Today we talk about Say that again, a book by Lorraine Bonython published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Lorraine Bonython to get to know her better and what prompted her to write on English teaching in her book Say that again.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Is there a particular moment in your life that led you to the writing of your book? What was it?
It was Covid without question. Although for years I had been considering writing a text for adults…I began teaching senior students in Secondary school in Australia when I was 21, [having already completed two teaching degrees]. I taught literature to academic students and ESL to students who could not pursue academic studies because their English was not regarded as being ‘good enough’. I continued teaching and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming the first woman in Australia to be the principal of a multi-campus school. I simultaneously completed another 5 degrees including 3 Masters: one in Education, one in Curriculum and one in Linguistics. I had 3 academic papers published and eventuallyI applied for a position as Senior Education officer in Thailand and thus began my international career. I have since trained teachers and taught adults in 8 different countries. My style of teaching adults is practical – they want immediate knowledge of English, and they want to use it asap. Many of them work internationally and English is the language of business communication. so employers paid for their classes, but with Covid many companies no longer identified English learning as a financial priority and people could not afford to pay for their own classes…so I decided to ‘help them out’ as best I could.
- What would you like to hear from your readers?
I would like to know what their ‘level’ of English is and their nationality. Is English their only second language or have they learnt other languages? If they have learnt other languages, which do they consider to be the most difficult. I want to know if the book helped their English learning at a time when English classes were too expensive for their company or them. I’d also like to know if it would be helpful to have a CD that goes with the book – so that they have a model of pronunciation. Are any of them learning again now – either face to face or online – has the content of the book enhanced their understanding of English. Finally, I’d like to know what other topics would be useful for them.Do they practice every day or just once or twice a week? If a teacher has bought the book, have they found the topics or sections useful for their own classes?
- How did you choose the title of the book?
The title of the book was not difficult to decide upon. I realised that especially since I have started working online, that I often ask students to repeat their answers to whatever exercises we are doing. Ironically, when the internet connection is not good students often ask if they should ‘say it again’ and I often ask them to ‘say it again’ because of the problems with the audio. Frequently students need to repeat a word after I model it, so that they can say it correctly. I often explain the syllabication, speaking slowly so that they can then say it. For example, the word ‘hypothetical’ : I say it as ‘hi-po-thet-ic-al and having broken it into syllables they have no problem repeating it. So we all ‘say it again’ until we get it right! I know that’s how I learnt to say some words in Russian and Italian – I kept saying them until I got it right!
- How would you describe your writing style?.
My writing style is always dictated by the intended audience. I am passionate about clear communication, both written and spoken and my writing style reflects that. The book was intended for people [especially adults] who want to continue learning English even if they cannot afford a teacher, so the book was written with that audience in mind – firstly adults who already have some knowledge of English and secondly adults who want to improve their pronunciation. They are the ‘audience’ that needs to be able to maintain and expand their knowledge of English without a teacher to help them, so they are eager to learn and practice independently. It is important to understand that all written communication – be it business, professional, academic, or even informal – should be structured specifically for the audience. As a teacher of adults, I have structured the book for adults, so the writing style reflects that. It does not condescend, it enhances learning.
- Are you working on a new book of the same genre?
This very much depends on whether the book is received well. As I have explained I have written academic and research papers for publication – and in many ways this book was a summary of how I teach adults – worksheets and exercises that I have designed over the years. They are all original worksheets -some that I have used in my own classes and some new ones – so it was a true joy to put it all together with the aim of helping a wider audience of students. I am passionate about communication – and as the ‘international language of communication’ I very much want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to use the language! Long term and without arrogance I hope I can impact on the learning of English for adults. They are not children; they need something to be able to use now, and if this book is able to help them I am more than willing to write another…much to the chagrin of language schools whom I know often produce second rate materials for adults and don’t respect their maturity or their capacity for learning.
Europe Books thanks the author Lorraine Bonython once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book Say that again. We wish her the best of luck for this novel and for her future works.
To you, my dear reader, I hope this book makes you want to start learning English or to resume learning English if you stopped. I am sure that reading this book will provide you with valuable and interesting tips and insights, useful in the knowledge of many aspects of this fantastic language, which is English.
So, my dear reader, I just have to wish you to enjoy this very useful English reading!!!