Brave New World or Emperor’s New Clothes? An EAL book with a difference?

A thriller full of suspense…….

After teaching a recent EAL course in which my students were using quite possibly the dullest and worst put together coursebook I have ever seen in my 25 years of teaching EAL, I finally had a ‘road to Damascus’ moment and decided to do something I had been meaning to do for a while…….write my own EAL book.

I remember thinking at the time what it was which I disliked about this particular course book. In short, I felt that it hadn’t been written by a teacher and so was neither student-friendly nor teacher-friendly. It felt like it had been written in a hurry. The topics were boring and insipid and so was the material. Nothing jumped out of the page and everything seemed to be a formality. ….it just seemed to be one bland coursebook amongst many others. Furthermore, there seemed to be little in terms of language development and by way of engaging material and activities.

So, at the beginning of Lockdown, I started to reflect as I contemplated the thought of spending months at home for an unspecified period with my teenage son. One day, I wrote down all the things which I thought would make for a stimulating book – a good storyline, engaging and relevant student-centred material which could allow students to develop their language skill-set as well as helping them to improve their study skills and exam technique. …..as well as giving practical advice on how to improve and allowing students to practice what they had learned through task-based activities.

I also started to try to think ‘outside the box’ by looking at ways in which my book could hopefully stand out. Most traditional EAL coursebooks are organized by topics which then introduce language and grammar. I wanted to do something different so have decided to organize my book as a story. There are 8 chapters within my story which introduce new language and activities. It is more than just a graded reader as it has an array of exercises related to the grammar and vocabulary in each chapter as well as a whole host of EAL exam-type activities at B2-Level which are geared towards the Cambridge Exams and IELTS in terms of the linguistic skill-sets required.

There is a strong emphasis on development of all language areas. Vocabulary is introduced, retrieved and reinforced through the various activities. Grammar activities involve active usage as well as exercises to practice with. The book will be available both in paperback and digital version. It can be used in class and as an indivdual skills practice book. It could also be used for a short course of approximately 40-50 hours though I must emphasize that students are not necessarily compelled to complete every activity. There is also a self-assessment section at the end of each chapter so that students are aware of the progress they are making and what they need to do to develop further.

The book will be coming out very soon. As it will be my fist publication (hopefully of many!), I am keen to promote my book and have decided to sell it at a promotional and very reasonable price. More to follow – please watch this space or visit us at betterlanguageskills.com or type #betterlanguageskills .

Take care, stay safe and see you soon!


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