Dealing with Difficulties - Solutions, strategies and suggestions for successful teaching

Luke Prodromou and Lindsay Clandfield

Delta Publishing (2007) Surrey, England, 

128 pages, CHF 39.90, 

ISBN: 978-3-12-501603-3

Both Luke Prodromou and Lindsay Clandfield are well known to ETAS members as experts in their field. Both started their careers teaching and have used their first-hand knowledge to address the difficulties we face as teachers. Besides systematically listing and exploring those difficulties, they offer suggestions on how to deal with them as the title suggests.

The book is divided up in 6 main themes; large classes and classroom management, discipline problems, mixed level classes, homework, teaching exam classes, and professional development. No matter what type of classes you teach or how much experience you have, you will be able to find valuable tips and detailed activities which can be immediately be implemented in your classrooms.

One feature that stands out is the introduction section to each theme. Here you find many concerns that all of us have had at one time or another discussed in a clear and motivating manner. For instance, in the section on discipline problems, the statement “if only I knew why they misbehaved” is handled with the reminder of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needswhich emphasizes fundamental issues which all of us learned at one time or another. These gentle theoretical reminders throughout the book reflect the expansive knowledge of the authors.

Personally, I tend not to buy books with pre-fabricated activities because they never seem to meet my needs. However, after reading through over 150 of them featured in this book, I feel that there are many I can use or adapt successfully in my classroom.

The book has already been awarded the Ben Warren International House trust prize and a highly recommended stamp of approval by the HRH the Duke of Edinburgh ESU English language book award 2007, in addition to many other positive reviews. You can definitely count on this quality publication to assist you in your teaching.

Susanne Oswald, University of Birmingham, UK