TKT Unit 22: Consulting reference resources

by Porntip Bodeepongse

Reference resources
• are all the sources of information about language and teaching that we can refer to for help in lesson preparation.

Reference resources
• Reference materials – Dictionaries and grammar books – Books and articles about teaching methodology • Teacher’s book accompanying a coursebook that contains answers and teaching ideas and websites on the Internet.

Reference resources
• may include people, e.g. head of department or colleagues who teach a foreign language or other subjects

Task 1
• When we plan a lesson, why do you think we need to use reference resources?

Checking the form and use of grammatical structures
• Some grammar books are written for teachers with very detailed explanations. Others are written for learners using simple language. These provide us with suitable ways of describing or explaining grammar.

Checking the spelling, pronunciation and use of lexical items
• The most useful dictionaries for teachers to use are advanced learners’ dictionaries which include example sentences and informationa bout the form and use of words.

• Bilingual dictionaries (which explain meanings of words in learners’ own language), including electronic dictionaries, are useful when learners are looking for a word they don’t know in English. But it’s a good idea if learners check the words they find in a monolingual dictionary, which provides the most suitable way of defining words and giving examples of their use.

Developing your own understanding of language
• There are a number of books which aim to increase our language awareness (understanding of how language works) and our awareness of how to teach language. They often include tasks that we can do by ourselves with detailed explanations and comments as well as answers.

Anticipating learners’ difficulties
• Reference materials about learners’ errors can help us anticipate particular language problems that our learners might have. Many difficulties with vocabulary or grammar are the result of interference from L1. Books or articles about differences between the learner’s L1 and English will help to explain these problems.

Looking for new approaches to teaching and classroom activities
• There is a wide range of supplementary materials (materials you can use in addition to or instead of your coursebook) focusing on grammar, vocabulary and particular skills. These materials are sometimes in book forms or published on websites.

• There are also many teacher’s resource books with ideas and materials for all kinds of lessons. Some provide activities for extra grammar or communicative practice while others focus on a particular type of classroom activity, e.g. dictation, storytelling.

Finding out how materials in the

to use the coursebook

• Teacher’s books provide suggestions about how to use the material in the coursebook. • Some teacher’s books include different possible ways of planning a lesson, as well as explanations of answers to exercises and extra resources.

Getting advice about particular lessons or teaching materials
• Colleagues who have taught at the same level or used the same teaching materials may be able to offer useful advice. • As with the suggestions in teacher’s books, a colleague’s approach may help us to think about our own planning.

Key concepts
• Some grammar books and dictionaries may contain clearer explanations or examples. So when checking a language item, we should try to look at more than one reference resource. • Dictionaries on CD-ROM have many extra features, such as practice activities, collocation searches and audio recordings of pronunciation.

• Language changes, as new words appear and people stop using old words. Grammar usage, too, changes slowly over time. One way to keep up todate is to use the most recently published grammar books and dictionaries.

• We can learn a great deal from other teachers’ experiences. Many teachers’ magazines include regular articles by teachers describing successful lessons they have taught.

• It may be easier to visit websites than to find the books and articles we need. There are many sites on the Internet where we can find free resources such as lesson plans, worksheets and ideas for teaching.

• Some websites also offer simple programs for making classroom resources, such as crosswords and gap-fill exercises. The best way to find these materials is to visit one of the sites that has lists of links to useful teaching resources on the Internet.


Oxford Teacher’s Club BBC+Learning English

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