An Exploration to the Advancement of Methodologies in TEFL/TESOL: A Book Review
Keywords:Book Review, Advancement in TESOL methodologies
Teaching is still in its early form. More discoveries from recent studies and investigations have steered different teaching recommendations. Moreover, more revelations are yet to come up to the present time. As days, months, and years progress, the view on teaching strategies evolves and requires an upgrade for better educational outcomes.
Teaching the English language is indeed essential in the whole world since it is still considered the universal language. Whether in business, academe, or big industries, English is widely used. English teachers must know how to teach the English language to their learners to produce students with high proficiency in the English language. Many researchers must be keen to uncover more strategies that we can apply and execute in English language teaching.
This paper intends to review and discuss the different advanced language strategies in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). More ideas are being pondered as the researcher thoughtfully scrutinized the concepts mentioned in the material’s contents.
In addition, the author emphasized the ideas about concepts and practices in English language teaching. While this article deliberately elucidates all the book's contents being reviewed, the researcher also imparts his experiences and realizations as an English teacher. Being a reviewer of this book, the researcher learned a lot about teaching English more effectively.
The first chapter is Teaching English at the Secondary School. This chapter tackles TEFL’s processes, challenges, and aims at the secondary stage. Here, it is highlighted that teaching at secondary schools might be exigent, for the level of the learners is higher, and that the target lessons are more complex than those lower levels. Generally, the exams used in English subjects and the old teaching style are the top trials an English teacher encounters. Moreover, TEFL purposefully wants us to supply learners with three (3) skills: study, language, and thinking skills. If so, the production of secondary-level students with competent English communicators is expected. Chapter Two (2) is Classroom Management, highlighting matters concerning motivation, discipline, and respect. Accordingly, when a teacher fails to have the control to manage the classroom, eventually, it will be more difficult for him/her to bring that authority back. This chapter concluded that a teacher must be an “organizer” or a “manager” to have a successful activity exchange for teaching and learning since classroom management is a must.
The third chapter holds and explains Situated Language Learning. Situated Language Learning is an approach to learning in which it occurs in the same authentic context in which it applies. Thus, it is then appealed to its seriousness in English language teaching. Though there is a veer from “acquisition” to “participation” metaphor, to engage in an authentic learning place is the best way to learn a language. Situated Language Learning is a significant term that encompasses many forms of learning like Task-Based Language Learning, Authentic Language Learning Pedagogy, Virtual Language Learning, and so on; it is the teacher’s duty to apply these learning modes in the classroom. The next chapter is Assessment and English Language Testing. Here, placement test, progress test, achievement test, proficiency test, and other varieties of the testing instrument are tackled as some of the many reasons there is a need for testing the English language. This chapter also indicates suitable tests and different test types and their categories. Though some testings are bound for subjectivity and bias, making clear-stated and detailed marking scales can help. A good assessment can gauge the student's level, leading to better procurement of valid results. Thus, it can lead to the conclusion of better strategies to use.
Chapter Five (5) focuses on Social Networking & Language Learning that clearly states how we can use these modern media in learning a language. Facebook, as being focused on this material, is beneficial to both teachers and learners, for it can be used as a tool for teaching-learning activities that can indeed be creative and innovative. The following chapter, Chapter Six (6), Fun and Humour in English Language Teaching, talks about how we can integrate joy in learning—creating fun and humorous classes while learning can indeed promote a better learning mood. In addition, more social activities, developing well-being and self-esteem, and memory retention are sure to be achieved. Through games and songs, we can learn English more lightly.
Virtual Language Learning Environment, Chapter Seven (7), is one of the most modern ways to consider. The 21st century brings us to the realization of maximizing the technology we have right now. Though the requirements and the implementation of the VLE sound so demanding, it has noted a lot of importance and advantages. In this timely world where technology is very fast-paced, taking advantage of it is beneficial to us. It can bring forth vast opportunities to both teachers and learners. Gone are the days when we were very traditional; technology does not only help make our lives better and promotes more innovative and futuristic learning. The eight-chapter, which holds Teaching Writing, first talks about the definition of writing, then it states its sub-skills. Again, through technology, writing skills have been strengthened. Collaborative writing, threaded discussions, and connective writings are some of the many products of the effects made by the technology in writing. Though we enjoy the convenience of technology's aid to writing, teaching writing is still essential. This chapter highlights the difference between writing as a process in reverse to writing as a product. Also, some factors have been influencing the teaching of writing, like deciding genres, attitudes towards writing, writing habits, and the relevance of writing should be in consideration. Lastly, writing activities that can fully engage students are being discussed in this chapter.
The last three chapters: CALL & Online Language Learning, Multiple Intelligences-Based Language Learning Strategies, and Glossary of Some Educational Language Learning Terms are discussed. First, Chapter Nine (9) discusses the expansive possibilities of using computers and the internet to be used in language learning. It is indeed suggested that we should fully maximize the use of computers since it can be a tool for successful maximum learning benefits. To add, this chapter talks about the possible benefits of web-based tools that can induce learning. Web search engines, for example, Google, Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo are some of the widely used tools internet users have, and using them can make us locate pieces of information we can use in language learning. There are more websites that one can fully utilize that can aid in learning a language. Next, the ninth chapter deals with Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences as the basis of learning a language. This technique is more commonly known as Multiple Intelligences-Based Instruction. Though it is limited to language learning, it is very familiar for educators since it has been proven that learners have different intelligences. This idea may sound cliche, but this theory opposes the belief of “one size fits all”. Teachers must know how to fully tap the learners' potentials even though it dramatically shows varieties in which teachers can provide a suitable learning environment for the development of each learner. Lastly, the last chapter defines all the language learning terms a language teacher must know. It provides a brief description of each term for further comprehension. These terms, old and new, are still known as parts of the practice in classroom learning.
After reviewing the contents of this material, the researcher/reviewer highly recommends it. This book is rich in concepts and ideas that can benefit language teachers. Moreover, this book has suggested lots of comprehensive ideas based on empirical studies that are proven. Suppose language teachers, especially the English language teachers, know all the proposed practices and principles of these advanced language teaching/learning strategies in a TEFL/TESOL class, beyond any doubt. In that case, these language teachers can indeed improve and upgrade their teaching styles that can be a fruitful outcome of producing more competent English language learners. Moreover, this book has analyzed more recent practices that surely adapt well to the changes the world brings in this 21st century. Being aware of different techniques, challenges, and needs in an English classroom can broaden the minds of the language teachers and, hopefully, the language researchers to conduct more studies that can suffice the needs in the lacking knowledge to these changes through modernization.
For my constructive suggestion as a reviewer, the reviewer would like to see more studies made from Asian countries, so English teachers from Asia can be more relatable to the backgrounds of the research.
This book is alluring, and its comprehensive knowledge of concepts about English Language Teaching should be read by English teachers, for the ideas and concepts are crucial to the actual practice in an English classroom. As English teachers, we must be more equipped with more advanced teaching methodologies in TESOL/TEFL that can highly increase the potential to produce more English competent learners in this ever-changing, ever-challenging, and ever-demanding modern world.
Abdallah, M. (2019). TEFL/TESOL Methodology 2: Advanced Language Teaching/Learning Strategies (2nd Edition). Dr Mahmoud M.S. Abdallah (2nd Edition).
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