Open access reading for World Teachers' Day

Posted on October 05, 2023 by Margie Coughlin
It's World Teachers' Day! To celebrate, we shine a spotlight on recent open access books that show the transformative work of teachers, from those who provide literacy support within diverse settings, shape textbook reform in teaching India–Pakistan relations, or deliver innovative approaches to ab initio language teaching.    

Literacy education can take place in many locations and periods across the lifespan. Literacy educators require flexibility and a deep toolbox to meet their students’ diverse needs, regardless of whether they work in traditional school and college settings or in other environments with varied populations. Teaching Literacy in Diverse Contexts shows how practical experiences can be used in creative ways to support educator development for teaching literacy in a global context.

Mentorship between a developing literacy educator and an experienced teacher educator is central to the book, and to the practical experiences in training or Teaching Literacies in Diverse Contexts Edited by Sinéad Harmey and Bobbie Kabutoprofessional development that it focuses on. Chapters share the creative solutions discovered during mentorship that supported developing literacy educators to teach with authenticity in a number of contexts, including the adult learning sector, a rural community in Africa and alongside parents of very sick children. The authors demonstrate how this can be done in a sensitive and culturally relevant manner by parents, volunteers and teachers with varying degrees of experience in both formal and informal spaces. Together, the chapters build a crucial resource for preparing a broad range of literacy educators to teach literacy in many contexts where policy on how best to teach reading and writing to diverse student bodies ebbs and flows.

Teaching India–Pakistan Relations explores the attitudes and pedagogical decision-making of teachers in India and Pakistan when teaching India–Pakistan relations. Situating teachers in the context of reformed textbooks and Teaching India–Pakistan Relations Exploring teachers' voices Kusha Anandcurriculums in both countries that explicitly advocate critical thinking and social cohesion, Kusha Anand explores how far teachers have enacted these changes in their classrooms. Based on data collected from teachers via semi-structured interviews and classroom observations in India and Pakistan she argues that, despite whole-nation policies and texts, teaching of India–Pakistan relations is dependent on the socio-economic status of schools. While there is progress towards the stated goals, teachers in both countries face pressures from the interests of school and state, and often miss opportunities to engage with multiple perspectives and stereotypes in their classrooms.

Drawing extensively on the expertise of teachers of German in universities across the UK, Ab Initio Language Teaching in British Higher Education offers an overview of recent trends, new pedagogical approaches and practical guidance for teaching at beginners level in the higher education classroom. At a time when entries for UK school exams in modern foreign languages are Ab Initio Language Teaching in British Higher Education The Case of German Edited by Ulrike Bavendiek, Silke Mentchen, Christian Mossmann, and Dagmar Paulusdecreasing, this book serves the urgent need for research and guidance on ab initio learning and teaching in HE. Using the example of teaching German, it offers theoretical reflections on teaching ab initio and practice-oriented approaches that will be useful for teachers of both German and other languages in higher education.

The first chapters assess the role of ab initio provision within the wider context of modern languages departments and language centres. They are followed by sections on teaching methods and innovative approaches in the ab initio classroom that include chapters on the use of music, textbook evaluation, the effective use of a flipped classroom and the contribution of language apps. Finally, the book focuses on the learner in the ab initio context and explores issues around autonomy and learner strengths. The whole builds into a theoretically grounded guide that sketches out perspectives for teaching and learning ab initio languages that will benefit current and future generations of students.

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