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Teaching English as a Foreign Language Paperback – Nov 11 1993

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A work that many of us have been waiting for . . . a clear and comprehensive discussion of a whole range of problems that the teaching of English raises: a reasonable and well-balanced survey that could have been compiled only after wide reading and invaluable experience, this book is recommended to all who have a practical involvement in the subject.
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Of the 4,000 to 5,000 living languages, English is by far the most widely used. Read the first page
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Some ideas for teaching, but in general...not useful Sept. 7 2005
By Edward G. Nilges - Published on
Format: Paperback
Educating the educator, and training the trainer, and a science of education *per se* sounds like a terrific idea. To educate educators in how to educate sounds great (especially if one has no ear for language).

To many political conservatives, whose real concern is not spending much money on the needs of the next generation, such an effort implies the ability to increase the surveillance and monitoring of teachers according to "objective" criteria.

But comes now a book on the topic of teaching English as a second language which illustrates the tragic paradox of educating educators.

Educating educators contains the paradox of infinite regress, for educational "theory" replaces enthusiasm and a lived or learned, or both, acquisition of subject matter: the ideal educational system might well consist in a forced draft of the wealthy and successful, who would have the duty to society to spend two years teaching the least well off. As long as they could project or feign the enthusiasm, this might be more meaningful than the current system.

This book tries and fails to enunciate general principles for teaching English as a foreign language but its first maxim or saw should be "love English". No lover of English would use the nonword "appropriacy" for appropriateness but here it is a section heading and used in several locations.

It pretends that we can classify people according to styles and abilities which the teaching process itself fosters and creates, or discourages and destroys.

It contains a few good ideas but altogether too much emphasis on the pseudo-democracy of group work which in my experience is dominated by the psychos and bullies in the classroom and which causes gifted students to tune out.

The English teacher's companions should be instead The Oxford Reference Grammar and Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage.