Here I’m talking about books connected to language teaching, NOT the new (non Harry Potter) J.K.Rowling book or anything like that. But here are six recently published or soon to-be published books in the field of ELT that are worth keeping your eyes peeled for in 2009. You’ll be hearing more from these people, some of whom are quite established in the field of language teacher books and others who are new up-and-comers.
1. Images by Jamie Keddie and Working with Images by Ben Goldstein . Right, I know I said six but since these books are on the same topic I’m squeezing them in together. Both look very promising, as current technology enables us as teachers to find and use images unlike ever before. And both books come with images too to use with the suggested activities (in the CUP book, a CDROM packed full of images), making them a very attractive package. Ben Goldstein is a well known author in several countries for his coursebook series Framework (Richmond Publishing). Jamie Keddie is a newcomer to the book scene but has already established a name for himself on the net – he is behind the award-nominated site www.teflclips.com. Look out for both these guys at a conference near you, their talks are bound to be interesting! These books will be out in the spring of 2009.
2. How to Teach Listening by JJ Wilson Pearson Longman. JJ Wilson is another relative newcomer to the ELT book scene, but has made a splash with this book which won a Highly Commended award from the English Speaking Union. It’s the latest addition to the popular How To… series and also comes with a CD with extra material. I have never seen Wilson at a conference but will jump at the chance to see him speak… he is apparently one of the best. This book came out in 2008 I think but still makes it onto this list because it’s new and notable.
3. Drama and Improvisation, by Ken Wilson. One could hardly say that Ken Wilson is a newcomer to the world of ELT writing; I dunno how many books he’s written but it’s a lot. However, this is (I believe) the first handbook for teachers by Ken. I personally love drama activities and improv stuff. Ken Wilson was one of the founders of the English Theatre Company and toured the world doing sketches and plays for students for years. His workshops always have an interesting drama-like activity in them and they are hugely fun and inspiring. Safe to say that Ken is an authority on this, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this book which came out late 2008.
4. Teaching Unplugged by Luke Meddings and Scott Thornbury Delta Publishing. Books by Scott Thornbury are a bit like seasons of your favourite television show (in my case, Lost or Dexter currently). There’s one every year and it’s always good. This book promises to make waves. It’s about Dogme ELT, the “movement” Thornbury and co-writer Luke Meddings founded almost nine years ago. Many people have interpreted Dogme ELT as an “anti-” movement: anti-material, anti-coursebook, anti-technology. In this book the authors put their money where their mouth is and set forth what “teaching unplugged” IS as opposed to what it isn’t. Agree or disagree, you can’t ignore it. This book is part of a new series from small publisher Delta, who have done good stuff in the past – ahem, like one of my books ;-). Out in Spring 2009.
5. The Developing Teacher by Duncan Foord. Another book in the new Delta series, this one is by another relative newcomer to ELT publishing. This looks interesting as it is the only book (to my knowledge) that treats professional development in a practical and accessible way, through more than 75 activities. Certainly a must for teacher trainers and directors of studies, I think this book will make a good purchase for any teacher who wants to better themselves and get ahead. It will also be out in Spring 2009.
6. Uncovering EAP by Sam McCarter and Phil Jakes. OK, I know very little about EAP (English for Academic Purposes), and I’ve not heard of McCarter or Jakes but the “uncovering” books in the Macmillan books for teachers series have always been very good. I expect this will be the same, and I’m going to get a hold of a copy to find out more about EAP anyway. This book should be out now, but will be on Macmillan stands everywhere in 2009. Keep an eye out for it.
And guess what? I haven’t written any of these books so you know this isn’t just a thinly disguised attempt at self-promotion! However, I was the series editor for two of the books on the list but I’m not saying which ones – you will have to find out for yourself.
Incidentally, if any of the authors of these books stumble across this post (err, perhaps when Google searching yourselves?) feel free to leave a comment and tell us more! And if you happen to read or own a copy, let me know what it’s like!