Saturday, June 12, 2010
Iapalucci, Havilah Diane. Come Travel with Me! An ESL Language Discussion Textbook for International Students.
Rose Dog Books. 2010. c268p. illus. ISBN 978-1-4349-9680-0. $23.00.
Here Iapulacci (B.A., History, Minor, Education, Rutgers University; Teaching Certificate, High School Social Studies; author of Impressions of Modern Korea: An ESL Language Discussion Textbook (2008)), a teacher who was born and raised in New Jersey, has created a publication with several purposes. Firstly, she has written a textbook for students learning English. The result of the her experiences teaching English as a Second Language in Washington, D.C., New York City, New Jersey, Afghanistan, Korea, and China, it helps students learn the spoken language of English by means of thirty short readings, called “topics,” organized chronologically according to the author’s lifetime experiences. Vocabulary lists as well as comprehension and discussions questions end each chapter. Secondly, Iapalucci nurtures students’ travel inspirations. According to the author, all students relish the subject of travel. Topics cover many locations, not limited to cities and attractions in New Jersey, California, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy, England, New York, Washington, D.C., Virginia, South Korea, North Korea, and China. Finally, the author presents her text as a memoir. Educated to teach high school social studies, Iapalucci wore many professional hats. She served as a language instructor in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan and then became the Supervisor of American Ambassador John Volpe’s household in Rome, Italy. She was hired as the Legislative Aide to Republican Congressman Burt Talcott of California. She taught history in Allendale, South Carolina and more. Fore the most part, this book fulfills its many purposes, but it could be made better. As a textbook, it could be improved by boldfacing vocabulary words in the readings rather than listing them at the end of topics. Also, the author could include a bibliography of related print and electronic resources, maps, and an index. The illustrations, which are located in the center of the book, need to be interspersed with the text at the appropriate points or referenced in the prose. Additional photographs pertaining to the various countries where Iapalucci lived or visited would be welcome and useful for fostering conversations. Some of the aforementioned suggestions also would inspire students’ love of travel as would more information about the histories and cultures of the featured nations. As a memoir, Iapalucci’s text is detailed, honest, and compelling, but it passes over many personal issues and stories that the author could have addressed. Appropriate for students and some general readers, this publication may be a suitable and worthwhile purchase for some libraries. Recommended. Review copy. Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team. Availability: Amazon.com, Rose Dog Bookstore