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Federico Riva

Teaching Ideas

Coursebooks and Materials - Best Use of the Coursebook

Coursebooks and Materials - Best Use of the Coursebook | ITTT | TEFL Blog

In this blog we will consider how best to use the teaching material course book that often accompanies a course. There are a number of stategies we can adopt to get the most out of the book in different situations.

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There are a number of factors that you should take into consideration when using ESL teaching course books.

You should try to use these books to help you create a balanced lesson in terms of the range of skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) that are being taught and the actual types of lesson material such as the grammar or vocabulary.

Secondly don't use them all the time, particularly with things like suggested activities, we can create our own materials and we can tailor those materials much more specifically to the actual class that we're teaching. Very often the materials in the book are very general; we can make our own materials much more specific.

The next thing you need to be aware of is that you can't always rely 100% on the information that's presented in those books in terms of accuracy, as there are sometimes mistakes which have not been picked up in the editing process.

Also the way in which the information is presented may not be the best way for your students to understand it. You may need to change the way that the books present the material to make it more understandable for your students.

Finally it's very important that you match the material that's given in the book to your particular students needs within any particular lesson. They may have a focus on various types of skill and information in the book, but your students may need more work in one particular area rather than that book presents. So don't rely just on the information given in the book and think about what your students need, what do you need to add to it, what should you take away and so on and so forth.

In terms of different possible approaches to using the course books, these could be;

  1. To omit: basically what we mean is that we leave out selected parts of the material presented in the book, either a single part of a lesson or indeed a whole lesson or maybe even two or three lessons in a row.
  2. To replace: we can replace material within the book with what we think is more suitable material.
  3. To supplement: we can supplement additional material into what's already given in the book so in areas where we think our students need more help, we can add additional material as appropriate.
  4. To adapt: sometimes we would perhaps like to use our own style of materials based on the information that's given in the coursebook, rather than the course book materials themselves.

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