I thought it would be interesting to try and find out what everybody is currently reading and their opinion of it: The idea is that the more people post, the more books are mentioned, then the more reading ideas/inspiration there will be to tap into for everybody, myself included! 🙂
Here is mine:
What: Vandergrift and Goh (2012) Teaching and Learning Second Language Listening: Metacognition in Action. Routledge.
Why? Am currently re-reading this because I want to use some of the ideas with my intermediate class next week. (I finally have the same class for longer than one week! Last week I had this class for the first time, shared with another teacher who has just left, and this coming week I’m not sure who I will be sharing it with.) Anyway, one of the learners has recently been to see the DOS and expressed concerns that she doesn’t feel like she’s progressing and feels that listening is a particular weakness. So I’m hoping that bringing metacognition into the equation might help matters for her.
What’s it about? It consists of three parts: Learning to listen, A Metacognitive Approach to Listening and Listening in Other Contexts. Each of these parts contain several sub-chapters. It’s very theoretical, references lots of research and, importantly, makes the application of the theory very explicit, providing lots of activities that can be used in the classroom.
How have I used it? I used this metacognitive approach to teaching listening as one of the three approaches on which my materials for the materials development module of my M.A. in ELT were based (the other two being TBL and Tomlinson’s text-based approach) and have been incorporating some of the features of the pedagogical sequence that Vandergrift and Goh put forward in my teaching since having read it the first time around. This book was a post-Delta discovery that I found completely by accident, as I was rootling around in Leeds (as vs Leeds Met) library in order to max out my Sconul membership! It’s possibly one of the top books – in my opinion – that I’ve read during my course, which is saying something! And now I have the perfect opportunity to try out some of the bits I haven’t yet used and see if I can make even a very small difference for this learner and the rest of her class, none of whom are confident listeners. I will also try to find the time to blog about how it goes… (If the dissertation-beast will let me… :-p)
Now over to you! (And I really hope at least some of you will participate… 🙂 ) What are you reading? Why? What’s it about? How have you used what you have read so far/how do you plan to use it? Please share with me, and everyone else who happens across this post, by posting your answers in the comments box below – as much or as little as you feel like typing. NB If you are not currently in the middle of reading something, feel free to post about the last thing you finished reading or dipped into…
What? Granena, G. and Long, M. (eds.) 2013 Sensitive periods, language aptitude, and ultimate L2 attainment. Amsterdam, Benjamins.
Why? Because it’s a new and interesting collection of papers on what is often referred to as The Critical Period. Granena and Long (2013) have developed their own ideas based on the CPH, where they argue that instead of a critical period there is a sensitive period for language learning. They suggest that there is an optimum sensitive period which is followed by a gradual decline in learning potential or ‘offset period’.
What’s it About? Research on second language acquisition has identified language aptitude and age of onset i.e., the age at which learners are first meaningfully exposed to the L2, as robust predictors of rate of classroom language learning and level of ultimate L2 attainment in naturalistic settings, respectively. It is not surprising, therefore, that recent years have witnessed a surge of interest in the combination of age and aptitude as a powerful explanatory factor in SLA, and central to a viable SLA theory. The chapters in this volume provide new studies and reviews of research findings on age effects, bilingualism effects, maturational constraints and sensitive periods in SLA, the sub-components of language aptitude and the development of new aptitude measures, the influence of AO and aptitude in combination on SLA, aptitude-treatment interactions, and the implications of the research findings for language education policy and tailored language instruction.
How Have I Used it? I’ve recommended it to those doing an MA in TESOL . It’s very good.
It certainly sounds very interesting! Thank you very much for taking the time to comment. 🙂
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I’ve just started Teaching Reading Skills (Nuttall) as I’m doing LSA2 on Reading! I’m not sure whether this is the best book to start with but it looks interesting. I’ll let you know what I think when I’ve read a bit more..
Hi Lia, thanks for commenting! I reckon that’s a pretty good book to start with – certainly we were recommended it. The other one we were recommended was “Developing Reading Skills: A Practical Guide to Reading Comprehension Exercises (Cambridge Language Teaching Library) by Françoise Grellet”.
Look forward to hearing what you think of Nuttall…
And good luck with your LSA!
Thanks for the tip! Off the library tomorrow morning. And thanks again..!
So many books that I poke in and out of…
My reply will not be as extensive as your post, but I’ll TRY to make time to come back and share more.
I’m re-reading these:
1. Words into Worlds, Learning a Second Language Through Process Drama, by Shin-Mei Kao and Cecily O’neill
Why? Determined to find more ways to bring process drama concepts into online teaching… I believe in the power of process drama techniques!
2. Fooling with Words, by Bill Moyers
Why? For inspiration, for ideas of how to keep words fun for the learners I work with, and because I love words!
3. Drama for Learning, Dorothy Heathcote & Gavin Bolton
4. Improvisations for Creative Language Practice, by Lou Spaventa
5. Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope: Stories of Peace, Justice, & the Environment
[Edited by Ed Brody, Jay Goldspinner, Katie Green, Rona Leventhal and John Porcino]
6. Thought and Language by S. Vygotsky
7. Tribes, by Seth Godin
Will try to add more details another day —
have used nudgemail.com and my Evernote lists to remind me, and of course I’ve clicked the little box to follow replies to this thread.
Wow that’s quite a list! I look forward to your return and learning more about these books… 🙂
Interesting question, LIzzie. During the academic year, I could cite any number of ELT articles I’m reading at any given time, but during the summer? It’s time off from all that (aside from ELT blogs, of course). Instead, I delve back into fiction, but it’s not all play. Currently I’m reading World War Z and will soon read Margaret Atwood’s new novel, MaddAdam, both of which are potential novels for my students in the fall. 🙂
Good plan re time off! I had a whole week off everything ELT related when I went on holiday recently – was bliss! How will you use the novels with your students?
Just as extended reading tasks. They’ll pick from a series of novels to read for “pleasure” and I’ll have some checks and balances e.g. guided comp check questions, maybe a bit of ARC.
Ah I see – cool! 🙂
not one book, of course…but I am (almost) halfway through “beyond the sentence” by s. Thornbury and have also been reading (on and off) a great book on PD: Professional development for language teachers, by J.C.Richards and T.S.C. Farrel..very moving and inspiring, but too much to be read in one go for me..And I am thinking of reading the next book from ELTteacher2writer.com…oh, plans, plans! I wish I had enpugh time and concentration to read all I want)