Resenhas de Livros: Slang Activity Book

Slang Activity Book
Jack Scholes, Disal Editora, 2005
Reviewed by Nancy Lake

David Crystal, in his foreword to Slang: Gírias Atuais do Inglês, drew much-needed attention to the importance of recognizing all varieties of English and of appreciating real language. His agreement with G.K. Chesterton on the metaphoric qualities of slang coupled with the importance of the efficiency of slang around the world may well have set teachers and students to thinking about how to learn and understand more about this fascinating aspect of all world languages.

The challenge, however, is how to deal with lists of words and translations and how to organize real learning in an enjoyable and useful way since most available source books are basically lists of words and their meanings and uses in alphabetical order. We teachers are often at a loss as to how to organize our classes for teaching slang and practicing vocabulary in an other-than-mechanical way. We spend a lot of time searching for exercise books and games to make learning stimulating for our students.

Research has shown that in order to learn vocabulary, learners need to understand the meaning, store the lexical items in the brain and retrieve them for future use; one important way to facilitate this process is by categorizing the words and practicing them in an enjoyable way. In one volume Slang Activity Book features a variety of exercises which have been organized by category in order to facilitate practicing vocabulary in a fun and meaningful manner. There are interesting comparisons between British and American English which give important cultural insight to the expressions. The key is more than just a key; it offers explanations and useful translations for the answers to the activities. An added plus can be found in the special built-in flexibility which allows teachers to choose any of the 51 exercises without having to worry about a special sequence according to the needs of the learners or subject being dealt with. All of these facets make for interesting use in any size class. For Brazilian teachers and learners, one could say that, like the famous Brazilian cachaça (sugarcane rum) 51, Slang Activity Book is truly a good idea!

The reviewer
Nancy Lake is the Coordinator of Teacher Training for the CEL-LEP group. E-mail:

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