About Language

About Language : Tasks for Teachers of English

4.16 (104 ratings by Goodreads)
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Teachers of English need not only to have a good productive command of the language; they also need to know a good deal about the way the language works. This book asks: 'What is it that a teacher needs to know about English in order to teach it effectively?' It leads teachers to awareness of the language through a wide range of tasks which involve them in analysing English to discover its underlying system. The book consists of 28 units, each containing around ten tasks, plus a diagnostic introductory unit. Units start at phoneme level and progress through words, phrases and sentences on to complete texts. Task-types include recognition, categorisation, matching, explanation, and application tasks. Throughout the book, the language is illustrated wherever possible from authentic sources, so that the teacher can be sure that the English being studied represents current usage.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 290 pages
  • 190 x 247 x 18mm | 620g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 20 Tables, unspecified; 10 Line drawings, unspecified
  • 0521427207
  • 9780521427203
  • 58,405

Table of contents

Introductory Unit 1.Language:Standards and rules 2.Language: Systems and syllabuses 3.Forms, functions, notions, texts 4.An introduction to phonology 5.The consonants 6.The vowels 7.Stress, rhythm and connected speech 8.Intonation 9.Word formation 10.Lexical meaning 11.Word classes and phrases 12.The simple sentence 13.The complex sentence 14.Negatives and questions 15.The verb phrase 16.Time and tense 17.Progressive aspect 18.Perfect aspect 19.Modality 20.Futurity 21.Hypothetical meaning and conditionals 22.The noun phrase 23.Determiners 24.Adjectives and adverbs 25.Prepositions and phrasal verbs 26.Cohesion 27.Texts 28.Conversations Key and Commentary
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Review quote

'Scott Thornbury's book is a major contribution to this understanding, process and strategy. About Language is definitely a book worth recommending to all teachers, both those with considerable experience and novices.' Folia Linguistica Anglica, Poland, 1999 'The book provides a great wealth of ideas and strategies, for use in teacher development programs ... The author and the publisher are to be congratulated on the production of such a useful book, which will be a valuable addition to the professional libraries of teachers and teacher educators.' VATME Newsletter, 1997 'I would have given my right arm for this book when I first entered the world of EFL. There are plenty of books that discuss what and how we should teach, and we seem to be swimming in books on grammar . What we don't have, however, are books designed to ease the novice teacher into the intimidating world of EFL 'grammarese'. About Language fill this gap. It is about the tools of our job: syllabuses, rules, functions, notions texts, phonology, morphology, sentences, grammar, cohesion, conversation and more.' BBC English, 1997 'I really felt that I was reading a book that has been written by somebody actively involved in the profession.' BBC English, 1997 'The book targets teacher trainees - indeed has been extensively trialled with classes of student teachers - but is also of value to teachers in any developmental program, native and non-native speakers, senior staff preparing inservice seminars and teachers in self-study. I have used it in a 'grammar clinic' context and found it both lucid and effective.' ' ... this is probably not a book that one would slavishly follow from Unit One onwards, but rather one that allows a dip-into-according-to-current-need approach. Recognising this, the organisation of the book facilitates the reference process; it is a model of clarity, and its index is a welcome addition.' 'Thornbury knows as much about how people learn about their language as he does about the language of English.' EA Journal Volume 15 no 2
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About Scott Thornbury

Scott Thornbury is Associate Professor on the MA TESOL program at the New School in New York, and has an MA (TEFL) from the University of Reading. His previous experience includes teaching and training in Egypt, UK, Spain, and in his native New Zealand. He has written extensively on areas of language and methodology, his most recent books being Beyond the Sentence: An Introduction to Discourse Analysis and An A-Z of ELT, Natural Grammar, which won a British Council ELT Innovations Award in 2004, and Grammar, which earned a special mention in the English Speaking Union awards for 2006; Conversation: From Description to Pedagogy (with Diana Slade, Cambridge University Press) and The CELTA Course (with Peter Watkins, Cambridge University Press). He is currently the series editor of the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers (CUP). He divides his time between New York and Barcelona.
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Rating details

104 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 47% (49)
4 32% (33)
3 14% (15)
2 4% (4)
1 3% (3)
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