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confused and confusing, too much and not enough....
on April 19, 2013
(Please, bear with my English, I am not a native speaker)
This book seems to have been written to give students and teachers an access to research in applied linguistics and some recommendations resulting therefrom, but it honestly missed its objectives. The quality and the relevance of this books really depend on the chapters, some of them are very useful as they synthesize very well a knowledge scattered in numerous books. But forget the chapters about the linguistics aspects of the SLA as some very important aspects of it (as for instance interlanguage) are introduced in a very confusing way getting in too much irrelevant details. An important drawback of this book is its style and organization. It is the fifth edition and we can feel it, if I may say. Some information seem just added at the end of the chapters, edition after edition, and generally, the first part of a chapter is always easier to understand and relevant than the end. Sometimes, the author get in too many details about the diversity of the points of view prevailing in a particular field pertaining to SLA, and sometimes it is just not enough. And do not expect any real valuable contribution to your teaching style, the activities at the end of each chapters or subsections aim to make you reflect on your practice, and that's it. Therefore, for a first approach of applied linguistic and SLA (if you have a minimum of academic background, if not in Linguistics, at least on Social Sciences), I recommend Lightbown & Spada's "How languages are learned". And if you are looking for teaching tips, Jeremy Harmer's "Practice of English Language Teaching" is definitively a better option, even if, like me, you are teaching a different language.