New book: Advanced English Language Skills Handbook

May 12, 2016   Language And Communication Skills Department

Advanced English Language Skills Handbook is designed for use in tertiary institutions and would also be useful for Form Five and Six learners in high school. The book tackles oral, reading and writing skills in English, as well as relevant aspects of grammar and lexis, under the following headings: note-taking and making, and paragraph development; reading, summary and expansion, focusing on expository and narrative texts; writing skills, targeting functions of writing, the structure of the essay, planning, and citations and references; business writing, tackling applications, reports, CVs, resumes, and agendas and minutes; thought and language in writing, focusing on factual and opinion statements, cogent argumentation, grammar for writing, and sophistication in writing. Perhaps one of the strengths of the handbook is that it utilises examples of students’ writing as authentic materials and has many activities for learners.

The handbook has been recommended as:

…important because of its great potential to assist students master tertiary level English language skills…it represents a major shift in the way language teaching and learning are conducted… The manuscript…was piloted at Chancellor College, University of Malawi, with overwhelming success; it became one of the most borrowed language skills texts in the short loan section at the college’s library.

(Dr. S. F. Kankuzi, former Head of Language and Communications Skills (LACS) Department, Chancellor College, University of Malawi)

About the author

Zondiwe Mbano, lecturer in Academic Literacy at Chancellor College, University of Malawi, has a BA in English and History, a B.Ed (Hons.) and MA in English Language Teaching from University of Malawi; he also has a Postgraduate Diploma in English Language Teaching from University of Leeds, England, besides certificates in English Language Teaching from International Training Institute, Sydney, Australia and Educational Management and Administration from Moray House College of Education, Edinburgh, Scotland.

In 2005, he was awarded the UNESCO’s International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (IFPC) fellowship for artists’ residency at the Civitella Ranieri Castle, Umbertide, Italy where he wrote a collection of poetry. From October 2007 to July 2008, through the Scotland Malawi Partnership in Higher Education (SMPHE) fellowship, he was attached to Language Centre, University of Glasgow, Scotland, where he completed the first draft of the Advanced English Language Skills Handbook.

He has also published Beware Millipede (Zomba: Kachere Series, 2007), his first poetry collection; The Unsung Song (Zomba: Chancellor College Publications, 2003) which he co-edited with Reuben Chirambo and Max Iphani and has his poems and stories, is an approved senior secondary school Literature textbook; Mangadzi Was Here: A selection of modern stories from Malawi (Zomba: Chancellor College Publications, 2011), which he co-edited with Alfred Msadala; and Strides in English Books 1, 2, 3 and 4, (Cape Town: Pearson Education Books, 2015) which he co-authored with several South African textbook writers, have already been approved for junior secondary schools, pending the senior secondary school one.

Among other publications with his poems are Porter, Zimunya and Anyidoho, The Fate of Vultures (BBC collection of winning poetry, Heinneman, 1989), Nazombe A (ed), Haunting Wind (Blantyre: Dzuka, 1985), Nazombe, A. (ed.) Operation and Tears: New Anthology of Malawian Poetry (Zomba: Kachere Series, 2003), Mvona, S. and S. Lane. (eds.) The Trap: An anthology of short stories and poems (Blantyre: MAWU, 2001), and Mvona, S. (ed.) The Bachelor of Chikanda: An anthology of modern short stories from Malawi (Blantyre: MAWU, 2009).

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