A Review from Fine Print

Hope your year has started well! I’m thrilled to be teaching a different level this term (EAL 2). Now I have to remind myself of ‘what’s around in Australian resources’ for this level, with no ‘recently released new resources’ news just yet (but I’m looking at you, Urban Lyrebirds!)

Meanwhile, a quick post to thank VALBEC and two TAFE learning advisors for the Fine Print review of Workwise English Quizzes (which is aimed at high 2 to low 3). 

As always, I so appreciate the time that reviewers, Pauline Walker and Liane Hughes, have spent to plan, trial, and then (thoughtfully) write up their review – it’s quite a task. It can also be illuminating for the resource author. In this case I found out that my instructions weren’t as stunningly clear as I’d thought…

Here are their thoughts:

The affirming

“Workwise English Quizzes” is a series of twenty-question quizzes that are designed to be played on a large screen. They would be a great resource in the ESL/EAL classroom. They could be used as a team game, perhaps as a fun break from other work, or students could use them individually. As the author explains, they could also be played on a screen in either a library, foyer or similar situation. This would encourage incidental interaction.”

Oh, ‘great resource’! Thanks! And the review reminds us that the quizzes are more of an incidental activity than part of the curriculum

The limitations: a very fair comment

These are not the slickest quizzes you will find online and some users may find it frustrating that they cannot control the speed of the slide changes. Still, they will give students an opportunity to learn and review a lot of useful language related to job-seeking and work in a fun format. 

I think this is very fair – and certainly if your students are ready for online quizzes, then go for it! 

The ‘Ooops, I didn’t think of this’ moment

Be aware that the screen which welcomes you to the quiz explains that you have “20 questions and 20 seconds to choose your answer”. You might like to reassure your students that they don’t have to answer one question per second! They actually have 20 seconds to answer each question. 

A bit of teacher reassurance needed here! It just shows how careful you have to be as a writer… (and how valuable it is to have the intermediary voice of the teacher!)  

It’s such an ongoing learning process being a teacher/writer – I guess that’s true for everyone, whether you write for your class alone, or for a wider audience. (How fortunate that is, too.)

That’s it for now – I will have some ‘new book news’ happening soon, I hope, and be able to report on other people’s (at clareharris.com). Have a great term.