English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 27.1
EA Journal Volume 27 No 1 86 turn, with a summarised presentation of every factor and activities for cultivating it in the language classroom. For each activity we are given suggested level, focus, estimated duration and what is needed in preparation, as well as clear, step-by-step instructions. The quick-reference guide allows for fast and easy viewing of all the activities, levels and time, displayed by chapter. Interestingly, Seeds of Confidence focuses not solely on the language learners, but also on language learning practitioners. The authors promote the reflective use of the book and in the appendix there is a self-evaluation form for each of the five chapters. Additionally, there are recommendations for further reading provided in the list of references. The CD is comprised of worksheets, videos, materials and certain music tracks recommended to accompany specific activities in the book (these are signalled in the book with corresponding icons to help in choosing the correct file). The materials may be printed out or saved onto computer. The CD-ROM has the added capabilities of being launched from the computer or used with an interactive whiteboard. It is logically laid out and easy to navigate. Teachers may be concerned that their students will feel inhibited by the type of activities in the book; however, it is hoped that they will see how their learning is enhanced through the nourishment and development of their self-confidence and motivation. For example, ‘The News of the Day’ starts off with welcoming your students with a smile, showing warmth and a feeling of connectedness as they enter the classroom. Then, sitting in a circle, students are encouraged to share something that is happening in their life at that moment, with the teacher modelling their own news first. Such an activity involves little preparation yet can be invaluable in providing a platform for getting to know students more, discussing issues that may be worrying to them, identifying students’ fears, and developing a safe, caring, mutually-respectful environment, where limits and expectations are clearly defined. Confidence is a gift. More often than not, this gift is a collaboration of shared endeavours, objectives and experiences between partners. The reciprocal emotional relationship of teacher and learner, and the language used between them, is no exception. Seeds of Confidence is invaluable in providing language teachers real and effective tasks and activities to enable them to impart that priceless gift onto their students, whilst also encouraging linguistic development. It would be a welcome addition to supplement any language programme. Jakki Postlethwaite is the General English Co-ordinator at Greenwich College, Sydney.
English Australia Journal 27.2