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Provoking Thought - Provoking Better Teaching!
on July 12, 2010
I am very happy to have run across this book! After many years of teaching languages and researching language acquisition, I've finally found a single volume that integrates key principles of language development and practical classroom activities. Great work! The book is arranged into five sections - thinking, memory, creativity, critical thinking, organizing - each with a crisp review of some of the relevant research in the area (appropriately acknowledging sources and suggesting extra reading) and a section of author-tested activities (about 20 distinct activities per section!), all easily adaptable to different ages, backgrounds, teaching contexts. Although I have encountered much of the research Hall sites and have used or seen many of these activities he presents, what impresses me is how clear and intuitive his approach is. Language acquisition requires lots spoken input, as well as "negotiation of meaning" (actively working out what other people are thinking and saying), "pushed output" (being compelled to express ideas and forms that you may not initially be comfortable expressing), "relearning" (revisiting partially learned content and making new connections), and "noticing the gap" (figuring out what you need to know before you can complete your idea or understand what someone else means). Provoking Thought provides concrete resources for doing ALL these things - and having a great time teaching actively. I'm sure students of all ages and backgrounds will benefit from their teachers using Hall Houston's book.