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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Pecha Kucha & English Language Teaching, by Thomas Jerome Baker, Reviewed

An odd choice of book for a non-specialist and a fiction writer, perhaps. But, this work has something to offer to more than the teachers of English who are its intended readership.

Pecha Kucha, for those unfamiliar with the technique, is a patented form of Powerpoint presentation. It was developed in Japan and has rapidly spread over the globe as a means of getting information out to many different types of people. In this book, the method is discussed as it applies to the teaching of English as a foreign language. But the principles and advantages of the technique seem applicable to many other fields.

I read this in the hope that it might give me insights into the making of promotional material for my books. I’ve long considered making videos to market my work, but the process has always seemed too complex and time consuming. However, this method, using software with which I’m at least slightly familiar, shows promise. I’ve no doubt that it will require some learning, patience and application from me, but I also have little doubt that it will help me produce short videos that will be effective and interesting. In fact, I’ve already started on that process, inspired by accounts detailed in this book.

The author, who works in Chile as a TEFL teacher, illustrates the ebook with many samples of the Pecha Kucha technique in use. He suggests it as an effective way of engaging with students and enthusing them to the topic. There’s humour here, as a well as expertise. And the candid style of writing makes the book accessible to all.

If you’re a teacher, or if you’re looking for ways to enhance your book marketing, you’ll find this an instructive and inspiring work. I recommend it.
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