One of the most vital elements in making a good career of an English teacher is continuous professional development. The latter is closely connected with the books and resources ELT experts provide us. We can’t separate only one teacher trainer and neglect others since each of them plays a crucial role in the ESL classroom. We have already written about some ELT experts and their works:
- Jeremy Harmer
- Herbert Puchta
- David Crystal
- Scott Thornbury
- Practical tips and favourite activities from the Book of Scott Thornbury “How to Teach Speaking”
- Natural Grammar (Scott Thornbury)
- Teaching Collocations (Michael Lewis)
- Penny Ur: Workshop summary, etc
This time we will introduce Penny Ur and her most significant works.
Who is Penny Ur?
She was born in 1944 in the UK. Having taken graduate and post-graduate degrees at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Penny Ur moved to Israel in 1967. She is a professor at Oranim and Haifa University. She has taught English in primary and secondary schools in Israel for 30 years. And she has more than 35 years of teaching experience. Ur is interested in practical aspects of effective English language teaching and has presented several workshops on these topics worldwide. Apart from language teaching methodologies, she is also interested in English as a lingua franca. In 2013 Penny Ur was awarded OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) as a prominent English teacher.
Here is the list of her most important works worth reading.
If you are a novice English teacher and are seeking ways and techniques of teaching the language, this book will suit you perfectly. The book is divided into 22 modules and presents different aspects of language teaching, such as ‘grammar’, ‘listening’, ‘the syllabus’, ‘teaching materials’, ‘lesson planning’, classroom discipline’, ‘younger and older learners’, etc. Here teachers will find not only theoretical parts on teaching English but will also have some practical parts to do and to improve their teaching skills. Thus they will be able to get ready for the upcoming possible challenges in their classrooms.
The book is aimed at the fluency practice. It provides ways in which English learners get to talk in the classroom using the language creatively and individually. The first part of the book provides a number of elements that are important for a good discussion. It also presents how to organise task-centered activities successfully. The second part encompasses practical examples of discussion activities.
Many of the techniques introduced in the book are more suitable for the intermediate and upper-level students. Some of them, however, can be adapted and used with the elementary and pre-intermediate learners as well.
Co-written with Andrew Wright, this book is a great source of ideas for English teachers. It includes about 130 short activities for the language classroom. Here, you can find activities that will help your students to practise some particular aspects of the language, such as word order, vocabulary, listening, use of the tense forms, etc. The activities are designed to bring motivation and interest into the classroom. Most of the activities introduced in the book can be adapted (simplified or extended) to suit different levels.
The book consists of two parts. The first part of the book — Guidelines, provides an introduction to teaching English Grammar and suggests tips for the design of effective classroom activities.
The second part of the book — Activities, offers about 200 grammar practice activities. The activities are grouped into sections according to grammatical categories. The categories are ordered alphabetically and cross-referenced in the text.
The book is aimed at developing listening comprehension skills in the English language classroom. In the first part of the book, the author defines the characteristics of real-life listening, analyses the problems encountered by language learners, and discusses the considerations involved in planning successful classroom listening practice. The author defines the characteristics of real-life listening, analyses the problems encountered by language learners, and discusses the considerations involved in planning successful classroom listening practice. In the second part of the book, you can find different types of exercises suitable for elementary to advanced level learners. The activities are appropriate for both adults and children.
Vocabulary being one of the core points of a language requires lots of practice. Penny Ur presents numerous ideas on how to introduce, expand and practice vocabulary. The book also contains a chapter with activities for advanced learners.
All the books introduced above are of vital importance in the ESL classroom. Nevertheless, which book to use depends on your requirements, experience and learners’ needs. Analyse all the facts and points and choose the book that will really help you and your students to achieve greater destinations in the classroom.