Material Development

· @tasali · ELAN453, Week 2-1

Do we need coursebooks? What is a better way of teaching language and engaging with learners?

Coursebooks can be limiting learners ability to be fully exposed to the language as they try to be inclusive of different cultures (or types of people) at the cost losing specificity to a group of people, causing them learn unauthentic language (not used in real life).

Prof. Brian Tomlinson:

There are 5 issues that haven’t been resolved in teaching. The first one seems to be the coursebook. Some says that it provides safety for the learner.

Ms. Karaca (opinion):

There are way many books suggested by the teachers. It is crowded with information and is mostly complicated to do what is being suggested.

She thinks they are unnecessary most of the time.

Mr. Tunaz (question):

How would you feel if you didn’t bring a coursebook to a class and you had to teach?

No answer for that question.

The coursebook in teaching is in dilemma as some are against it while there are also some who support the use of it.

Mr. Tunaz thinks that it has more benefits than it does harm. He also says that most teachers are unable or not proficient enough to create their own materials. He is aware that the use of the coursebooks is limiting and leads to less variety/diversity, but it is still better to have coursebooks than not have it.

Prof. Brian Tomlinson:

They impose methodology. Particularly, the globally marketed books try to approach in a neutral manner which may limit what a teacher might want to do.

I know that they limit how learners engage with the language and may dismiss how they may want to use it.

Mr. Tunaz:

Coursebooks imposes a language that is opinionated and not real. Being formal may not be enough to communicate with people.

Prof. Brian Tomlinson:

It is matching and filling in the blanks that the coursebooks want the students to work on so that they can pass the tests. It is a reality of the coursebooks.

Explicit teaching of language deductive language teaching means giving the students the grammatical rules and syntax. Mr. Tunaz believes inductive language teaching is better and the students will be able to understand them better as the rules will be more implicit and will be provided in a context. In other words, learners will discover/acquire the rules themselves.

Prof. Brian Tomlinson:

I would say that what is really required is rich exposure to the language. An engaging and meaningful teaching that learners can relate to is better. Coursebooks don’t do this because the publishers want them to sell.

There are lots of things wrong with PPP (Presentation, Practice, Production). I believe text-driven framework is better.

In text-driven framework (approach), there is no syllabus. You create one by using a text that is relatable. For instance, a text enabling learners to engage can be useful.

Think about a word. Now, try to remember when you learned it. If you cannot, then you probably acquired it unintentionally, which is better than memorizing.

Prof. Brian Tomlinson:

The first activity is intended to activate the learner’s mind.

Mr. Tunaz says that you will acquire the language better when you can emotionally connect with the experience that will help you do so.

The activity will help learners envision a story even if it is not personal. This will make the next activity engaging as the story is now alive in their mind.

When I say text, it is anything written or spoken. What is important is the meaning. It is the learning in which the learners discovering for themselves.

In language teaching, learning autonomy is not unlimited freedom given to them. It is the learning deciding the style with which they will acquire information. The language teaching should provide variety so they can achieve autonomy.

Learning should also be guided outside of classrooms, which will help learners go fully-autonomous and know the means to keep acquiring language.

For the coming weeks, Mr. Tunaz will provide us with a rubric (an evaluation sheet). We will create our own teaching material soon and with that rubric taken as example, we will create a rubric too.

We must learn our material should give autonomy to learners, provide extensive language input, practice and be engaging, authentic (teaching real life language), and original.

Except last two chapters of our syllabus, the rest of it will be included in this semester (will be studied in other words).