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September 1995 - Issue No. #20 (p. 20)

English Language Textbooks Dealing with Global Issues

Publishers are invited to send in sample copies of new books relating to global issues. Readers interested in writing book reviews should contact the editor.

Explorations in World Literature

by Carole Shaffer-Koros & Jessie Reppy (1994)

St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010

This 220-page anthology, written for advanced students of English and native English speakers, is an introductory world literature text designed to enhance student academic and language skills, critical thinking and interest in world cultures. Its 26 chapters present international literary selections covering a wide range of genres (drama, novel, short story, essay, poetry...), diverse world regions (Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East) and literary themes (nature, coming of age, independence, male-female relations..) while providing a balanced racial, ethnic and gender perspective. Selections range from the "old canon" authors (Sophocles, Shakespeare, Chekhov...) to multicultural "new canon" writers (Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Naguib Mahfouz, Chinua Achebe, Lao She...). Each chapter includes maps or photos, background information on the writer and text, pre-reading exercises, vocabulary notes, language/thinking activities and books for further reading.

Crisis in the Global Environment

by S. Yamamura & K. Macdonald (1995)

Kenkyusha, 2-11-3 Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102

This 100-page university-level Japanese EFL reading text introduces students to key global issues related to the environment. The book's 20 chapters cover topics such as air and water pollution, global warming, acid rain, the spread of deserts, garbage, disappearing wildlife, space junk, nuclear power plants, the population explosion, the drug problem, AIDS and Russian dumping of nuclear waste off Japan. Each chapter contains vocabulary, grammar, comprehension and translation exercises. A cassette is available separately.

Women and Work

by Maureen Michelson (1989)

Nan'un-Do Press, 361 Yamabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162

This illustrated 100-page college EFL reading text introduces students to a variety of active professional working women in a variety of occupations in the United States. The book's 18 chapters profile 18 women in 18 different professions, including a physician, politician, police officer, pilot, orchestra conductor, journalist and iron worker. Each chapter includes a brief introduction, photo and autobiographical essay of the woman profiled, with Japanese notes for the readings given at the back of the book. A cassette is available separately.

Saving Our Planet

by Jim Knudsen & Takao Maruyama (1996)

Nan'un-Do Press, 361 Yamabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162

This 120-page Japanese college-level English textbook raises students' international awareness through short readings on a wide range of global and environmental issues. The book's 20 chapters cover topics such as endangered species, sustainable lifestyles, indigenous peoples, eco-tourism, oil spills, computers and energy saving, a US ecolympics, child slave labor, fighting poverty in Bangladesh and the spotted owl. Each chapter features a 2-page "eco-essay", Japanese notes, comprehension questions, translation exercises, listening comprehension and words of ecological inspiration. A cassette is available separately.

Jiro Goes to Europe

by Masakazu Someya, Paul Murray, Fred Ferrasci (1994)

Kinseido Ltd., 3-21 Jimbocho, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101

This 100-page Japanese college EFL text is the third in a series of "Jiro Goes to..." books, following Jiro Goes to America and Jiro Goes to England, built around the adventures of Jiro Tanaka, a Japanese college student visiting foreign countries. In its 12 units, the book introduces 6 European countries (France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria & Germany), themes such as food, fashion, safe travel, religion, music & castles, and follows Jiro as he attends a bull fight, climbs the Matterhorn, visits the Vatican and falls in love with a German girl. Each chapter includes an introductory reading, comprehension questions, a cloze-listening dialog, useful expressions, a role play and cultural background notes. A cassette is available separately. Global educators who see English as a window onthe world rather than only a means to learn about native-speaker countries such as the US and UK hope this series will go on to include books such as Jiro Goes to Africa and Jiro Goes to Asia!


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Kip A. Cates, Tottori University, Koyama, Tottori City, JAPAN 680-8551
E-mail: Work Tel/Fax: 0857-31-5650