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Teflnet : TEFL Book Reviews : Teaching : Writing (2nd edition)

Writing (2nd edition)

Author: Tricia Hedge Publisher: Oxford University Press (Resource Books for Teachers series) Summary: A highly recommended resource book for the teachers’ bookshelf. Review: Writing is probably one of the best writing resource books available. Every English teacher who teaches writing, or wants to teach more writing, will find something of interest in this book. After […]
Reviewed for Teflnet by Dave Allen

Author: Tricia Hedge
Publisher: Oxford University Press (Resource Books for Teachers series)

Summary: A highly recommended resource book for the teachers’ bookshelf.

Review:

Writing is probably one of the best writing resource books available. Every English teacher who teaches writing, or wants to teach more writing, will find something of interest in this book.

After all, it has 100 teaching ideas which can be picked out, copied and used in class – no messing around. The ideas are also highly adaptable and can be fitted to any course in which this skill is taught. Each teaching idea has a full lesson plan with level, time, aims and best of all, quality photocopiable materials which seem to have been updated considerably for this 2nd edition.

The book is divided into four sections: Communicating, Composing, Crafting and Improving. Each section has over 20 ideas and covers a wide range of skills which encourage students to communicate, come up with ideas for writing, develop writing skills such as creating cohesive and organised texts, and make texts better through editing and reviewing.

These ideas may not all be new- some have been around forever (take ‘brainstorming’, for example), while others are much more fashionable (see ‘peer editing’ and ‘conferencing’). There are inspiring ideas but which may not be really practical (e.g. ‘audio-taped feedback’), yet the activities are stimulating and in nine-and-a-half-out-of-ten cases are practical, interesting and theoretically sound.

In addition, there are ideas for longer, project type activities such as ‘writing a class magazine’, ‘reading journals’, and ‘mini-projects’. These are perfect for teachers who have just been given a general English writing class, and want some ongoing activity to bring a sense of continuity to the programme.

For teachers on Diploma courses, this book is a winner. I found it very useful when doing an assignment on writing for my DELTA. Not only are the ideas helpful for creating lesson plans, but the introductory part of each section is packed full of ‘practical theory’, not too heavy and perfect for practical teaching courses. These sections also seem to have been revised to be fuller and more helpful sections than the first edition.

For teachers doing EAP or university courses, these activities may be somewhat less applicable in a direct ‘cut-and-paste’ sense, yet they do still give that what every teacher needs from time-to-time: new ideas. This also goes for teachers on MA courses- Writing won’t provide all the necessary theory required, but the ideas are practical extensions which can be applied to syllabus design and course development papers.

Finally, Writing comes from a highly respected author, Tricia Hedge, who has written a number of other accessible and thoroughly researched texts (of particular note is Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom). The series, Resource Books for Teachers, also has great texts on other areas of language teaching, which are similarly useful for teachers in the classroom and on diploma courses.

Reviewed by Dave Allen for Teflnet December 2008

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Teflnet : TEFL Book Reviews : Teaching : Writing (2nd edition)