The Bottom Line
- Fresh approach to the English teaching process
- Inclusion of brief theoretical overviews that are helpful without being overwhelming
- Wealth of activities that can be integrated quickly into class
- Minimal preparation time for most activities
- Teachers looking for guidance on integration into existing curriculum might have difficulties
- Lack of photocopiable materials might not appeal to some teachers looking for quick fixes
- The book focuses on the thought process and some might find it visually unappealing.
- Introduction and overview of integrating memory and thinking in English language teaching. The book does an excellent job of connecting theory to practice.
- Five chapters focusing on the key areas of memory and thinking provide a quick overview of each area and its integration.
- A treasure trove of creative teaching activities sure to please veteran teachers looking for some new ideas.
- Teaching activities provide aim, teaching and preparation time, as well as step-by-step instructions on using the activity in class.
- The book focuses on the process of teaching and activities rather than provide eye candy.
Guide Review - Review of Provoking Thought - Memory and Thinking in ELT by Hall Houston
Review of Provoking Thought - Memory and Thinking in ELT by Hall Houston is chock full of learning activities for the busy ESL or EFL teacher. However, the book doesn't just provide useful English teaching activities. It strives to provide a wide range of activities for "teachers who want to help students improve their English as well as develop thinking skills that can useful in everyday life."
Provoking Thought is therefore not only a book to help out harried teachers, but also a guide to integrating deeper learning through a well developed guide to the thinking process as it relates to language learning. Luckily, it also does a great job of helping those harried English teachers with a wide range of activities that take little or no time to prepare.
The book is divided into five chapters which start off with well synthesized overviews of different aspects of thought and memory and how they can be leveraged to provided a richer learning experience. The central thesis of the book is that providing learning activities that foster thought and memory will provide more satisfying, and ultimately successful language acquisition. The ESL / EFL teacher is clearly the facilitator in this approach, and the book provides helpful information on how to put theory into practice.
Each of the activities provides the aims, time and preparation required, as well as step by step instructions to the activity. Often, text and/or suggestions are provided to get things going, but there are no photocopier handouts that accompany the activities. Activities are organized by the thinking / memory process they help encourage, so teachers looking for match-ups to a standard grammar-based curriculum might have some difficulties pairing the activities to specific grammar concepts. The real treasure of this book lies in its creative and original approach to providing activities that will help students become master of the language through the expression of their own thoughts.