It was a surprise to receive Hall’s most recent publication to review, “101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students”, during the summer, and I was keen to share my thoughts and ideas. However, it has taken a while to write out and create a video, but I appreciate Hall Houston’s patience in the meantime. Nevertheless, I hope I do this review justice.
When I first opened this book on my computer, I was surprised how many different activities were included within the publication. Of course there are 101 activities, but it is sometimes hard to visualise the number of tasks within the contents page. The contents page covers three pages in length and the book is split into three key components: ‘Getting Off to a Good Start’, ‘Maintaining Motivation and Interest’, and ‘Ending the Semester Gracefully’.
The intention is obvious with the book offering ideas for the beginning, middle, or end of the course or term. There are a number of activities which are within each of these three components:
- Getting Off to a Good Start: 38 activities
- Maintaining Motivation and Interest: 38 activities
- Ending the Semester Gracefully: 25 activities
During the video review, as shared above, I looked a few select activities, which you can watch to get an idea of the variety of tasks, and I was pleased that the activities followed a familiar and logical structure. Each activity was accompanied with the title of the activity, a brief introduction, the time it would take to complete the task, any skills that would be focused during the activity, any preparation required, as well as the procedure.
There are a number of activities which also have possible downloadable and photocopiable material. During the video review, I was surprised as it is the first time that I have seen a direct link between material and a self-published eBook. I suppose in this day and age, we tend to take it for granted but for an author to take the time and make the effort to offer possible free material is welcomed.
For example, on the page above, after activity 40, there is a photocopiable handout offered to readers with the eBook. Clicking on this download button, readers are guided towards Hall Houston’s website where they can download and print the activity out for use in class.
As well as all the suggested lesson activities and material offered within this book, there is an introduction guiding the reader into each of the three key parts of the book and towards the end of these parts include teacher development tips or reflections on improving possible areas of teaching. The author has tried to offer much value into this publication and it is recognised.
At the end of the book, readers are provided with a variety of links for further reading, videos to consider watching or courses to extend their awareness. Much is packed into this publication.
On inspection, the book is a valuable resource for English teachers – regardless their teaching context – as it offers a variety of engaging tasks which could be incorporated immediately to any lesson. If you are keen to add something different to your lessons or to supplement an activity, then this book will offer some practical tips to enhance the delivery of your teaching.
The links embedded within the eBook offer additional downloadable material which can be printed and used in lessons, but I assume the physical book (which I was unable to review) would not be able to link these online resources. Nevertheless, the eBook would be invaluable and offers a little more – if my aforementioned assumption is correct.
If you enjoy this review and would like to get this book, you could either get the physical or digital version – I would recommend the digital version as all the links appear to work quite well and it is more affordable than the physical version.
In a word, this book is wonderful with much work and effort going towards the entire self-publication. Get your digital Kindle version here, “101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students”.
Final score: 10 / 10