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In Your Hands: NLP in ELT by Jane Revell
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In Your Hands: NLP in ELT

by Jane Revell

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In Your Hands: NLP in ELT by Jane Revell and Susan Norman is an attractive book which presents the core concepts and principles of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP). For those who may not already know, NLP is an approach that is dedicated to modeling exceptional performance in various fields. In other words, it is the art and science of human excellence. The authors begin with an overview of NLP and suggestions for getting the most out of NLP, the book and learning/teaching success. The book is beautifully laid out with attractive print, illustrations and design features. The table of contents lists (in mixed order) an introduction to NLP, 9 sections on presuppositions, 11 stories, 10 core concepts, 3 NLP techniques, 3 guided fantasies, 1 guided relaxation, 6 sections on language, one double induction, and 3 quizzes, making a total of 48 sections. At the back there are two pages of teaching suggestions (covering stories and the guided relaxation/fantasies), and then two pages listing reference books, a page of useful addresses (all in England), and a two page index. There are also numerous attractive illustrations and thought provoking quotations throughout and teachers are invited to make big photocopies of them to hang in the classroom.
While supposedly a resource text for English language teaching, it is as much for the readerÕs personal development as it is for the development of teaching. Of course anything that does develop the person, hopefully contributes to them doing a better job; especially when these people are continually standing up before others to be modeled. Thus, we would love to see all teachers read it and develop more. For teachers who already have an open/flexible mentality the book will be welcome. Others would probably best benefit from it when used in workshops lead by a facilitator or by experimenting at first with small pieces that they notice are already congruent with their teaching. While we are already using the text with groups of students and teachers, we would like to suggest certain changes in hopes that it will be even better in the second edition. First we feel the targeted audience (mostly only in the title) is too narrow and while the book only marginally addresses ELT-specific needs, it does address the very important teacher/personal development needs of many teachers in many fields. That it grew out of training manuals is obvious and the book is wonderfully right brain (which many training manuals are not), and has a good ÔfeelÕ. However, for more left brain abstract conceptualizers, and for a book, we feel there needs to be a bit more organization and chunking of material for the readers as well as explanations of material so that it could truly stand alone as a book without trainer guidance (e.g., on p. 98 a ÔThinkÕ section concerning the four stages of learning from non-conscious incompetence through non-conscious competence seems to be dropped in with no explanation). The teaching suggestions in the back focus primarily on ideas for delivering stories, definitely a strong point of the book which has a wonderful cassette to go with it. In fact, we have already used several stories in our own classes under the inspiration of the cassette alone. However, were teachers merely to look in the back at these pages they might think NLP is only about story telling, relaxation, and guided fantasies. The book actually does deal with many more excellent applications of NLP to teaching within the individual sections. All in all, the first edition of In Your Hands is a nice collection of ideas and a simplified version of some of the main NLP presuppositions, core concepts and techniques for teachers to explore.
(Reviewed by Brad Deacon and Tim Murphey Nanzan University) ( )
  AntonioGallo | Nov 2, 2017 |
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