backgrounds are anxious about their ability to teach language topics.

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The publication of a book that promises to 'empower teachers new to the study of language to feel confident about leading a stimulating and successful course' would therefore appear to be timely. Writing primarily for those on ITT programmes and/ or those teachers new to the subject, the authors of Teaching English Language 16-19 repeatedly emphasise the point that students learn best through being actively involved in investigative language work, and urge teachers to steer clear of dry assessment objective-led teaching. Consequently the book is less of a text book and more a series of teaching suggestions, underpinned by an insistence that students should be taught to comment on the functional aspects of language rather than simply identifying formal properties. …

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