Saturday, June 18, 2011

Review: Active English Discussion

I recently used this book by Andrew Finch for the aviation class that I previously talked about, and I've also used it for a more intensive conversation class that met 4 times/week over the course of a semester.  I've used other books in the series for kids classes as well.

I think the book is okay, but not great and I'll probably not use it again, if I have a choice about it.  I'll review some things I like and some things I don't like:


1. It's Korea-based, which makes for more interesting topics of interest to my students.

2. There are a variety of activities to do.

Don't like:

1. The readings are way too long for a discussion book.  You could spend a whole 50 minute class on the reading, and never get into the discussion.  You could actually use the readings for a reading comprehension class. 

2. A lot of the topics are old-news.  Family, school life, etc have all been covered by every basic textbook the students have previously studied. 

3.  For a discussion class, I like short, concise units.  Like 2 pages.  This book used about 8 pages/unit.  It's almost impossible to cover it one class, but to continue the topic into the next class is kind of weird too.  Just awkward.

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