The Classroom X-Factor

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​Regardless of what he might like the world to think, Simon Cowell didn’t coin the term ‘the X-factor’ to convey ‘a hard-to-describe influence or quality’. Nonetheless, it’s hard not to wish that the authors of this extremely useful discussion of the power of body language and nonverbal communication in the classroom could have found an alternative phrase upon which to hang their work; having ‘the X-factor’ didn’t exactly prove to be a guarantee of long-term success for, say, Steve Brookstein, after all. This aside, there’s plenty of valuable material here, entertainingly and thoughtfully presented, with bags of enthusiasm – especial consideration is shown for the information overload to which educators are subjected on a regular basis, too, with regular mini-plenaries to sum up what’s been covered thus far, and visual representations of key concepts wherever possible. There’s even a section of fictional stories, with accompanying analysis, to take the place of what in a seminar would doubtless be a series of short films showing effective non-verbal communication in action; a device that is surprisingly successful.