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Dorothy - http://doctoradorothy.blogspot.com/




                                 Instructional Material Review

        ...
Dorothy - http://doctoradorothy.blogspot.com/


activity that encourages the production of language by using some of the i...
Dorothy - http://doctoradorothy.blogspot.com/


two lessons, a “Collocation Match-Up” exercise and a crossword puzzle prov...
Dorothy - http://doctoradorothy.blogspot.com/


                                          References

Brown, H. Douglas. T...
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Esl textbook review - All Clear 3

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Review of All Clear 3 by Helen Kalkstein Fragiadakis

Esl textbook review - All Clear 3

  1. 1. Dorothy - http://doctoradorothy.blogspot.com/ Instructional Material Review Following the guidelines provided by Brown (192), I reviewed the textbook All Clear 3: Listening and Speaking, second edition. This book was written by Helen Kalkstein Fragiadakis and it was published by Thomson Heinle on 2007. All Clear 3 is the last of a series of books and it is designed to teach conversational English for Academic Purposes to advanced adult English language learners. 1. Goals of the course: Given its conversationally-oriented nature, this book can work for courses with both academic and conversational goals. 2. Background of the students: The lessons, which include topics such as taking the initiative in a party, feeling bored in class, and discussing about violence in the media, are appropriate to the age, educational background, and purpose for learning English (communication). The book does not address the students’ native language per se, but the “Pronunciation Section” at the back of the text exposes students to suprasegmental aspects that might be different between their L1 and L2 (stress, intonation, and rhythm). Some of the “Culture Note” boxes that appear in every lesson take into account the possible native cultures of the students. For example the one on page 65, lists proverbs from Arabic, Bantu, and French in order to help students think about proverbs related to the topic of work. 3. Approach: The theoretical approach reflected in the book is that of the Communicative Language Teaching Approach. The book uses contextualization of activities, the encouragement of communicating through interaction with others, the development of materials to maintain student’s interest, and the instruction goal of communicative competence. This approach is aligned with the students’ language needs (communicating in the L2) as well as with my teaching philosophy. An example of the book’s CLT approach can be seen in Lesson 8’s “Role Play” activity where students are instructed to create a dialogue for two people who just arrived at a hotel lobby for an international conference (145). This is an
  2. 2. Dorothy - http://doctoradorothy.blogspot.com/ activity that encourages the production of language by using some of the idioms and expressions learned in the lesson and throughout the textbook in general. On Lesson 6, students are asked to talk about the differences they perceive on physical and eye contact between the L2 culture and their own one, promoting in this way an interesting discussion as well as cultural insights (107). 4. Language skills: While the initial focus of each lesson is on lexical chunks of language (idioms and other expressions), All Clear 3 enables students to gain practice in all skill areas: listening, speaking, pronunciation, grammar, reading, and writing. 5. General content: - The content of the textbook aligns with its purpose of being a conversationally-oriented text. All Clear 3 exposes students to conversational situations that can serve as a basis for conversation practice (often with a cross-cultural focus) and provides many structured and communicative activities for speaking, listening, and public speaking practice. - Regarding the authenticity of language, the book teaches students to recognize and produce high-frequency idioms phrases, and contemporary expressions needed in a range of conversational situations. The communicative activities emphasize the practical uses of these idioms in everyday conversations. - I believe that the topics, situation, and contexts are appropriate for students at an advanced level. The “Your Turn” sections give students the opportunity to personalize and connect idioms to their own lives and experiences. - Varied activities and numerous visuals are designed to reach students with a range of learning styles. 6. Quality of practice material: "Your Turn" speaking activities encourage learners to use the newly acquired idioms and expressions interactively. Numerous listening and speaking activities help build fluency through the integration of reading, writing, and grammar skills. Special attention is given to the grammar related to expressions in order to help develop fluency and accuracy. For each lesson, there is a pronunciation section at the back of the book that uses the language and theme of that lesson to practice specific pronunciation points. After every
  3. 3. Dorothy - http://doctoradorothy.blogspot.com/ two lessons, a “Collocation Match-Up” exercise and a crossword puzzle provide students with opportunities for review. Grammatical and other linguistic explanations are both inductive and deductive. Meanings are revealed in explanations, mini-dialogues and example sentences. Grammar and pronunciation notes call attention to details about expressions. Notes about usage are also included and the origins of some idioms are given. Although the “Role Play” and “Connection to the Real World” activities provide some flexibility in the way students practice the material, at this level it would be appropriate to have opportunities for more student-controlled activities. 7. Sequencing: Each lesson is independent, except in the area of pronunciation. The pronunciation points build upon one another, so if this aspect is a substantial component of the course, it is suggested to follow the lessons in order. 8. Vocabulary: The book has a strong focus on lexical chunks of language in the form of idioms and other expressions. The strategy for word analysis is the use of the new vocabulary in context. 9. Sociolinguistic factors: All Clear 3 does not use a variety of English. The idioms and expressions correspond to American English. In my opinion, this is the main limitation of this textbook. Regarding cultural content, the “Culture Notes” provide students with the opportunity to gain insights into other cultures and they also encourage reflection about their own one. 10. Format: I find the stress markings used in the idioms and expressions very helpful. The typesetting and the illustrations are clear. However, due to the ample amount of proposed activities, the layout of some pages seems too busy. 11. Accompanying materials: There are three audio CDs for students and an assessment CD ROM for teachers. The Audio Program includes the listening passages for the “Focused Listening” sections. A suggestion would be to create a workbook for the activities in order to make the pages of the textbook more reader-friendly.
  4. 4. Dorothy - http://doctoradorothy.blogspot.com/ References Brown, H. Douglas. Teaching by Principles, an Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy, 3rd ed. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education, 2007 Fragiadakis, Helen K. All Clear 3: Listening and Speaking, 2nd ed. Boston: Thomson Heinle, 2007
  • ahmaddm646

    Oct. 31, 2013

Review of All Clear 3 by Helen Kalkstein Fragiadakis

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