Practical English 365

Vol 1

Non-Fiction - Self Help
336 Pages
Reviewed on 06/17/2010
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Robert Rose for Readers' Favorite

It’s difficult to give an objective review of a book that is basically a self-help, programmed workbook. I would need to see some data based on pre and post-tests to determine effectiveness.

There are many somewhat similar workbooks and loads of free lessons available online for teachers and parents that deal with each specific type of lesson. When Professor Nyantakyi began his book ten years ago this was not true. I can remember, in the Seventies, the first programmed math and language books. They were very useful because I had been experimenting with individualized instruction since 1962 and had always been searching for, or had to create, my own lessons. Students could go at their own pace, could work independently, could learn through self-correction, and it gave me the chance to teach at the moment they wanted to learn the concept. It was at that famous “teachable moment.”

Much of the above can be achieved by using "Practical English 365". I can see it used by home schoolers, immigrants, and as a viable homework alternative. It also could be used in pairs, triads, or small groups from fifth grade and above for remedial, bilingual, or enrichment activities. The groups would need to be taught cooperative behaviors. With so many children, teens, and adults who are bilingual, Professor N.’s book could be a handy language bible to use to reinforce their skills. I admit my bias because I believe that, with computers, it is easier to teach proper English and language use beginning with many oral language activities.

Concurrently, by having them create their own stories and then correcting and writing with a spell checker and grammar program, they learn the basics of English. When students are allowed to follow their interests and talk, read, and write about them, they learn without coercion. That’s why I can only muster up four star rating. However, that does not diminish Mr. Nyantakyi’s achievement or his book’s usefulness to those who use it properly.