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Discussions that Work: Task-centred Fluency Practice (Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers)

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521281690
ISBN-10: 0521281695
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Penny Ur writes lucidly and sensibly, emphasizing that in the classroom why you need to talk about something is more important than what you should talk about.' Donald Hawes, The Times Educational Supplement

' ... has a wealth of practical ideas which can be used in the classroom tomorrow.' Wendy Scott, Practical English Teaching

Book Description

Fifty practical activities to produce a genuine and enthusiastic exchange of ideas.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers
  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 30, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521281695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521281690
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Chris Elvin on April 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I don't know just how old this book is, but it reminds me of the kinds of language activities that I did as a pupil in English as my first language when I was eleven or twelve. There are lots of cognitive and logical activities and a few balloon debates, which are fun if you like that kind of stuff. However, these activities may not necessarily be the best way to promote fluency in your EFL class simply because they are mentally too taxing. They require silent reflection, which is not what you would want in your oral English lessons. The book is divided into two parts; The first section discusses general principles, which is both lucid and informative. The second section, which is about three quarters of the book, gives practical examples. The best activities for me in my high school teaching situation, are the simple ones which have a real-life purpose, such as planning for a trip or doing a survey, and which are easy enough to get students talking straight away. Overall, this book does have quite a lot of useful and workable activities and I'm pleased that I can refer to it from time to time. If you are an EFL teacher looking for new ideas for facilitating discussion in your language classes, then most likely, you will not be disappointed with this book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Fujioka on August 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this book and, if you are an ESL instructor, you should too. The author, Penny Ur, successfully bridges that gap between ESL theory and pratical application. What is the "task-based" teaching approach to ESL ? It is NOT just assigning tasks and then moving around the classroom from group to group, correcting the student's English. Although this is what I observed many times in all the years I have been teaching ESL at the university level, this is not what task-based learning is about. It's about knowing the skills involved in performing language tasks then assigning them, based on the student's ability. Penny Ur takes the reader from the approach to application in her text.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Lee on June 11, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach an advanced oral English class for professionals, in China. I am very impressed with the books in this series, and with this one in particular. I received Discussions That Work a couple of weeks ago and have gone through it cover to cover. I was amazed to find that I could imagine my class discussing almost every topic given, participating in almost every activity suggested. This book is full of wonderful ideas, clearly presented by the author and requiring little advance preparation by me. Ms. Ur is a master at her craft. Highly recommended!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Theodore M. Way on March 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
I relied on this book during my three years as a teacher of English as a second lanugage in the Peace Corps. I do not know what I would have done without it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Gutzman on March 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I teach English Conversation classes to high school intermediate students and have used almost every activity in this book. It is so helpful when I need a new idea to create a lesson off of, or when I need to quickly plan a lesson. You can copy things straight from the book for use in the classroom or you can use the suggestions to create your own. This is one of the best resources I've found to get students talking and keep them speaking in English. The lessons are quite flexible in allowing the teacher to increase (or decrease) the level of complexity. I would highly recommend this book to any teacher of English Conversation.
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