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June 1999 - Issue No. #35 (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.

Global Views: A Multicultural Reader with Language Exercises

by J. Becijos (1995)

Carlsbad, California: Dominie Press

This 94-page text features multicultural readings about world countries and cultures for beginner and low-level ESL students. The book's 30 units deal with world figures (Edmund Hillary, Jane Goodall, Vaclav Havel, U Thant, Valentina Tereshkova, Gabriel Garcia Marquez), world places (Hawaii, Jerusalem), world monuments (the Eiffel tower, the Great Wall of China, the Parthenon), world peoples (the Maya, the Inuit), world festivals (in Ghana, Vietnam, Korea, Sri Lanka, Lebanon) and world folktales (from Jamaica, Brazil, South Africa and Lithuania). Each unit contains pre-reading questions, map work, a reading passage, comprehension questions, grammar exercises and language points (spelling, punctuation, vocabulary).

Okinawa: The Peaceful Island

by Jerry Burks (1997)

Tokyo: Buneido

This 32-page EFL Japanese high school text aims to improve students' English abilities while raising awareness of Okinawan culture, history and issues. The book's 14 lessons are divided into five sections: Nature in Okinawa (typhoons, animal species, coral reefs), Okinawan Life and Culture (festivals, arts & crafts), Okinawan Cuisine (food & longevity), Okinawan Music and Dance (traditional arts, modern music, karate), and Okinawan History (the Ryukyu kingdom, World War II, US military bases). Each two-page lesson contains a short reading passage, Japanese summary, color photos, vocabulary notes, comprehension questions, sentence exercises and further information on the topic. A teacher's booklet and sample test are included.

Let's Talk about Okinawa

by Okinawa High School English Teachers Ass. (1994)

Naha, Okinawa: Okinawa Jiji Shuppan

This 105-page text, written by Okinawan English teachers, aims to develop students' reading and speaking skills through stories and essays on Okinawa. The book's 18 chapters are divided into two sections. Section One contains ten Okinawan legends with titles such as How Tattooing Came to Okinawa and Tuyumya and the Big Shark. Section Two comprises eight essays on topics such as Okinawan geography, Okinawan art, dance and festivals, international trade in the Ryukyu period, Basil Hall's 1816 visit to Okinawa, US rule and reversion to Japan, and Okinawa's experiences in World War II. Each 4-6 page chapter contains an illustrated reading passage, a Japanese summary, vocabulary notes, comprehension questions and a student speaking task.

War and Peace: English Across the Curriculum

by I. Kuchl & S. Simpson (1993)

Vienna, Austria: OBV Padagogischer Verlag

This 25-page EFL text for German-speaking students, part of a content-based "English Across the Curriculum" series, aims to improve students' English skills through the study of war and peace. Its six units comprise (1) When Will They Ever Learn? with photos of war, war and peace vocabulary, and the song Where Have All the Flowers Gone? (2) Seeds of Conflict about conflict escalation, reasons for war and WWII, (3) Fruits of War featuring listening and discussion exercises about the effects of war, (4) During a War about war rations, scarcity and children evacuees, (5) The Blitz! which focusses on the WWII Nazi bombing of England, and (6) Working for Peace containing peace songs, Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Vocabulary notes are at the back of the book.

Discussing Issues

by Paul McLean (1999)

Tokyo: Yumi Press

This 88-page Japanese college EFL reader features short annotated essays to build students' language skills through readings on social issues. The book's 22 topics include single sex schools, abuse of women, interracial adoptions, teenage curfews, corporal punishment, the fight against drugs, prison life, downsizing, assisted suicide, abortion, organ transplants, cloning, ecovandalism, same-sex marriages, and gays in the military. Each topic includes a 2-page reading passage, Japanese notes, vocabulary exercises, listening comprehension, and opinion statements for students to agree or disagree with. A cassette is available separately.


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