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Bill Moore

Markham (Ont.), Pembroke Publishing, 1989.59pp, paper, $8.95
ISBN 0-921217-39-0. CIP


Bill Moore

Markham (Ont.), Pembroke Publishing, 1989. 59pp, paper, $8.95
ISBN 0-921217-36-6. CIP

Reviewed by Catherine MacDonnell.

Volume 18 Number 1
1990 January

Organizing the Whole Language Classroom and Listening, Speaking, Viewing and Doing are two books that attempt to give a comprehensive view of language arts instruction and language arts organization all together. The first outlines time elements, grouping, theme approaches, group discussions, individ­ual needs and evaluation while the second attempts to outline methods of instruction for listening and speaking.

While the author, Bill Moore, uses his teaching credentials to lend credibility to these "professional" works, the knowledge level expounded upon is very dated. Fifteen years ago, Elizabeth Thorn and Carl Braun, in Teaching the Language Arts: Speaking Listening, Reading and Writing (Gage, 1974), covered all of the points made in these two books.

Since those first days of the theme approach to language teaching, much of the content of these two books has been produced over and over in ministry guidelines and school board curriculum guides. It is unfortunate that the material presented here is of little relevance to the teacher in Ontario. While the suggestions are basically sound conceptually, they (the sugges­tions) can be derived from so many readily accessible curriculum docu­ments that it would be quite superflu­ous for anyone to own these books.

These books are very brief and I find them a somewhat incomplete treatment of an area of learning, which, for the ministry and most school boards, is a major area of a student's development. It would appear that it is simply a culling of the ideas of others - ideas that have been distilled many, many times.

Definitely for the rawest rookie who wants some quick suggestions on a superficial level, these two books have limited value for professionals. The organization and layout of the works are simple and direct.

The bibliography, being composed of authors who are all friends of this author, becomes very suspect. In addition, because the list omits publish­ing dates, it is vague and not open to purposeful analytical judgment.

The subject material is intended for teachers but I would not recommend its usage - not because of inaccuracy but rather because it is too little, too late.

Catherine MacDonnell, Kitchener, Ont.
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