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What do lve want teaching

materials for?1
R. L Allwright

The question "What do we want teaching materials for?' is premature
until we establish what there is to be done in teaching and who should

Downloaded from http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11, 2014
do it. Starting with a unified conception of language teaching and learn-
ing as 'the management of language learning', this paper proposes a
management analysis which establishes a necessarily limited role for
teaching materials, given the great complexity of the management
problem revealed by the analysis. This leads to a diagnosis of teacher
'overload' and learner 'underinvolvement', with implications for
teacher-training and 'learner-training'. (Training is probably necessary if
learners are to become productively involved in managing their
learning.) 'Learner-training' has further implications for course design
and for teacher-training, and raises the question of how teachers can
best put their expertise at the disposal of 'trained' learners. Returning to
materials, the paper then makes specific suggestions in support of a
switch of emphasis from 'teaching' materials to 'learning' materials.
Finally the conclusion is drawn that questions of materials should
generally be related to the conception of the whole of language
teaching and learning as the co-operative management of language
learning.

The question In this paper I will focus on the sorts of publications we might want pub-
lishers to promote, in terms of the sorts of jobs we might want teaching
materials to do.
To ask 'What do we want teaching materials for?' is unfortunately a pre-
mature question. To say "What do we want materials to do?' may clarify the
problem, because it may remind us that, if we are thinking about the role
of teaching materials in the whole teaching/learning operation, then we
ought first to ask 'What is there to be done?' This question deliberately
avoids reference to teaching or to the teacher, because I wish, at this stage,
to leave 'who should do what' in the management of language learning an
open question.
T o be done' suggests action, but in fact there are three phases in
management, rather than one. There are things to decide, actions to be
taken on the basis of those decisions, and a process of review to feed into
future decision-making.
Figure 1 should help reinforce this point, widi its circularity and over-
lapping segments indicating the dynamic interrelationships involved. After
a decision has been taken—say, to use a particular texdjook for a particular
• course—some organization is necessary—namely die purchase and delivery
of an adequate quantity of the books to the classroom—before the decision
can be fully implemented. The use of the textbook, for a sensible review to be
possible, has dien to be monitored to permit evaluation of its use and

ELTJournal Volume 36/1 October 1981 5

if diere is any. For some diis conception may seem to 'reduce' die teacher to die role of mere classroom manager. Review. Aldiough diis must. (See Appendix 1 for die same analysis elaborated into 27 separate points. consists mainly in R. but odierwise die content should be familiar and. This way of thinking might lead. I hope. to die idea diat die 'best' teachers would neidier want nor need published teaching materials. it 'frees' die teacher to develop die expertise needed for dealing widi prac- tical and fundamental issues in die fostering of language learning in die classroom setdng. we need teaching materials to save learners from our deficiencies as teachers.. It may be surprising to see 'Guidance' given a section to itself. Now it is dme to introduce an analytical answer to die question 'What is to be done?' The analysis This analysis of die issues involved in die management of language learning is simplified for die sake of exposition. it does ignore die important possibility diat. Bodi views are based on die assumption diat decisions are best taken (and 'acted upon'. as far as possible.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. at first sight at least. Action. AUwright . In addition it seems necessary to take a preliminary look at two different Downloaded from http://eltj. not because die classroom teacher is deficient. as a classroom teacher. die question of who takes die decision. On the one hand there is die DEFICIENCY view.) It is not intended to be especially radical or controversial in its division of language teaching and learning into four main areas. and 'reviewed') by diose widi die relevant expertise. 1. which holds diat we need teaching materials as 'carriers' of decisions best made by someone odier dian the classroom teacher. At die odier extreme we would have 'teacher- proof materials diat no teacher. to make sure. diere is die DIFFERENCE view. etc. Fig. seem entirely reasonable. but because die expertise required of materials writers is importandy different from that required of classroom teachers—the people who have to have die interpersonal skills to make classrooms good places to learn in. The novelty. We shall need to return to diis issue later. for example. generally uncontroversial. Bodi die DEFICIENCY and die DIFFERENCE views have enough trudi in diem to be worth holding in mind simultaneously as we move towards a management analysis.oxfordjournals. diat die syllabus is properly covered and that exercises are well diought out. Decision. at least in some not very improbable circumstances. might be more important dian die quesdon of whether or not die 'best' decision is always taken. and the result can then go forward to inform subsequent decisions. at one extreme. 2014 approaches to the question of die role of teaching materials. however deficient. According to this view. On die odier hand. L. For odiers. would be able to teach badly widi. effectiveness.

at this stage. language teaching institutions want to survive financially and with enhanced prestige. 2014 Fig. Content There are three main points to be made about content. as a result of the interactive What do we want teaching materialsfor? 7 . 1 Input We have got used to the input/intake distinction (c.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. and are exposed. or 'what should be covered by teaching materials'. to much more language than is focused on in teaching. Hence: 3 Probability of conflict Given these complications. The role of teaching materials must then be relatively limited. are not the only goals involved in the whole management of language learning. Corder. Goals Four main points need to be made about goals: 1 Points of view In considering goals. that language teaching institutions and sponsors may interact and nego- tiate goals for particular courses. however. want to learn the language. Teachers wish to develop their teaching careers. we hope. This brings us to: 4 Materials may contribute in some way. let alone actually determine them. are chosen at least partly because of the learning goals they embody. and then four categories of content to be described (but see Appendix 1 for a more detailed analysis). and 'what is available to be learned' there. No matter how comprehensively the materials cover learning goals.f. 2 Types of goals At least two types need to be distinguished here: goals for oneself and goals for others. by means of the one-way and two-way arrows. 1967) in recent years but only in terms of input from the teacher. Points of view. Teachers and learners then meet and may also get involved in negotiation of goals. and learners. The first three. Teaching materials. presenting the analysis without reference.oxfordjournals. potentially. at least four different points of view need to be taken into account. have goals for the learners as well as for themselves. it is not surprising if a conflict of goals is found. we know. Learners in class- rooms. They not only have goals. and sponsors may impose goals on learners. they may seek to impose those goals on the learners. but they cannot determine GOALS. Downloaded from http://eltj. listen to each other as well as to the teacher. sponsors want to further their own interests. however. to 'who should do what'. but these. All four 'points of view' represent people or institutions who must be expected to have personal goals. 2. but that language teaching institutions may impose goals on teachers. I wish to distinguish between 'what is taught' in the classroom. of course. Figure 2 attempts to show. they can never even 'look after' everything to do with goals.

about target language culture. die development of positive inter- cultural attitudes remains important. We shall return to this issue under die heading 'learner-training' later. It is. c. rather. 2014 used. They include atutudes to learning. If. for example. for example. much more usual to give it emphasis. diey are almost certainly 'available to be learned' in any language classroom. It constitutes potential 'intake'. or it may be simply die 'carrier' of all the language content. acted upon. Learners diemselves. to reinforce my contention diat not too much can be expected of teaching materials. Aldiough die learning of learning strategies has not. But all courses. R. as an obvious part of die management of learning. it has become. This notion of content needs further analysis (see Appendix 1) but here I can simply indicate four main types of content: a. This analysis of CONTENT has pointed to some of die many complexities involved: enough. Subject-matter content This may include knowledge about language in general. ways of dealing widi language input to turn it into intake. In die ESP (English for specific purposes) context. traditionally. the language of that explanation is available to be learned. diat is. Again we find that the role of teaching materials is necessarily limited. nature of classroom events. of course. however. something that emerges because of the inter- active nature of classroom events.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. 2 'Emergent' content If we define 'content' as the sum total of'what is taught' and 'what is avail- able to be learned'. but it is not often discussed as part of die content of instruction. I imagine. L. been an explicit goal of language instruction. 1980). Learning strategies Part of the content of instruction (bodi diat which is 'taught' and diat 'available to be learned') may be learning strategies. then it becomes clear that 'content' (potential intake) is not predictable. The target language itself b. Similarly. literature. not just diose labelled 'study skills'. subject-matter may be an important part of'what is taught'. of course. reviewed) in die management of language learning. d. Allwright . from die teacher and from everyone present. or means of generating input (see Seliger. Even what learners learn is in an important way independent of die materials Downloaded from http://eltj. However seldom this may be achieved. all the things that get said when errors are being corrected constitute potential intake. as do all the things said in the target language by other learners. could well aim to help learners widi learning strategies. Method Here diere are diree main issues that have to be attended to (decided. 3 Materials may contribute in some way. may well want to become better language learners. and not just language or inter- cultural atutudes. as in 'study skills' courses for foreign students. anyone involved in die management of language learning has necessarily to deal widi atutudes as part of what learners may learn. but cannot determine CONTENT. To summarize. recently.oxfordjournals. the teacher explains some- thing in the target language. etc. Attitudes It is well accepted diat one of die goals of school language instruction is to improve die attitudes of speakers of different languages to one anodier. Even where atutudes are not being explicitly 'taught'.

2014 3 Activity management The third basic question is 'How can we manage these activities (set up group work. diey cannot diemselves undertake the action and die review phases of die management process. contribute to the management of language learning. instructions for a simulation) as well as about content. in die circumstances. involving decisions. or what learning tasks. that we can neither predict nor determine learning processes. and do. That we can cover in die next section. to die mere nod from a teacher to signify acceptance of a learner's pronunciation. These are major issues in die management of language learning. for example. This analysis has quite deliberately been presented widiout raising the important quesdon of'who should do what'. about die most helpful type of explanadon to offer for given aspects of die language. run simulations. They can. of which more What do we want teaching materialsfor* 9 . who will work best with whom. 1 Learning processes The fundamental question is 'What learning processes should be fostered?' This is dearly central for all concerned. but a surprising number do state diat dieir materials are entirely suitable for the learner working neidier widi a teacher nor widi fellow learners. 2 Activities The next question is 'What activities. The scope of die term dius ranges from the provision of a full- scale grammatical explanation. die analysis should have reinforced any doubts diere might have been about the viability of 'teacher-proof teaching materials! The whole business of die management of language learning is far too complex to be satisfactorily catered for by a pre-packaged set of decisions embodied in teaching materials. from curriculum developers to the learners themselves. It also covers. and guidance about appropriate standards of attainment. I think correctly. guidance about mediod (e. 1978): for example. Meanwhile. in relation to a wide variety of content options?' This amendment suggests. will best activate the chosen processes. Downloaded from http://eltj. but cannot possibly cope widi many of the important decisions facing the 'managers' working in their various situations. and therefore perhaps should not try as hard to do so as we usually do in our teaching materials.e. minimizing the management risks discussed in Allwright. In turn it suggests a possible need for a 'learner's guide' to language learning. This is obvious if we recognize that. and about die type of error treatment diat will help an individual learner. Guidance I am using the term 'guidance' to refer to all those things that can be expected to help people understand what they are doing and how well they are doing it. for what elements of content?' A less deter- ministic version of this question might be 'What activities or learning tasks will offer a wide choice of learning processes to the learner. but detailed local decisions are clearly beyond the scope of publications. while teaching materials may embody decisions.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11.) so that they are maximally profitable?' (i. of course. etc. how long can be allowed for any particular activity. and diis implies strong claims for what die materials can do. Such questions may be the subject of suggestions in teaching materials.oxfordjournals. Of course very few writers actually claim diat dieir teaching materials can do everything. Again we come up against die fact diat teaching materials are necessarily limited in scope. there is again a limit to what teaching materials can be expected to do for us. Clearly.g.

but see Allwright. etc. however. Meanwhile. but doing work diat die learners could more profitably be doing for diemselves. since it is unlikely diat learners will be able to share die burden widiout some preparadon. or leave die learners in doubt about what diey are supposed to be doing. later. or the practical business of classroom interaction management) drat cannot be safely left to materials. and should concentrate on those areas of teacher expertise (like die action and review phases. relaung to die whole-person. McTear. Hence die concept of'learner-training'. It is not just diat learners are not busy enough. which suggests a deep sort of involvement. If. little would have been gained. Teachers. but it does seem worth emphasizing here. and in die whole 10 R. The obvious answer would be to offer more training to produce more efficient classroom teachers who could cope widi die inevitably large workload widiout falling foul of die risks. Perhaps teacher-training. L. should be based on a 'manage- ment of language learning' analysis. die immediate implication for teacher-training must be diat teachers need to be trained not to do so much work. it appears. however. Implications for Teacher 'overload' often entails learner 'underinvolvement' since teachers learner-training are doing work learners could more profitably do for diemselves.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. 1978 for a fuller analysis) and typically fail to present the language to be learned as clearly as they had intended (because diey may offer off-die-cuff explanations diat are faulty. if teachers could keep up die pace widiout running into trouble. for example. 1975 for specific examples) suggests diat teachers who do so much work in die classroom run foul of a number of management risks (see Allwright. This is hardly a new idea for teacher-trainers. Implications for The main implication is clear: if we subscribe to the 'deficiency' view of the teacher-training role of teaching materials. the main point is that the management of language learning is inevitably complex. 2014 teachers. Implications So far I have delayed answering the question in my title and have pre- ferred instead to consider a more fundamental question: 'What is diere to be done in the management of language learning?' In this section I shall deal with implications for teacher-training. seem to do 'all die work'.oxfordjournals. then with those for what I will call 'learner-training'. The analysis. This might not matter. then. and finally with implications for materials themselves. also sheds light on a common problem found almost every time diat teachers are observed or observe diemselves. and exhaust diemselves in die process. then we are forced to admit that teaching materials cannot possibly make up for all our possible deficiencies as Downloaded from http://eltj. It is die problem of teacher 'overload'. If that was the only implication for teacher-training of die analysis presented above. by high- lighting die complexity of die teacher's job. As Telatnik noted in die diary she kept as a teacher (Telatnik. we entertain die possibility diat teachers are not just doing 'too much' work. Involve- ment does not just mean 'activity'. 1972 and 1976). Aliwright . but die evidence (mosdy informal.). or treat errors inconsistendy. and trained instead to get die learners to do more. 'Involvement' means somediing more akin to Curran's 'investment' (Curran. 1980) 'I'm working harder dian they are'. This sort of 'whole-person involvement' should be related not simply to 'participation in classroom activities' but to participation in decision-making. 1975.

and no doubt in others as well. What has developed over die two years is firstly a 'warm-up system' whereby prospective course-members receive. is a speaker of Polish). then. see Cathcart and Olsen. If learners could be trained to take much more responsibility for identifying and repairing their errors. We could not offer the 'future- orientation'. the first essential was to think of ways of getting the learners to accept the innovation—a preliminary. a few weeks in advance. very many teachers practise 'learner-training' already. to direct the Polish Academy of Science's annual three-week 'English seminar' for their research scientists (who work in the Academy of Science's various research institutes across Poland). At diis stage we tutors only have an outline structure for die course. after all. and some intro- ductory activities for die start of die course. But what ideas do we have for 'learner-training'? Of course.) But we should not expect the learners to be already expert at the sorts of decision-making (and action and review) involved in the management of language learning. and of dieir preferred language learning strategies (see Appendices for copies of die profile sheets). for evidence that learners. consisting of 'workshops' at which participants are given die task of producing personal profiles of their learning needs. At least Downloaded from http://eltj. 2014 in this area. as things are. but fundamental. The learners are asked if diey can already see how diis structure might facilitate or frustrate pursuance of dieir personal priorities.business of the management of language learning. Before doing that. however. prefer it too). Fanselow. the investment of time in training learners to assume a greater share of management responsibilities should bring dividends in the short term as well as in the long. (It is. and this shows up most obviously in the treatment of error: teachers seem to prefer supplying the correct answer to asking the learner to think again (see Lucas. but I wish to give ideas for learner-training the prominence I believe they deserve. in die form of a suggested daily timetable. These profiles dien constitute die paper input to interviews of each learner by two of die tutors (one of whom. as we called it.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. there is a further point to be made about the possible benefits of greater learner-involvement. At diese interviews die priorities emerging from die profiles are discussed. One of the 'management risks' is 'spoonfeeding'. We must therefore consider ways of conducting learner-training. Thus. From the outset it was agreed that the course (repeated in 1979) should be aimed at learner-training. 1977.oxfordjournals. through the British Council. at helping the par- ticipants become the sort of learners who could effectively go on with their language learning after the course was over. problem of learner-training. a letter describing die intended nature of the course and asking them to come to it having thought about their learning priorities and their preferred ways of learning English. for developing their own criteria of correctness and appropriateness. 1975. In planning the course. even if no further courses were available to them. 1976. while neglecting the present need. In 1978 I was asked. then we could expect a direct improvement in their language learning. their learning that is being managed. to make sure we know what die learner intended and to make preliminary decisions about die learner's learning. At the same time it was of course agreed that we should direcdy help the learners with their English. both direcdy and indirectly. I shall instead report on personal experience with a course designed to foster learner-training and English-language training simultaneously. for die sake of die less confident learners. and we discuss What do we want leaching materialsfor* 11 . rather than attempting a comprehensive review of learner-training as currently prac- tised.

The intention was diat die diree modes of learning should complement and feed into each odier. (For example. and yet which would be flexible enough to take into account die fact'that we would not know much about our learners' needs until die course-members actually assembled. assigning tutors to groups and planning the first lessons. The structure we developed consisted of three main timetabled elements: 1. a 'language workroom'. we tutors emerge ready to meet and take decisions about grouping the learners.) In diis way Class Time was used to help learners learn how to make best use of Self-Access Time. or in Private Consultation Time. see below. Private Consultation Time. From these workshops and interviews we hope learners emerge with a clearer idea of what they want from the course and how to get it (within our necessarily imposed 'future-oriented' scheme). learners were asked as part of dieir 'homework' to study in groups available texdjooks and select appro- priate exercises to propose for use in class. a 'communication room'.) There were also social activi- ties each evening. and also to avoid die implications of die usual bias in favour of class time. 3. On the other hand. 2014 was clear enough to satisfy our need for order. a person who wished to get much more writing practice than was allowed for in the timetable was invited to use Private Consultation Time (described below) for this purpose. which was important in its own right but less importandy structurally. if only films to watch. One of the course-members (the one chosen to be student- representative) is present at our meeting to help in the important decision- making. The diree timetabled elements were allotted equal time to reflect dieir equal potential. diey wanted advice on how to deal widi a listening com- prehension problem after diey had exhausted listening comprehension materials in our listening centre. For example. when time could be booked for private discussions widi die tutors.) These three elements were given equal time (90 minutes each in a 6 x 45 minute timetable) in the order in which diey are listed above.LAUwright .2 The second essential element in our course-planning was to find a course-structure that would offer us and the learners a framework which Downloaded from http://eltj. Class Time. and a 'reading/writing room'. what adaptations might be possible on either side. Individual or small-group problems diat could not be appropriately dealt widi in class could be dealt widi by die learners in Self-Access Time. Our monitoring of what learners chose to do in Self-Access Time and of what sorts of problems diey brought to us in die Private Con- sultation Time fed into our decisions about die best ways of spending Class Time.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. 12 R. die Self-Access Time alternated daily widi a writing workshop. (The self-access facilities were also available at untimetabled times in die early afternoons and diroughout die evenings and weekends. 2. It was particularly interesting diat often die learners brought learning problems radier dian language problems to diese Private Consultations. die writing workshop. To meet die demand for writing work and simultaneously to reduce die demand at any one time on die self-access facilities. Self-Access Time. so diat half die participants (25 to 30 people) worked on dieir writing while die remainder used die self-access facilities. For example. 'Class Time' was dierefore used not only for familiar language learning activities but also as a training ground for decision-making. These comprised four rooms: a listening centre.oxfordjournals. (There was a fourth element.

5 Also of obvious importance. whether they found current course activities profitable. die action based on diose decisions (aldiough we tutors accepted die greater share of respon- sibility for die organization and implementation widi respect to class time and to die course as a whole) and in die reviewing of bodi decisions and action. We were asking die learners to monitor continuously and evaluate before taking more decisions. but the decision-action-review cycle was of course more often handled informally. however. only diey can be allowed a responsible role in die management of language learning. however. since widiout such changes 'learner-training' may uldmately lack credibility. in the best traditions of domestic service. and yet. Further implications Learner-training is not going to be done well by teachers who believe diat. It may help. so diat it is neither imposed upon the learners nor devalued by diem (in dieir new-found independence)? We call teachers 'masters' radier dian 'servants'. as visiting tutors. then.4 Widi more money more could be done. diere was litde we. it is servants who have die expertise. We have also evolved a follow-up quesdonnaire (distributed several mondis after die end of die course) to help us find out what learners diemselves are doing to build on die diree-week course. could directly plan.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. and it is good to be able to report progress in die development of year-round self-access facilities and die creadon of an English 'club' for Polish Academy scientists wishing to condnue dieir learning of English in a non-class setdng. and whether they felt die course was helping or hindering in any way their pursuance of dieir priorities. particularly for learners away from the main centres. and dieir problem is identical to die teacher's problem as I have outlined it: how to make dieir expertise available widiout imposing it (because diat would be presumptuous). diere is also die problem of what die teacher is to do widi whatever pegagogic expertise he or she already has. for example. The mid-course review did all diis in a rela- dvely formal way. Of particular importance. This Polish Academy of Science course has been described at some lengdi (diough still very sketchily) to reinforce die point diat learner- training is a concept widi implicadons diat go well beyond die classroom. How can we put our expertise in die business of language learning 'at the disposal o f die learners. for teacher-training since only diey have die necessary expertise. I believe. We could only hope to persuade the Polish Academy of Science and die British Council of die potential value of making provision for learners who might be ready to make much greater demands on dieir facilities and supporting services. as cooks or valets. Halfway through the course we interviewed the learners again to discover whether they felt that their learning priorities (in terms either of language or of learning strategies) had changed. 2014 The diird essential task in our planning was to diink ahead to possible follow-up activities.3 Downloaded from http://eltj. Apart from die practical problems diis involves. Teachers need to be trained to help learners develop dieir expertise as learners. of course. are die implications for course struc- ture. and to get their advice for future courses and follow-up activities. are die implications for teacher-training. to which I will now return. In practice. No persuasion was in fact needed. and widiout having it devalued (because then diey would not get the rewards their expertise merited).oxfordjournals. What do we want teaching materialsfor? 13 . and so on. Thus we continued to involve learners in the decision-making. whenever tutors and learners discussed die selec- don of materials during Self-Access Time. We could not hope to make our 'future-oriented' course credible if we gave die future no diought ourselves.

ready to discuss language learning and justify Downloaded from http://eltj. we need to encourage die development of such qualities in teacher-training. An alternative learners' guide might be produced for classroom language learning. The research so far is by no means conclusive. At the same time we should explore the possibility that there might be a role for materials writers in all this. 1975. It is too early to know what problems diere might be in writing such a guide (aldiough we can predict some. Allumghl . both for classroom and for outside use. 'ideas' people. It would seem more sensible to aim them at die 'non-captive' learner. but any such guide could profit from die work of Rubin. if we aimed diem primarily at die 'captive' learner (who. need to accept the roles of: 1. or perhaps for use with friends. but would focus on how to exploit die class- room as a language learning situation widiout making it more difficult for odier learners to do die same. without either imposing dieir expertise or having it devalued. ready widi practical advice about language learning strategies and techniques. and 2. in addition to dieir role as 'activities managers' in die classroom. and on how to develop your own expertise as a learner. In order to achieve this.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. and of Naiman and his colleagues (see Rubin. 'rationale' people. and Naiman et al. although there is work in progress. Such a guide could include much of the same material as for independent learners. especially during Self-Access and Private Consultation sessions.L. We are going to need learning materials radier than teaching materials. for learners widiout teachers. it is not in the best interests of domestic servants to train their employers to do without them. and also advice on die sorts of exercises a learner might devise for personal use. (and it may be salutory for other reasons) to see teachers as 'servants' rather than as 'masters'. These are certainly the qualities we needed as tutors in Poland. but in education the situation is different: in education.oxfordjournals. Implications for In the type of language learning described above. Somehow. Such a guide could include advice on how to establish one's priorities. 1977). has not chosen to study a language) in our state school systems. At its simplest diis may involve suggesting die sorts of diings learners might do to obtain repetitions or clarifications of diings said in die classroom. on how to make full use of die teacher's expertise widiout becoming dependent upon it. The most obvious and radical form for 'learning materials' to take would be that of a learners' guide to language learning. and widiout antagonizing die teacher. might buy a 'teach-yourself' 14 R. materials diat pre-empt many of the decisions learners might be trained to make for themselves. there is an obvious need for teachers (servants with expertise) to help their learners become independent of them (to develop their own expertise as learners) so that they can continue to learn efficiently after the course is over. The difficulties widi such learning materials as commercial publications might be considerable. of course) but diat should not prevent us from exploring die concept. 2014 their opinions and advice. since courses are necess- arily finite. Of course. advice on die most productive ways of exploiting native speakers and other useful people (like off-duty teachers). It is difficult to find many examples in publishers' lists at the time of writing. One possibility would be a guide to 'independent' language learning. on die charac- teristics of die 'good language learner'. die sort of learner who. I suggest that teachers. we are not going to want. in Britain. by definition. materials I suggest.

Although language drills are 'activities' under any general definition. more role-play ideas. short. as I have suggested. In my experience such 'activities ideas materials' (for example the Canadian 'Gambits' materials by Keller and Taba Warner. would be to make the production of a local guide a task for one generation of learners for the sake of future generations. and more ideas for communication games (but see die British Council work at ELTI for major contributions in these areas7). while waiting for odier groups to catch up. in such circumstances. there is a potential need for 'ideas' books and 'rationale' books. Of course diere are plenty of books about die general background to language teaching* but reladvely few deal widi die most recent ideas in a manner diat is accessible to die majority of teachers. something that could be highly specific and there- fore more directly useful to poorly motivated learners.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. if teachers demonstrated a willingness to use such collections of ideas rather than fully predetermined courses.) it may be quite unhelpful to suggest that teachers should look to specialist language teaching publications for content ideas. newspapers. Again die important point is diat such materials will flourish on publishers' lists only if teachers are willing to use them in pre- ference to fully worked out course books. for example. diat is. etc. What do we want teaching materialsfort 15 . Another need is for ideas for activities. and may well resent it if such a thing is imposed by the teacher. For such learners something much less ambitious. There are examples on publishers' lists already6 but diere could be room for many more perhaps. who would then have the task of updating the guide as and when necessary. In circumstances where there is easy access to 'raw' data in the target language (e. But in die many settings where 'raw' data in die target language is not at all easily available there is little reason to complain if teachers resort to specialist publications. for which we could still use plenty of ideas. If. 1976) can be passed to learners for them to make dieir own selections (perhaps leaving die teacher to look after the organizational problems diat arise. probably locally produced. Under this heading we could ask for more published simulations. once die learners have made dieir decisions).book and/or voluntarily enrol in evening classes. but teachers trying to share management responsibilities widi dieir learners will need not only 'ideas books' but also books diat help diem understand die thinking diat lies behind dieir teaching and dius may help diem explain it to dieir learners.oxfordjournals. the teacher needs to be an 'ideas' person and a 'rationale' person.g. would seem preferable. Downloaded from http://eltj. Another need is for more ideas for what I call 'filler' activities. magazines. When we talk about 'rationale books' we are at our furdiest from 'normal' teaching materials. The captive learner is un- likely to have the strength of motivation required to purchase an extra book.' Again I am not advocating some- thing new: radier I am trying to draw attention to and reinforce a change of emphasis diat is already perceptible. It is a change that could perhaps be producdvely accelerated if its relation to a general change in die concep- tion of teacher and learner responsibilities for die management of language learning was more widely accepted. 2014 Under the heading of 'ideas books' I suggest we should first include books full of ideas for content. what I have in mind here is more restricted in scope and biased towards relatively extended activities. One possibility. Apart from 'learners' guides to language learning' there are other poss- ibilities for learning materials. easily interrupted activi- ties diat die quicker groups can use during group work to supplement extended activities.

96-109. For further details see the References. has important structural implications for language courses. b . for all its References over-simplification of what was organizationally Alhvright. 11/1:' 105-121. This led to further implications for teacher-training. New Directions in Second in doing. Finally. L. and what we to some extent succeeded Burt and Dulay (eds. but Allwright. (Bratdeboro. 'Abdication and responsibility structural changes should not be discouraged from in language teaching' in Studies m Second Language trying 'piecemeal reforms' and finding ways of Acquisition Vol. 1 (Byrne and Rixon. 1978. Teaching and Bilingual Education. Bridsh Council. Throughout this latter section I was concerned to point out that I was de- scribing a change already in progress.): Communication Games. Mexico. with its obvious com- plexity. 2 See also related work at CRAPEL (Nancy. X (June): Quarterly. Most obvious here was die change from 'teaching' materials to 'learning' Downloaded from http://eltj. and attempting to reinforce it and perhaps accelerate it. 1977. and for 'ideas' and 'rationale' books for teachers. Paper pre- 7 Of special interest are: sented at the Second Latin American ESP Regional a. I hope at least I have raised questions diat odiers will be prompted to pursue. I hope I have dealt with both the straight and die ironic interpretations of my original question. 'Problems in the study of the very complex. 1979. ment: the role of teaching materials'. Conference. ture. because of the difficulties it creates with the teacher's expertise. 'Putting cognitions on the map: many remain unsolved. I should return to my tide. the film Communication Games in a Language Simulations and Role-Playing. 'Learner-training'. L. It was not so neat. We think we sorted out a lot of them. those who cannot make radical Allwright.oxfordjournals. L. 1980. San Francisco. 5 At the same dme. From this I moved on to consider die implications for materials. for an and at the School for International Training excellent example. Communication Games in a 16 R. know that reality cannot possibly have been so neat.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. R. R. 2014 materials. March 1980. ELT Documents 77/1: Games. Q Received October 1980 Notes c. 1-14. This analysis. eds. Allwnght . 1976. Programme j Bridsh Council. I argued. Summary and I started with a question: 'What do we want teaching materials for?' I conclusions attempted to answer it through an analysis of what there is to be done in the management of language learning. 1975. France) 8 See Corder's Introducing Applied Linguistics. involved in the introduction of such a course struc. L. TESOL. Simulations and Role . but this brief account. Vermont). specifically with how the teacher can sensibly put his or her expertise at die disposal of the learners. leading to support for die notion of 'learners' guides' to language learning. If I have not dealt with them satisfactorily. the issue of ELT Documents devoted to Games. published by NFER. edited by Geddes 3 Anyone who knows anything about teaching will and Sturtridge. making them credible to their learners. Allwright. Workpapers m their potential for language teaching' in TESOL Teaching English as a Second Language Vol. There are numerous practical problems Language Learning. The most important point for me is diat materials should be related to die conception of die whole of language teaching and learning as die cooperative management of language learning. will perhaps indicate what we were language teacher's treatment of learner error' in trying to do. teendi TESOL Convention. R. "ESP and classroom manage- 6 Swan's Kaleidoscope and Spectrum come first to mind. carried implications for teacher-training that themselves led to the concept of 'learner-training' as a necessary development if learners are to share management responsibilities properly.). Cocoyoc.). 1 This is based on a paper presented at the Four. L. 9 But see Allen and Unwin's series. the book ELT Guides No. for example. UCLA. an attempt to model the role of cognitions in 4 See Ruth Hok's 'Some thoughts on study circles and language learning' in Povey (ed. 1979. R.Playing (\9111 \). and this point was illustrated from my experience in Poland.

low Name What do you actually do in order to learn ? + high —very low Frequency.How often do you do it ? 0 medium Date . and of learning activities/tasks. His teaching career started with EFL in Sweden. What do you do with English ? He has worked on short courses and seminars in a Frequency— How often do you have this par. You may feel that it is 17 Selection of learning activities/tasks to be em. good many countries. mastery of it all. at present. D. 24 Immediate yes/no feedback (knowledge of results). but his interest in improving die quality of learning via ficiency? radical changes in classroom practice is rooted in die For example: belief that understanding what goes on in classrooms You may need to be able to write scientific papers in is in many ways more important than changing what English. L. Perhaps diis does not happen very often goes on.How much does it help you ? Efficiency. Enjoyment. Downloaded from http://eltj. 27 The setting of standards of performance for all aspects of target content.oxfordjournals. How important is it to you (pro. 0 medium Date . and co-chairperson of perform well in diis situation ? the Colloquium on Classroom-Centred Research diat Proficiency required. 18 R.. Guidance 'Guidance' refers to information about die goals of the course. all types of content. and you may feel that. He is a member of fessionally and/or personally) to TESOL's Research Committee. necessary to be very good at English (PROFICIENCY ployed/exploited. REQUIRED ++) in order to write scientific papers.. 26 The timing of 22. does (IMPORTANCE ++). followed by study at Edinburgh University.How good/efficient are you at doing it? •p f. ficiency (for writing) is much lower (PROFICIENCY 20 Allocation of space.. 22 Explanations/descriptions of goals. situation? His research has increasingly focused on die role of Proficiency now. 18 Allocation of time. your own pro- 19 Allocation of people. For twelve years now he has been teaching postgraduate applied linguistics. (FREQUENCY — ) .low Name . FIDENCE ++ because you have just been trying to write a paper and have found it extremely difficult. and spent a whole year as ticular need ? Assistant Professor in the TESL Section of die Univer- Importance. sity of California at Los Angeles. AUwright . specializing in psychological and socio-psychological aspects of Need.. and for classroom behaviour in general. It will also cover instructions about + high — very low learning activities and tasks. NOW -).How good is it necessary to be at is becoming a regular feature of each TESOL National English to perform well in the Convention. and about die learners' • + very high . Appendix two Learning activity/strategy/technique ++ very high . What do you use English for? language teaching and learning.. Learning Activity/strategy/technique V 3 f I* I 25 Evaluations of learner progress (including tests). but it is very important when it ployed/exploited.16 Selection of learning processes to be em.25 (exactly when to do what). Are you getting die most out of die 3 activity? Needs I mi l The author Dick Allwright lectures on Applied Linguistics at die University of Lancaster. 2014 23 Cues/hints to draw attention to criterial features of target content.How much do you enjoy/like doing it? Usefulness. How good are you already? the learner and die possible benefits of increased Confidence— How sure are you about your learner involvement in managing die learning process. the target content.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. You may be absolutely certain of this (CON- 21 Sequencing. judgement of your own pro.

at the TESOL Convention. Stuttgart. in the sense Todesco. 1980. 1980. content. 1972. Lucas. Teachers' and materials are much more flexible and consist of ideas students' preferences for correction of classroom that can be exploited for a variety of purposes. Illinois: Apple River Press. Pit. What we teach may also include attitudes. The Good Language Learner. A. etc. M. M. & S. Taba Warner.g. A. Hemel Hempstead: Allen from other disciplines (as in ESP). Content Downloaded from http://eltj. language practice. Cambridge: Cambridge 14 Assignment of time to all elements of content. Grune and Stratton. 1975. 2 Short-term objectives. their potential for language teaching'. 1980. Some materials serve highly specific munication Games. Penguin Modern Linguistics Texts. &: J. H. and of sequencing have to be attended to. Introducing Applied Linguistics. R. 1976. 1977. W. Olsen. teaching. features of target language discourse. M. after selection. or the content of drill items). Swan. Teachers' Reacting Moves following 9 'Carrier' content. 'What the "good language learner" and their future use and learning of the target can teach us'. C. Rixon. Unpublished strategies and techniques. 1967. Los Angeles Second Language Research Forum. E. TESOL Quarterly Vol. 'Second language acquisition: the 12 Target attitudes. Language Programme. Film and Notes for Teacher A. must On TESOL 1976. J. Errors made by Pupils in Post-primary English-as. the activities or tasks that will draw upon those processes. and Corder. 1976. 1976. in all Appendix one its complexity. Stern. Counseling-Learning: A Whole-Person Modelfor Education. Kaleidoscope. etc. 1: Com. the The role of the teacher and the role of the teaching materials nature of the groupings. W. 'Potential sources of confusion in are giving them. and A. The conversation errors' in Fanselow and Crymes (eds. errors' in International Review of Applied Linguistics 1 Long-term aims. Thesis. 1980. volumes: Openers. 5/4: 161-170. Paper presented to the are to be learned is obviously a complex matter and Third Annual Colloquium on Classroom-Centred involves thinking about the learning processes to be Research. Spectrum. of timing. learners to be better learners after whatever course we McTear. Public Service Commission. question of strategies'.org/ at UB der TU Muenchen on November 11. Then the The twenty-seven point management analysis aaual performance of the activities or tasks has itself Language teaching analysis to be thought about: the amount of time needed. Telatnik. OISE. Sturtridge (eds. and about how to relate content. employed. C. Naiman. needs a lot of further analysis. Frohlich. 1979. Paper presented at the Third Lastly.and objectives. M. Corder. so that they can carry on learning foreign language lessons: the rules of the game'. 4 Sequencing. Paper presented at the Fourth International 10 Target learning strategies to be developed. What do we want teaching materialsfor? 17 . R. 3 Relative weightings. E. The intensive journal as a tool C. Keller. 1979. 11 Target learning techniques to be developed. Materials may or may not embody a fixed set of aims Bryne. H. 5 Target language content. Ottawa. 'Some thoughts on study circles and versation topics. Also we may include subject-matter Language Teaching Series. J. Counseling-Learning in Second What we teach is of course the 'language' but this Languages. that we would hope our learners would develop Toronto. H. 1975. Swan. S. B. & S. because we may also Fanselow.What we teach may also include selected learning a-Second Language Classes in Israel'. B. aims and are difficult to use for other purposes.. The significance of learners' also attend to the sequencing of objectives.7 Target cultural content. Cambridge: Cambridge 13 Assignment of weightings to all elements of University Press. British Council/NFER. Curran. Goals Trainers. The treatment of error in oral want to teach (and/or learners may want to learn) work' in Foreign Language Annals. A. N. San Francisco.).oxfordjournals. perhaps even without a teacher. 1973. and features of Geddes. 10/4.A. 15 Sequencing. TESOL Quarterly Vol. S. University Press. M. Congress of Applied Linguistics. & G. F. to the activities or tasks. language. M. Gambits (three 6 Target discourse content. matters of weighting. 1979. Other Cathcart. D. whether helped by the materials or not. 2014 Curran. effectively. Links and Responders and Closers). Method to identify and illustrate ESL teacher/teaching Determining how all the various elements of content variables in the classroom'. Pit. L. Some of the subject-matter we use may be there just to carry the and Unwin. con- Hok. Practical the target culture. Seliger. Tel Aviv University. TESOL. ELT Guides No. because we may want our M. positive attitudes towards both their current learning Rubin.). and not to be learned (e. Vol. 9/1: 41 -51. 14/1: 117-119. 1977. reflect the relative weightings assigned to the aims. 8 Target subject-matter content. 1975.