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The Principles of Choosing Course Materials for ESL Students

The Principles of Choosing Course Materials for ESL Students | ITTT | TEFL Blog

The importance of having proper course materials should be one of the first things a new teacher should consider when they are preparing to start teaching new or experienced learners, without having picked or created proper course material which is appropriate for the learners, they could become lost, confused, uninterested or bored during lessons. When picking course materials, you must know your target audience.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Guthrie T. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

What to Consider Before Choosing Course Materials?

Things you must take into consideration when identifying the most effective way to target your students are age, level of English knowledge, course objective, and purpose for students’ interest in the course. There can be many other deciding factors to consider when deciding what materials are best for your classes to use. In my experience, the student’s English ability and topic are the deciding factors for most of the teacher’s decisions when picking materials. The age of the students could also affect the effectiveness of the material used as some adults might find young learner material to be undermining for their age.

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Teaching Younger Students

When I am teaching young learners courses, I tend to pick fun and playful activities that allow me to use happy or funny materials. It is very important to consider the usefulness of the chosen material. If you were teaching the topic fruits you should have prepared some sample fruit or something that represents fruit like a printout or video showing fruit as not all learners are the same and might need something visual to assist them in comprehending what fruit is. The teacher should also be prepared to answer what is not a fruit, this can be assisted by using non-fruit-based foods to help the students recognize the difference.

Perfect Format

If you have the luxury of deciding what course books will be used with your students, you may also receive provided materials from the publisher to go with your course books. The teacher needs to decide if these are suitable for their class. Not all materials received from a book publisher are usable with every student as they are mass-produced for use globally in most cases. However, this is not always the case, we can sometimes use the materials provided or alter them so that they are suitable for the class.

Overall, it is up to the teacher to decide what the proper material is for the students. If the teacher fails to provide adequate material the student can become bored or uninterested in learning English. This could also lead students to not being able to comprehend their lessons and developing either fear or hate for learning with either the teacher or the language being taught. The teacher must provide an educational and fun learning experience.

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In conclusion, any class can benefit from a well-prepared lesson and that it’s important to incorporate different kinds of materials so that different types of learners can benefit from the lesson prepared by the teacher or school. If no materials are prepared it can become difficult for nonnative speakers to understand the meanings behind different kinds of topics. A good teacher will have prepared not only assistive material but also worksheets and games to be used with the course books.

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