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Methodology Assignment 3

EVALUATING AND SUPPLEMENTING MATERIALS


1. Introduction
This paper aims, first, to analyze the unit 1 of the textbook Teenagers 8. Then, I will
describe how and why I supplemented the lesson 1 of this unit. I will end on the
evaluation of the materials effectiveness since the supplemented material was
already used to teach a lesson.

2. Coursebook evaluation
The basic principle underlying learner centered systems of language learning is
that teaching programs should respond to learners needs (Johnson, 1989, p.63).
Therefore, the teaching materials used in our English language courses should help
the teacher to achieve his/her students needs. Cunningsworth (1984), points out that
the teacher should formulate objectives with the needs of the learners in mind and
then seek out published materials which will achieve those objectives (p.2).

When selecting an EFL coursebook it is advisable to submit it to an objective and


systematic analysis process. This, in words of Hutchinson and Waters (1987), is
basically a matching process: matching needs to available solution (p.87).

For this paper, I decided to analyze the fist unit in the textbook Teenagers 8 which
is intended for secondary school learners (See appendix A). I based this analysis on

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Methodology Assignment 3

the following criteria suggested by Wallace: rationale, context, relevance to needs,


interest and motivation and range of tasks / activities. (2000, pp. 185, 189).

The following ideas summarize the results of the materials analysis:


1. Although the book claims to have a communicative approach, it does not provide
activities with an integrated use of language skills. Most of its activities are
designed for individual work (Lesson 1: activities 2 5, Lesson 2: activities 3 4,
Lesson 3: activities 1 4, Lesson 5: activities 1 5). There are only three
activities that facilitates students interactive learning ( Lesson 1: activity 1 and
Lesson 4: activities 1 2).

2. The book aims to promote a natural use of English, but it does not contain any
authentic material which can challenge the students learning process and raise
their motivation.

3. The material shows structural oriented drills with a overt explanations of the rules
which do not give the learners the opportunity to explore the language by
themselves (Lesson 1: activities 4 5, Lesson 2: activities 3 4, Lesson 3:
activities 3 4). Thus, the language is not seen as a tool of communication in
most of the activities, but as a devise to focus on grammatical features of the
language ( Loschky. and Bley-Vroman, 1993, p.124).

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In general, the first unit of the textbook Teenagers 8 lacks: a) real communicative
tasks in which the learners could use their language skills conjointly. b) authentic
texts that can challenge the students language skills and can increase their interest
as well. c) creative activities that allow the students to create meaning and language
by themselves.

3. The supplementary materials


Bearing in mind the previous ideas, I decided to supplement the first lesson of this
material, so it could fit my students needs and my own pedagogical purposes
(Nunan, 1991, p. 219 223). I added short authentic texts about varied holidays and
I created materials with information gaps to foster the learners collaborative work in
order to complete the task successfully. I graded the task according to my students
abilities.

Harwood, in reference to materials modification, (2005), states that many teachers


adapt commercial materials, using them as bridges to stimulate their thinking and
as the basis for providing the most appropriate classes in their context ( p.152). On
the other hand, Harmer (2001) affirms that textbooks can become spurs to
creativity (p.8)

The following are the bridges I created for lesson N 1:


1. A handout with a mind map to activate the students schemata, articulate the
students cultural background with the topic about celebrations and to

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Methodology Assignment 3

promote meaningful interaction among them. This worksheet was designed to


collect information and use it again during the class. A model conversation
was also provided in the handout. (Appendix B)
2. Five multimedia slides with a collage of images that the students downloaded
from Google and Yahoo in a previous class. A table to list the celebrations
illustrated in the multimedia presentation. This material includes a guided
conversation to help the learners compare information. (Appendix C)
3. Authentic texts about Holly week, Christmas, Thanksgiving day and
Halloween to develop a jigsaw reading activity. (I also included the texts from
the book about Rio de Janeiros carnival, The day of dead, Saint Valentine
and April Fools day period). (Appendixes D1 D2 D3)
4. A table to gather information during a survey to three different partners in
addition to a model conversation to conduct the interviews. This type of
materials give the learners the opportunity to use English to a purposeful end
and even at a stage when their range of structures and vocabulary is severely
limited (Cunningswoth,1984. p. 10). (Appendix E)
5. A worksheet with questions to write a comparative text about the form they
and people from other countries celebrate holidays.
When designing the above supplementary material, I took into account the following
principles for interaction in order to help my students language development: a)

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Methodology Assignment 3

Information transfer, b) Information gap, c) Jigsaw, d) Task dependency, and e)


correction for context. ( Nunan, 1989, p.119 125 ).

4. Lesson plan
Having considered the textbooks drawbacks in its first unit, my students needs and
my pedagogical objectives, I planned to teach the first lesson of this unit for 8A
learners to implement the material I supplemented.

8A is a group of 40 elementary students, aged 13 14. They

do not have

confidence to interact with other students using the target language and do not like
being engaged in writing tasks. On the contrary, they are interested in computers,
imagery, learning vocabulary and working in groups.

For those reasons, I decided to frame the materials I supplemented (overviews,


multimedia visuals, guided dialogues, a survey and a model composition) into
activities that give the learners a reason to interact and encourage mutual language
discovery (Doff, 1986. p.210).

5. Evaluation of the materials effectiveness


The best way of knowing if a materials adaptation woks well is by trying out such
material (Wallace, 2000, p. 190) . 8A students used the following materials for the
first lesson ( see appendixes):

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The most successful aspect when trying out the adapted materials was that most of
the students accomplished the final objective of writing a comparative text about a
holiday celebration because they could obtain the appropriate information during the
all the lesson stages. Additionally, the quality of students interaction increased in the
classroom because of the confidence that the learners received by using controlled
conversation or writing examples.

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References

1. Johnson, R. (1989). The Second Language Curriculum. New York: Cambridge


University Press.
2. Cunningswoth, A (1984). Evaluating and Selecting Teaching Materials. London:
Heinneman.
3. Harmer, J. (2001). Coursebooks: A human cultural and linguistic disaster?.
Modern English Teacher, 3(3), 5 - 10
4. Harwood, N. (2005). What do we want EAP teaching materials for?. Journal of
English for Academic Purposes. Retrieved from www.elsevier.com/locate/jeap
5. Hutchinson, T. (1987). English for Specific Purposes: A learning Cantered
Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
6. Loschky, L. and Bley-Vroman, R. (1993). Grammar and Task Based Methodology.
In Crookes, G & Grass, S.

(eds) Tasks and Language Learning:

IntegratingTheory and Practice.Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.


7.

Wallace, M. (2000). Action Research for Language Teachers. New York:


Cambridge University Press.

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Methodology Assignment 3

ICELT LESSON PLAN FORM


Name of teacher:

Ivn Ester Lobo Fontalvo

Candidate Number:

Institution: Colegio Jorge N. Abello


Date of Observation: DAY MONTH
YEAR

Time of observation
class

2006

minutes

Class/grade: 8A

Room: New Technologies Room

Number of students: 40

Average age of Students: 13 - 14

Number of years of English study


(students): 3 years

Level of students

22

Lesson Number
1

02

(please circle)
2

Elementary
Advanced

Length of
50

(please circle)
Intermediate

Observer:

Aims:

By the end of the lesson students will be able to:


1. Associate vocabulary related to celebrations.
2. Look for specific information in a short text.
3. Ask information about holidays using wh questions ( what when where )
4. Give information about holidays and festivals.
5. Write a comparative text about a holidays celebration in Colombia and
another country.
6. Design a holidays calendar
Personal aims:

1. Encourage students interaction


2. Foster the learners use of English in class.

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Assumed knowledge:
8A students are able to:
a. Identify Wh and yes / no questions.
b. Identify expressions associated with dates such as : in April, on
October 31.
Description of language item / skill
c. Identify expressions associated with places such as : in Colombia, at
Meaning
home.
verbs
used toobservance
express activities
present
tense.
Holiday, dayd.
setIdentify
apart for
religious
or forinthe
commemoration
of
some extraordinary event or distinguished person, or for some other public
occasion. Holidays are characterized by a partial or total cessation of work and
normal business activities and are generally accompanied by public and private
ceremonies, including feasting (or fasting), parades and carnivals, or displays of
flags and speechmaking.
Form

To ask about holidays information:


What is the name of the holiday?

To give information about holidays:


The name of the holiday/festival is

When do they celebrate it?

It is celebrate it in/on

Where do they celebrate it?

It takes place in

What do people do to celebrate it?

People dance/ eat/ go to

Do we celebrate that holiday in

Yes, we do. / No, we dont

Colombia?

The same day. /We celebrate it in

When do we celebrate it?

/on

Pronunciation

Materials :

Reading texts taken from Teenagers 8 . Unit 1 ( Saint Valentines day,


Barranquillas carnival, Rio de Janeiros carnival, April fools day, The day of
the dead)

Texts about Holy week, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas taken from


www.kencollins.com, www.usinfo.pl/aboutusa/holidays/other.htm,
www.wikipedia.com
and Encarta encyclopedia 2004.

One computer for the teacher, 16 workstations, and a data projector.

Photos taken from magazines and news papers.

Pieces of papers, markers, glue..9

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Rationale part 1: Profile of the learners


8A is an EFL group of beginner learners. They are 40 students aged 13 14 who have a 50
minute English class per week at the News Technologies room.
The students are able to identify yes/no questions and wh questions using the present and past
tense. They can recognize verbs in present and past in the affirmative and negative forms, but
they still find difficult to use those structures in a written or oral way.
Therefore, it is necessary for them to get involved in a task where they can use all language
abilities to practice those structures in a productive form. They need to be engaged in activities in
which they can use their background knowledge about holidays and festivals in Colombia.

Rationale part 2: Anticipated problems


Anticipated problems

Planned solutions

Some students may be afraid of


speaking or writing in English.

Some students may not be able


to ask for or give information
because they lack speaking skills.
Some students might not be able
to write a composition .

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I
will
encourage
students
confidence
by
fostering
cooperative learning and using
positive feedback.
I will provide a model to ask for
and give information.
I will give them a guide to write
the composition. Besides, they
will
use
the
information
gathered during the class.

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Stage

Aim

Presentation

Activate students
schemata.

Practice

Read
holidays.

about

Look for specific


information.
Ask for and give
information about
holidays.
Production

Write
about
a
holiday
Compare cultural
differences.

Assign homework

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Procedure
Teacher and student activity

Time
interactio
n

The teacher divides the class in five big groups and asks a student from each
group to choose an envelope to brainstorm the vocabulary considering the
students context. The envelopes contain a sentence Colombian holiday in
February, Colombian holiday in April, Colombian holiday in October,
Colombian holiday in December, Colombian holiday in November. They
discuss what to write to complete a mind map in a piece of paper (appendix
C). Students transfer the information to table on the board (appendix D)
The teacher elicits the cultural similarities and differences between Colombian
and other nations celebrations through questions: Which nations celebrate
carnivals, too?, Do they use the same music or dances?
Students, in groups of 3, sit in their workstations and watch slides about
holidays or festivals in other nations. The teacher asks them to identify the
celebrations and answer if weather we celebrate those holidays in Colombia or
not (see appendix E). The teacher asks: What questions should we use to ask
for holidays information?: the name, place, date and activities people do.
Students write the answers on the board.
The teacher divides the class in 8 groups. Each group reads about a different
holiday
(appendix F). The teacher asks the students to conduct a survey to
3 different students using a model conversation and a table to collect the
information (appendix G ).

10
minutes
T- S
S-S

Students ,in pairs, write about a holiday that is celebrated in Colombia


and other nation, too. They answer the following questions to produce
a comparative text:

20
minutes
SS

1st paragraph: What international holiday are you going to


write about?, When is it celebrate it?, Where?, What
activities do people do?.

2nd paragraph: What is the name of the holiday in


Colombia?, When is it celebrate it?, Where did you do go
last year to celebrate it?, What activities did you or your
friends do to celebrate it?

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20
minutes
TS
SS

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commen
ts

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The students use the word processor to save the information


(appendix H).
Design a calendar with the information you wrote. Use Word models
for calendars and the image gallery.

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APPENDIX B
PRESENTATION
MIND MAP FOR GROUP WORK

COLOMBIAN HOLIDAY(S)
IN ________________

Name:

Days of celebration:

Name:

Place of celebration:

Days of celebration:

Activities you did to


celebrate it last year:

Place of celebration:

Activities you did to


celebrate it last year:

USEFUL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR THE ACTIVITY

What is the name of the celebration we are going to write about?


Lets write about__________________
When do we celebrate it?
In ______________________
Where do we celebrate it?
We go to ___________________
Where did you go to celebrate it last year?
I ________________

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APPENDIX C
PRACTICE
WATCH THE MULTIMEDIA SLIDES. IDENTIFY THE HOLIDAYS AND
WRITE A TICK IF WE CELEBRATE THOSE HOLIDAYS IN COLOMBIA
OR NOT.
Do we
c
e
l
e
b
r
a
t
e
it
i
n
C
o
l
o
m
b
i
a
?

Holidays in other nations

Yes

No

Colombian name for this holiday

1
2
3
4
5

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Model Dialogue
A. What was the celebration in slide n 1?
B. It was________________________ and What holiday did you see in slide n 2
A. It was ___________________________ . What about n3?
B. I think it is _____________________. What did you write in n4?
A. __________________________. And what do you have in n 5?
B. ____________________________ Did you write the Colombian names for these
holidays?
A. Yes, they are _______________./ No, I didnt. Did you?
B. Yes, they are _______________./ No, I didnt.
A. Thank you.
B. Any time

APPENDIX E
Interview 3 partners. Find out about different holidays and festivals in other nations.
Fill in the table with the information.
Partner

Name of Holiday

Place

Date

Activities

FOLLOW THE CONVERSATION TO INTERVIEW YOUR PARTNER


A:
B:
A:

Hi!
Hello!
Can you give me some information about a holiday, please?
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B:
A:
B:
A:
B:
A:
B:
A:
B:
A:
B:

Methodology Assignment Three

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Sure.
What holiday did you read about?
I read about _____________________________
Where do they celebrate it?
In _______________________
When do they celebrate it?
In / on _________________________________
How do people celebrate it?
_______________________________________
Thats all. Thanks.
Your welcome

APPENDIX F
WRITING
PAIR WORK ACTIVITY
Compare the way people celebrate a holiday in Colombia and in another country. Use
the information given in the class. Answer the following questions to
produce your text.
1st paragraph: What international holiday are you going to write about?,
When is it celebrate it?, Where?, What activities do people do?.
2nd paragraph: What is the name of the holiday in Colombia?, When is it
celebrate it?, Where did you do go last year to celebrate it?, What
activities did you or your friends do to celebrate it?

Im going to write about


_________________________________________________
It is celebrated in ______________________________. People from
_____________

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celebrate it in ________________________________. During this celebration


people__________________________________________________________________.
In my country, Colombia, we call this holiday
_____________________________. It is celebrated in _________________________
. Last year, I __________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

PRESENTATION
TABLE TO TRANSFER INFORMATION ON THE BOARD
HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS IN COLOMBIA
MONTH
HOLIDAY(S) PLACE(S)
DAY(S)
ACTIVITIES
FEBRUARY
APRIL
OCTOBER
NOVEMBER
DECEMBER

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NAMES: Jorge Gonzalez, Alexander James. Workstation 12.

Halloween is celebrated in
October 31st in all the world.
In United States the children
and the adults dress
costumes. Children say:
Trick or teat to ask
candies. Adults celebrate
In my country, Colombia, we
call this holiday dia de las
brujitas or da de los nios. In
Barranquilla it is the Day of the
Angels.
Halloween
is
st
celebrated in October 31 in
the evening and the Day of the
Angels is in November 1st in the
morning. Last year I did not
use costume. I went to the
houses and said: Triqui, triqui
with parties. School dances and neighborhood
parties called block parties are popular among
young and old.

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