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Teachers of English need not only to have a good productive command of the language; they also need to know a good deal about the way the language works. This book asks: 'What is it that a teacher needs to know about English in order to teach it effectively?' It leads teachers to awareness of the language through a wide range of tasks which involve them in analysing English to discover its underlying system. The book consists of 28 units, each containing around ten tasks, plus a diagnostic introductory unit. Units start at phoneme level and progress through words, phrases and sentences on to complete texts. Task-types include recognition, categorisation, matching, explanation, and application tasks. Throughout the book, the language is illustrated wherever possible from authentic sources, so that the teacher can be sure that the English being studied represents current usage.
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'Scott Thornbury's book is a major contribution to this understanding, process and strategy. About Language is definitely a book worth recommending to all teachers, both those with considerable experience and novices.' Folia Linguistica Anglica, Poland, 1999
'The book provides a great wealth of ideas and strategies, for use in teacher development programs ... The author and the publisher are to be congratulated on the production of such a useful book, which will be a valuable addition to the professional libraries of teachers and teacher educators.' VATME Newsletter, 1997
'I would have given my right arm for this book when I first entered the world of EFL. There are plenty of books that discuss what and how we should teach, and we seem to be swimming in books on grammar . What we don't have, however, are books designed to ease the novice teacher into the intimidating world of EFL 'grammarese'. About Language fill this gap. It is about the tools of our job: syllabuses, rules, functions, notions texts, phonology, morphology, sentences, grammar, cohesion, conversation and more.' BBC English, 1997
'I really felt that I was reading a book that has been written by somebody actively involved in the profession.' BBC English, 1997
'The book targets teacher trainees - indeed has been extensively trialled with classes of student teachers - but is also of value to teachers in any developmental program, native and non-native speakers, senior staff preparing inservice seminars and teachers in self-study. I have used it in a 'grammar clinic' context and found it both lucid and effective.' ' ... this is probably not a book that one would slavishly follow from Unit One onwards, but rather one that allows a dip-into-according-to-current-need approach. Recognising this, the organisation of the book facilitates the reference process; it is a model of clarity, and its index is a welcome addition.' 'Thornbury knows as much about how people learn about their language as he does about the language of English.' EA Journal Volume 15 no 2
This book raises the issue of what a teacher needs to know about English in order to teach it effectively. It leads teachers to awareness of the language through a wide range of tasks which involve them in analysing English to discover its underlying system.
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