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"The Matter of Selecting Material

"
Relate the teaching materials to
your aims and objectives.

Teacher should establish the
aims of the teaching programme and
then seek the most appropriate
materials that can be related to these
objectives. have a very clear idea of
what he expects to achieve
Be aware of what language is for
and select teaching materials that
will help equip your students to
use language effectively for their
own purposes.

Be conscious if the way the
language is selected, graded,
presented and practised meets the
purposes of the learner to use the
language.
Keep your students’ learning needs
in mind.

It is, take into consideration
intellectual as well as emotional
students’ needs.
Consider the relationship between
language, the learning process and
the learner.

All three are vital aspects of
language leaching and it is essential
that teaching materials should keep
all three constantly in view and never
become so preoccupied with one that
the others are lost sight of.
(Cunningsworth 1984:6)
Three basic ideas for selecting
materials:
- The materials should suit the needs,
interests, and abilities of your
students
- The material should suit you: the
best book in the world won't work in
your classroom if you have good
reasons for disliking it.
- The materials must meet the needs
of official public teaching syllabuses
or examinations.

The
Matter of
Selecting
Material

• The materials should suit the
needs, interests, and abilities
of your students
• The material should suit you:
the best book in the world
won't work in your classroom if
you have good reasons for
disliking it.
• The materials must meet the
needs of official public
teaching syllabuses or
examinations.
According to Grant (1990):
- Does it fit?
- If it fits, how well does it fit,
and how does it compare with
others that also fit?
- Does it still fit?
This question is relevant after
you have had it for a time
One way of finding
out whether the
textbook or the
material you used is
good enough is to
apply the CATALYST
test:
THE CATALYST TEST
•C ___ Communicative?
•A ___ Aims?
•T ___ Teachability?
•A ___ Available Add-ons?
•L ___ Level?
•Y ___ Your impression
•S ___ Student interest?
•T ___ Tried and tested?




•COMMUNICATIVE? Is the textbook communicative? Will the
students be able to use the language to communicate as a result of
using the book?
•AIMS? Does it fit in with our aims and objectives? These may be laid
down by authorities, or devised by ourselves.
•TEACHABLE? Does the course seem to be teachable? Does it
seem reasonably easy to use, well organised, easy to find your way
around?
•AVAILABLE ADD-ONS? Are there any useful “adds-on”- additional
materials such as teacher's books, tapes, workbooks, etc? If so, are
they available?
•LEVEL? Does the level seem about right?
•YOUR IMPRESSION? What is your overall impression of the course?
•STUDENT INTEREST? Are you students likely to find the book
interesting?
•TRIED AND TESTED? Has the course been tried and tested in real
classrooms? Where? By whom? What were the results? How do
you know?
This stage is named as Detailed evaluation. Here you can
find a three-part questionnaire designed to help you to
decide what is the material/textbook you have to choose:
• Does the material or the coursebook suit your students?
• Does it suit the teacher?
• Does it suit the syllabus?

These are the questionnaires. (source: GRANT,
Neville. Making the Most of your Textbook.
Longman Keys to Language Teaching. Longman
1990).

The main disadvantage of the textbook, as most trainees observed, was its lack of balance on the four language skills. I t attached
much importance to reading and writing, but overlooked speaking and listening.
• The trainees identified a number of advantages of the
textbook.
• The textbook provides a variety of interesting texts on different
topics.
•The textbook supplies self-study materials for learners.
•The textbook can prepare learners for exams.
•The textbook provides authentic materials.
•The textbook provides sound grading and sequencing of the
material.
•The textbook provides teachers with necessary guidance,
especially in terms of background information and language
points.
•The textbook can help improve reading and writing.
Trainees’ evaluation and
adaptation of textbook It was found from
the questionnaire that all trainees
underwent two stages of materials
adaptation. They carried out evaluation
prior to adapting the textbook. They
analyzed advantages and disadvantages
of the textbook first to identify possible
areas for adaptation. Notably there were
some discrepancies of opinions about
the features of the textbook.
• The textbook focuses on reading and writing,
while ignores speaking and listening.
• The textbook is out-of-date.
• The textbook does not suit the students’ needs.
• The textbook provides little variety of activities.
• The textbook is language-focused
Some
disadvantages
of the
textbook:
“Investigating English Teachers’ Materials Adaptation”



Trainees’
underlying
rationales and
principles


It was found that the trainees
based their adaptation on 4
principles:
• to integrate traditional and communicative
methods,
• to cater for students’ needs,
• to integrate as multiple language skills as
possible in a reading lesson, and
• to meet their own preferences and needs.
To integrate traditional
and communicative
methods
• The main principle
guiding the trainees’
adaptations was their
belief in a possible
integration between
traditional and
communicative
methods. Positive effect
of grammar-translation
method.
• Trainees were highly
receptive to
communicative
methods.
To cater for students’
various needs
• Desire to satisfy the
students’ needs
• Motivate the students to
make their learning
easier
To integrate as multiple
language skills as possible
in a reading lesson
• Integrate as many
language skills as
possible in a reading
lesson.
• Some trainees modified
the text into a play to
practise four skills on the
one hand; and to add
more variety to
classroom teaching on
the other.
To meet their own
preferences and needs
• Despite much similarity
between the trainees’
perceptions of the
textbook and adaptation
techniques, there
emerged some
divergence.
• This divergence was
derived from their
individual needs and
wants, their individual
experiences,
personalities and
preferences.

Factors to
consider
when
designing
materials.
Learners
(relevance,
interest,
experiences,
motivation, & meet
specific individual
needs)
Curriculum and
context
(goals and
objectives of the
overarching
curriculum are kept
close at hand when
designing materials
- Nunan, 1988)
Personal confidence and
competence
(this will be influenced by
teacher's level of teaching
experience and his or her
perceived creative or
artistics skills and overall
understanding of the
principles of materials
design and production.)
Time
(ways teacher can
enlighten the
loads by sharing
the materials with
other teachers)
Guidelines for Designing Effective English Language Teaching
Materials

Guidelines for Designing Effective
English Teaching Materials
Should be contextualised
-contextualised to the curriculum they
are intended to address.
-contextualised to the experiences,
realities and first languages of the
learners.
-contextualsed to topics and themes
that provide meaningful, purposeful
uses for the target languagest
Stimulate interaction and be
generative in terms of language
- Hall outlines 3 conditions:
- "have something we want to
communicate"
- "someone to communicate
with"
- "some interest from the
communication"
Encourage learners to develop
learning skills and strategies
- materials teach their target learners
how to learn, and that they help them
to take advantage of language
learning opportunities outside the
classroom.

“The Future for ELT Materials in Asia”
Matching materials to the
context of learning
Teachers’ sharing of their
own stories is an important
way to set an intimate tone
for their classes and is a good
model for a learning
community of equal
partners.” (p. 199) Fu argues
that teachers should not be
frightened of using culturally
novel activities as every
culture can improve and
every nation progresses by
borrowing and adopting.
Make use of young
children’s love of
stories to expose
them to language in
use.
make use of young
children’s love of
songs, poems and
rhymes to expose
them to language in
use
provide a lot of
language linked
kinaesthetic activity
through drama,
games and TPR
(Tomlinson, 1994a)
encourage young
learners to be
creative
make use of young
children’s talent for
playing with
language