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INTERVIEW AND COURSEBOOK REVIEW

UNIVERSITY TEACHERS USAGE OF COURSEBOOK ANALYSIS AND COURSEBOOK RATING


SCALE REVIEW

By: Gerardo Ivn Prez Urea


Class: English as a Foreign
Language Methodology
Professor: Roxanna Correa Prez
Katiuska Santibez Toledo

November 2014. Concepcin.

Index

Cover1

Index.2

Introduction..3

Interview Transcript4-7

Interview Chart..8-10

Analysis..11

Factual Details12-13

References14

Introduction
This assignment aims to develop the critical analysis of coursebooks in
teachers-to-be when they have the opportunity to choose the best coursebook
according to different aspects such as students level of English, cultural bios,
availability, authenticity, guidance, to name but a few. This assignment is
divided into two sections. The first section has to deal with a teacher interview
which aims to elicit the teachers view on coursebooks. On the other hand, the
second section has to do with a coursebook analysis itself in which certain
aspects are asked to fulfil such as title, author(s), ISBN, N of pages, etc. and a
Rating Scale in which assess according to the assessors point of view as poor,
fair, good or excellent.
In the following pages you will be able to take a look at the different
stages that this assignment has. You will start with the transcript of the interview
followed by the interview chart and a short analysis of it. Furthermore, you will
find the factual detail of the coursebook assessment and a short review as well.

Transcript
1) Interviewer: Do you think course books are important?
Interviewee: they are important for the teachers and for the students as a guide
in terms of content and functions, but the responsibility of the teacher is to
expand and explore a little bit more this contents and functions in order to give
students a broader view of every single one of the contents reviewed in class.
You cannot plan a class for an activity based on only in the things the book is
offering you. There are many things you have to consider: the type of class you
have, the students you have, the level of the students, so if you consider the
level of students demand a higher contents or deeper functions in terms of
units, you have to do it.

2) Interviewer: So, would you say that those are the criteria for choosing a
book?
The level of students or
Interviewee: it very difficult to choose a book based on only the level of
students because every time you have a class, the level of the students and
type of students is different, if we are thinking in schools. If we are thinking in
universities its the same, you have one semester, one group of students who
have very different types of levels and you have to consider that.

3) Interviewer: So, mmm..


Interviewee: you need the course book as a guide, I would say and from that
starting point you can complement what is missing from the course book or
eliminate what is not necessary if you consider the students are not ready for
that level. That, I would say is the responsibility of the teacher.

4) Interviewer: Ok, so. Which parts of the course book do you frequently use?
Interviewee: I generally use real material like listenings, readings, because the
rest is grammar and when we talk about grammar, we think about collocations
or definitions of things, of different words. Grammar in general can be used not

only in the contexts the course book is offering you, but also in the context the
teacher can offer.

5) Interviewer: So, the grammar part is less used than the real material?
Interviewee: no, I use it strongly, the thing is that you complement with the
context that you think students will be more comfortable dealing with.
Sometimes the context offered by course books are not your students likes and
that what you have to analyse and evaluate before using that or selecting
another one.

6) Interviewer: When do you supplement the course book? Why?


Interviewee: you supplement it when you think that the contents are not
enough and when you know your students can do more than that or when the
students are not going to feel comfortable or not familiar with the contents that
the course book is offering, so you choose or you exchange for different ones.

7) Interviewer: How do you supplement the course book?


Interviewee: I usually try to select real information, if that coincide with
something that is happening to me or something that has happened to me in the
past I would start with that, with real information.
I use worksheets if I find something that would be motivating and engaging.
Generally, I need students motivated at the very beginning, so you need that
hook.

8) Interviewer: What kind of help would you like to have from the CB in
teaching
grammar?
Interviewee: probably, that course book could offer games using grammar,
more games, more fan activities using grammar. No only filling in or completing
worksheet which I think is necessary too, and I use it, but as a complement for
the class and as they are going to be immersed not only in what they are going
to listen or write, they need to do something with their bodies in order to
understand the grammar and thats what is missing from course books; they
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offer games sometimes, but they are games that you need to probably they
dont make them move in grammar and we can make them move in grammar
as well as in speaking activities.
Interviewer: like to do them more meaningful?
Interviewee: correct, because meaning is not only in listening and writing, but
also doing.

9) Interviewer: What kind go help would you like to have from the CB in
teaching
pronunciation?
Interviewee: mmm. The same, I would say the same with grammar, fun
activities, activities that would engage them or challenge them to use the correct
phonetic or to use the correct phoneme, to challenge them in phonetics which is
a dense subjects and everybody that this is so difficult and if you approach them
through games it would be much easier for the teacher to teach that area.

10) Interviewer: What kind go help would you like to have from the CB in
teaching
lexis?
Interviewee: well, I generally do this with the students, I make them move.
Lexis is better understood when they interact, when they exchange their
knowledge, so the way they do it is I have the word, you have the meaning find
the meaning try to match the meaning with the word you have in your hands,
but first investigate with your classmates in the dictionary, so they do this
research and then they stand up and start looking for the word, so making them
move makes their more active in their learning they will remember a little bit
easy, more easily like mmm.. yeah I remember that word, it was at that
corner I have to do that in order to get it

11) Interviewer: What kind go help would you like to have from the CB in
teaching
skills of the lg?
Interviewee: uff you mean listening, speaking, writing
Interviewer: yes, I do
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Interviewee: thats one of the challenges of teaching a language English


which you have to go through all of these skills, right? So, in a class you have to
try to make them write, speak, listen, read and think in English and thats a
challenge for the teacher to make them feel that they have used the language in
a real situation, when you name the skills is because we use the language in a
real situation; were listening were speaking, were writing were using the
language. So, if they do not know that they have gone through all the review of
skills I think its a good class because if you concentrate only on reading,
only on writing Its not a real use of English.

12) Interviewer: so, in the use of course books, do you think that the books
should be skills oriented mainly more than grammar or?
Interviewee: yes, I think that the final activities that course books offer in every
unit should include the four skills and thats a challenge for the people that
create, write course books, thats why teacher need to be present there,
because you know how to integrate them, because you know your students and
you know what theyve learnt. So, maybe you have similar activities at the end
of the unit, but maybe you can complement them with something else and that
is your responsibility

Interview Chart
CATEGORIES

PARTICIPANT

COMMENT

Importance of
coursebooks.

They are important for the teachers and for the students
as a guide in terms of content and functions.

Criteria for
choosing a
coursebook.

...the level of the students and type of students

Parts of CB most
used.

I generally use real material like listenings, readings,


because the rest is grammar...I use it strongly (grammar),

Parts of CB less
used.
Context/reasons for
supplementing.

no answer

As the interviewee claimed that coursebook are important


and they work as a guide for both teachers and students, it
can be concluded that she does not use textbooks as a
whole, yet it helps her in what content and functions are
concerned.
The interviewee declares that for her, there two aspects to
be considered when choosing a book which are the level of
student and the type of students she has. It means that she
considers her students need and manners above her own
needs.
According to the parts of CB most frequently used, she
stated that she uses real material such us listenings and
readings, yet she teaches the grammar area presented in
books strongly. When referring to real (authentic) material
such as listenings and readings, we can refer to Peacock
(1997) who proclaims that authentic material is that they
are highly motivating for students. (quoted by Hongzhi,
2005)
There were no answer as the interviewer did not asked the
question.
According to McGrath (2002, pp. 81), they (teachers) may
also wish to provide differentiated material, that is,

You supplement it when you think that the contents are


not enough and when you know your students can do

more than that or when the students are not going to feel
comfortable or not familiar with the contents that the
course book is offering

Procedure for
supplementing.

I usually try to select real information, if that coincide


with something that is happening to me or something that
has happened to me in the past I would start with that,
with real information.
I use worksheets if I find something that would be
motivating and engaging

Kind of help in
teaching Grammar.

course book could offer games using grammar, more


games, more fan activities using grammarthey need to
do something with their bodies in order to understand the
grammar and thats what is missing from coursebooks

Kind of help in
teaching
pronunciation.

I would say the same with grammar, fun activities,


activities that would engage them or challenge them to
use the correct phonetic or to use the correct phoneme

material that cater for different levels of proficiency or


different needs within a class. This is the case of the
interviewee, because she supplements the coursebook
when she sees that the content is not enough, it means
according to her students level and needs.
The interviewee declared that she uses authentic material to
supplement her classes and that she prefers using
experiential material to start her classes, as a warm up.
Therefore, she refers to the use of worksheets if there is
something motivating and engaging which can be
concluded that she always thinks about her students. Thus,
her classes, the use of coursebooks and supplementary
material is student oriented and they are nor chosen
randomly.
When referring to the kind of help the interviewee desires
from coursebooks, she refers to the implementation of
games that require action and movements. It can be
compared to TPR (Asher, 1969) as movement and the use
of the body may provoke a meaningful learning for the
students. In addition, the interviewee would like to make
grammar meaningful in that way with the help of
coursebooks.
The interviewee replied that she would like help from CB
as games, fun activities in order foster her students
learning process in what pronunciation is concerned. She
declared that she would like activities that would engage

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Kind of help in
teaching lexis.

lexis is better understood when they interact, when they


exchange their knowledge, so the way they do it is I have
the word, you have the meaning find the meaning

Kind of help in
teaching skills.

so, in a class you have to try to make them write, speak,


listen, read and think in English and thats a challenge for
the teacher to make them feel that they have used the
language in a real situation

and challenge her students. In this aspect, we can refer to


Krashens input hypotheses (1983) in which he refers to I +
1 that is the challenge students need to go further their
level of competence.
There were no exact answer for this questions, however,
she spoke about what sort of activities she does in her
classes. This activity is connected to the ones previously
mentioned in the categories of kind of help in teaching
grammar and pronunciation as they are games.
The interviewee recognises the importance of a
communicative approach usage in classes when she
declared that she have to try make her students write,
speak, listen, read and even think in the target language.
When she claims that that is a challenge for the teacher,
even though she did not say it whatsoever, it can be
concluded that she would like help in that area, in a
integrative usage of the skills in CBs.

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Analysis
To begin with, it is important to mention that today teachers tend to update
their teaching according to the new approaches and methods. The current
approach that most teacher worldwide intend to base their classes is the
communicative approach in an integrative way. Moreover, this is the case of my
interviewee who in most of her answers, she declared in her words a
communicative approach.
The interviewee tried to be consistent in her speech, it means that she did
not have much contradictions in what she does in her classes. Even though she
never mentioned a communicative approach, it can be easily concluded when she
replied the following: in a class you have to try to make them write, speak, listen,
read and think in English which gives us a clue of her work in class. According to
Richards & Rodgers (2001, p. 155) one of the main goals of the communicative
approach is to develop procedures for the teaching of the four language skills
Thus, when the interviewee declared that she would like help from CBs of that kind,
she is addressing herself into this approach without mention it. Moreover, this is a
good signal that university teachers try to make a change in the way they teach.
Moreover, when we talk about supplementing a coursebook, we can refer
to McGrath (2002, pp. 81) when he quotes Acklam (1994) who designed a checklist
which helps identifying certain gaps in coursebooks using the questions Is there
enough X?. This question emphasises sufficiency, variety and relevance.
Therefore, the interviewee declared that she supplements a coursebook when
there is not enough of something and when she thinks her students can do more
than what the CB offers. Thus, this is the case of using the question if there is
enough of grammar, pronunciation work, vocabulary work, authentic material and
so forth. It is not a matter or desiring to supplement the CB, the teacher must know
his/her class and what they can achieve in order to get to the target level.
To sum up, the usage of a coursebook is not just selecting a CB, going to
the class, and do the activities it provides. However, it is more than that, as the
interviewee could recognise in the interview. It is knowing your students capacities,
culture, level of English and type of students a teacher has and when to
supplement a coursebook and how it would enhance, challenge, engage and
motivate the students.

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Factual Details
Title: Straightforward Pre-Intermediate Students Book
Author(s): Philip Kerr
Publisher: Macmillan.
Price: Not available
ISBN: 978-0-230-02079-5
No. of Pages: 159
Components: SB/TB/WB/Tests/Cassettes/Video/CALLA/Other CD pack,
Portfolio
Level: Between A2 & B1 Pre-intermediate Level Physical size: 27.5 x 22 cms
Length: Not specified, it is a multi-level coursebook.
Units: 12 Units
Lessons/sections: 4 (A/B/C/D)
Hours: 1
Target Skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
Target Learners: Adults and young adults.
Target Teachers: Every teacher.

Assessment (*Poor **Fair ***Good ****Excellent)

Factor Rating and Comments


It can be concluded that this CB is based on
Rationale ***
Availability ***
User definition ***
Layout/graphics ****
Accessibility ***
Linkage *
Selection/grading ****
Appropriacy ****
Authenticity ***
Sufficiency ****

an integrative communicative approach.


It can be borrow at the library of the
University.
It contains a brief definition of the kind of
user it aims.
It contains a huge range of images,
graphics, etc. that enhance the learning
process.
It can be found and bought at the Librera
Inglsa at Concepcin and through the
internet.
There is no explicit linkage to other sources
on the internet.
Each unit is divided into 4 sections which go
from an easier stage to a more difficult one.
It is supposed to be a young adult and adult
book and it is made according to the age.
It contains mainly authentic material in
reading activities, yet there are a few
authentic listening activities.
The CB is sufficient to get to the aimed the

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Cultural Bios ***


Educational Validity ****
Stimulus/practice/revision ****

Flexibility **
Guidance ****
Overall value for money *

level.
It tries not to teach the content in only one
culture, however the British culture
predominates above others.
There is no information about the validity of
the CB, however, it is part of a worldwide
prestigious brand as Macmillan.
Each unit is similar to the PPP format as it
begins with a warm-up, presentation,
practice and most of the time production
stage.
At least this CB is not that flexible as there
are certain units that should be covered
before others, yet not all of them.
The learner can use this book with or without
the guidance of a teacher.
No information available

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References

Correa, R. & Daz, C. (2014). Material: A challenging world [Power Point


Presentation]. Concepcin.

Hongzhi, H. & Jianpin, W. (2005) Applying Communicative Teaching Method in


English-teaching Classroom. Sino-US English Teaching, 2 (9), 35-38.

Gilmore, A. (2004). A Comparison of textbook and authentic interactions. ELT


Journal, 58 (4), 363-374.

McGrath, I. (2002). Chapter 5. Materials Evaluation and Design for Language


Teaching. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

The Natural Approach: Stephen Krashen's Theory of Second Language


Acquisition. Retrieved April 11, 2014 from http://professionallearning.ismonline.org/files/2013/02/The-Natural-Approach-1.doc.

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