Whichever side you take in The Great Course Book Debate, surely one of the issues is that course books have something official (even officious) about them. Once a topic finds its way into a course book it becomes a Classroom Topic and we teachers are granted permission to teach it.
There is, therefore, something wonderfully subversive about books written for ELT which deal with the sort of topics that digressions are made of. Andrew Wright’s How To… books in the deep, dark past were like this. Jorge Sette’s Teaching English With Art series is too.
Okay, it isn’t exactly a course book, it’s a supplementary resource for the language learning classroom, but it’s still shocking in its wonderfulness.
Here in Hamburg, you can book English tours of the Art Gallery, and brush up your English while distracted by beauty (or ugliness). I myself have run seminars outside the classroom on…
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