Richmond Handbooks for Teachers:An introduction
This series presents key issues in English Language Teaching today, to help youkeep in touch with topics raised in recent educational reforms. The books allcontain a mixture of analysis, development work, ideas and photocopiableresources for the classroom. The key note throughout is what is
easy to implement
. Our aim is to provide a useful resource whichwill help you to develop your own teaching and to enjoy it more.While each of the books has been written for the practising English LanguageTeacher in the primary or secondary environment, they are also suitable for teachers of languages other than English, as well as for teachers of young adults,trainee teachers and trainers.All classroom activities are designed for lower-level classes (from beginners tolower intermediate) as these form the majority of classes in both primary andsecondary. Most of them can, however, be easily adapted to higher levels.The books all contain:
a section of photocopiable activities and templates.
These are either for immediate classroom use (some with a little adaptation to suit your classes)or for use throughout the year, e.g. assessment record sheets or projectwork planners.
regular development tasks.
These ask you to reflect on your teaching in thelight of what you have just read, and some ask you to try new ideas in theclass. They are all intended to make the ideas in the books more accessible toyou as a classroom teacher.
an index of activities.
As most teachers dip into or skim through resourcebooks, there is an index at the back of each book to help you find the sectionsor ideas that you wish to read about.
a comprehensive glossary.
As one of the main principles of the books is easeof use, the authors have tried not to use jargon or difficult terminology. Wherethis has been unavoidable, the word/term is in
and is explainedin the glossary at the back. Likewise, we have avoided abbreviations in thesebooks; the only one used which is not in current everyday English is L1, i.e.the students’ mother tongue.Although all of the ideas in these books are presented in English, you may needto explain or even try some of them, at least initially, in the students’ L1. There isnothing wrong with this: L1 can be a useful, efficient resource, especially for explaining methodology. New ideas, which may challenge the traditionalmethods of teaching and learning, can be very threatening to both teachers andstudents. So, especially with lower-level classes, you can make them lessthreatening by translating them. This is not wasting time in the English class, asthese ideas will help the students to learn/study more efficiently and learn moreEnglish in the long term.
“Who is this book for?”
This book has been designed to help teachers who may be embarking onteaching primary English for the first time. It will be useful for teachers who:…already teach English but are about to teach children for the first time…already teach children but are about to teach English for the first time…are training to teach English to children.The prospect of choosing your course materials, preparing your teachingprogramme, delivering your classes, evaluating your students and dealing withday-to-day problems in the classroom may seem initially daunting. You will findguidance and suggestions in this book that will make your teaching year not onlyeasier to manage but more enjoyable for both you and your students.If you have experience in teaching English to adolescents and adults, this will beinvaluable for understanding the language itself. However, you will find that thecharacteristics of the primary student are very different and you will need to alter your approach considerably. You will need to adapt your expectations both withrespect to your students’ progress and your classroom management.The primary school programme can cover many age ranges depending on thespecific policy of your education authority or the school you are working in.Teachers working in this field often find themselves seriously challenged by theenormous range of basic abilities in their classrooms (reading and writing,dexterity and motor ability), not to mention other problems such as mixed-ageclasses in rural areas. We shall look at some of these problems and see howdeveloping your own skills will help you to deal with specific issues relevant tothe primary school environment.You will find that different chapters in this book deal with these problems andoffer you ways of coping with them in the classroom. The book starts withgeneral issues and progresses to the more specific, and goes from the beginningof the school year to the end, but it is written in such a way that you can dip intochapters as the need arises. You will find references throughout the book toguide you to the issues you are interested in.
“What happens at
At the beginning of your course it is likely that you will be presented with a series
the beginning of the
of course materials for your classes. Or, if you are lucky enough, you may be
asked to choose them for yourself. This book will attempt to show you how youcan choose those materials and use them to your greatest advantage. We shallalso look at introducing your own materials without having to increase your workload substantially.Different publishers use different terms to describe the various components of alanguage course and the activities within those components. Do not be put offby this. They all follow the same basic pattern, which is described in Chapter 2.
“How do I use this book?”
You can use the Contents page to guide you through your year’s work and theissues dealt with in this book. Likewise, it can help you locate topics you areinterested in. The index (page96) can help you find particular activities andtopics as well.