English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 27.2
English Australia Journal Volume 27 No 2 68 you write has already happened’. This overly simplistic approach could limit tense choice and usage, and ultimately lead to bad writing habits. It is unfortunate that grammar and metalanguage are once more excessively minimised – for instance, there is no mention of the use of passive voice for process writing. The book concludes with a page devoted to a ‘Writer’s word list’ containing 128 words ranging from ‘able’ to ‘zoo’ – it appears something of a random afterthought with no clear purpose. Improve your Study Skills begins favourably by emphasising the importance of continual practice in the ‘To the student’ and ‘To the teacher’ sections. The book has 21 units covering four sections: Dictionary skills, Reading skills, Writing skills, and Examination skills. The first three units cover efficient and effective dictionary usage; a useful skill that many learners never actually master. Reasons for reading are then well presented with students encouraged to consider both why and how they are approaching a text when reading. Readers are encouraged to consider groups of words together rather than individual words. One interesting exercise is for partners to watch the movement of an individual’s eyeballs to determine how they read. Useful reading subskills including skimming and scanning, predicting, ambiguity tolerance, determining cause and effect, and finding facts and opinions. Note-taking and summarising are other valuable academic reading skills presented. Six units of the book are dedicated to developing writing skills including planning, brainstorming, checking first drafts and appropriate paragraphing. It could be suggested that these areas be included in the previous Improve Your Writing Skills publication. The final two units provide invaluable advice for preparing for examinations and how to behave during a test. The four publications in the Literacy for ELT series set out with the objective of developing skills in four key areas. On the whole it is debatable whether this is effectively achieved, as some of the ideas and exercises are overly simplistic or notably ambiguous. However, while Literacy in ELT would probably not form a central part of a program, these publications could be a useful addition to the resource shelf in a teachers’ room or as supplementary self-study materials for individual students. Ian Synnott has taught various teacher training, exam preparation, ESP and general English courses in Australia, Japan, Korea and Ireland. He is currently head of teacher training programs at Greenwich College, Sydney.
English Australia Journal 28.1
English Australia Journal 27.1