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Learner English‏‎ (book)

Author: Michael Swan; Bernard Smith
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Details: paperback; 378 pages; 2 Edition, 2001
ISBN: 0521779391

With a subtitle that says it all: A Teacher’s Guide to Interference and other Problems, this practical guide compares the relevant features of a student’s own language with English, helping teachers to predict and understand the problems their students have.

The book focuses on major problems of pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and other errors. Many languages are covered from the main Romance languages to Japanese, to Korean, Malay/Indonesian, and also inclucing examples from Polish, Swahili, Farsi and Dutch.

For each language a short summary is given highlighting where the language is spoken, what languages it is related to, whether it is an official language or a dialect and so on. Then each language is analyzed in its various components.

The section on phonology, for example, looks at each individual sound and explores the problems students have with each one of them.

The section on grammar deals with common grammar mistakes students with different MTs make. The section on vocabulary does the same and looks at problems like false friends.

This book will help you understand your students’ language background. By understanding the difficulties your students’ encounter because of their MT you will be able to address them on a more scientific base, as it were, and tailor your lessons accordingly.

A very useful handbook for those ESL teachers who work with multilingual classes, or those teaching a nationality they are not familiar with.

External Links

Learner English (amazon.com)

Learner English (amazon.co.uk)

 

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