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March 1997 - Issue No. #26 (p.22)

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

Discussion Starters

by Keith S. Folse (1996)

University of Michigan Press, PO Box 1104, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1104 USA

This 175-page activity-based ESL text for advanced English learners is designed to promote speaking fluency through discussions on social issues and daily life themes. The book's 32 units include topics such as gender roles past-present-future, smoking, the military, environmental problems, multiculturalism and clothing, the legalization of drugs, AIDS, gun control, drinking and driving, animal rights, gay and lesbian issues, and the right to die. Each unit includes background material, exercises to help students sort out opinions before class, and interactive pair and group activities which involve all students in the discussion.

Listen to the Voices of the World

by Tetsu Nishimoto & Barbara Wells (1997)

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

This 110-page Japanese university English text aims to improve students' reading and listening skills on current events. Its 16 chapters are divided into two parts: (1) Japan's Image Abroad, about Asian perceptions of Japan, American perceptions of Japan, Korean Japanese, employment in Japan, Japanese education, Japanese society and the Hiroshima A-bomb, and (2) State of the World about cultural imperialism, racism, refugees, culture clash, Third World poverty, slavery, women's issues, the environment and the population explosion. Each chapter includes pre-reading questions, a 2-page magazine article with Japanese vocabulary and True/False questions, and listening activities with comprehension and cloze questions. The book comes with a CD for the listening passages and exercises.

Topics for Today

Lorraine Smith & Nancy Mare (1992)

International Thomson, Kyowa Biru 3F, 2-2-1 Hirakawa-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102

This 160-page book, part of the "For Today..." theme-based reading series, is a low-advanced ESL reading skills text. It's divided into 10 chapters: (1) men and paternity leave, (2) morality in the classroom, (3) factors in living long, (4) the effect of mindset on health, (5) sibling rivalry, (6) aggression, violence and war, (7) the anatomy of a headache, (8) sales of human organs, (9) zoos and endangered species, (10) tropical rainforest destruction. Each chapter includes pre-reading preparation, a 2-3 page reading passage, a fact-finding exercise, outlining practice, reading analysis, critical thinking, dictionary skills, a quiz, follow-up activities and library research. An index of key words and answer key are given at the back.

Understanding World Economy

by John Drucker (1996)

MacMillan Language House, Hayakawa Bldg., 5-14-7 Hakusan, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112

This 116-page Japanese college EFL text aims to develop reading skills while promoting understanding of global economic issues. The book's 20 chapters include mainstream economic topics (exchange rates, taxes, tariffs, the IMF, GDP, national debt, economic blocs, money markets) as well as issue-oriented chapters (the economics of war and peace, economics and the environment, the economics of immigration, the haves and have-nots, tourism and development). Each chapter contains a reading passage, a Japanese explanation, a vocabulary exercise and True-False questions. A cassette is available separately.

The Americas

by Paul McLean (1996)

Yumi Press, 2-14 Suido-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162

This 92-page Japanese college EFL reader introduces students to countries and issues in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The book's 20 chapters discuss countries (Mexico, the West Indies, Canada, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Cuba), topics (the Summit of the Americas, Latin arts) and issues (Latin tycoons, the military, citizen groups, poverty, the environment, corruption). The final chapter gives short profiles (population, capital, languages, income) of 35 countries in the Americas. Each 3-page chapter includes a short reading, Japanese notes, plus vocabulary, listening or comprehension questions.


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