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AMEP Research Centre

At Work in Australia Book 2: Getting on with the job – Workplace Communication skills

At work in Australia Book 2:  Getting on with the job – Workplace Communication skills
by Shirley Good
Published by AMES, Victoria, 2006

This resource consists of a book, DVD and an audiocassette.  As the title implies the focus is on the variety of communication strategies in the workplace and in this case two workplaces.

The first 5 Units concentrate on a new job scenario including: First day; Getting to know the workplace; Following and giving instructions and Getting to know workmates.

Units 5 -10 cover the more day-to-day issues of a workplace including, working at a reception desk, a staff meeting, workplace negotiation, handling a difficult client and teamwork. 

The resource is directly aligned to the CSWE III Learning Outcomes and there is a mapping table to assist with this.  I noticed however, that the Learning Outcomes were not mentioned again throughout the book.

Two teachers of CSWE III used various units within the resource with Adult Migrant English Program and State Funded students. They found the material to be well- organised and easy to read. The font size is good and the lay out of the pages is clear. The unit topics are relevant and useful. The intra-cultural commentary was noted as being valuable and elicited discussion in the classroom. 

The audio-cassette is useful for pronunciation. However, it was felt that recorded conversations may be useful on the tape for specific listening purposes and as a model for role plays - perhaps serving as a listening version of the DVD material

The first three episodes on the DVD were used and these were found to be excellent, but rather short. 

Although the resource is aimed at classroom usage, I feel that it could be used in an Independent Learning Centre (ILC) with teacher or tutor guidance. The scenarios are introduced well and the format would allow students to access the material independently. 

A reference list at the end of the book could be useful for further information on the topics and issues raised e.g. unions, team work etc.  Additional reference to internet websites for independent further research may be useful.

The book and accompanying DVD are a good generic Australian resource.  Valuable local resources are always welcome at the CSWE III level of language teaching and learning.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Lenahan, Gold Coast Institute of TAFE, Southport, Queensland