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Why Carefully Selecting Course Materials are Important

Why Carefully Selecting Course Materials are Important | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Course materials are the foundation of an English as a Second Language class, as they are a key component for moving the course forward and are essential for the student’s success. Thus, the materials that an educator selects significantly impact the outcome of the course for teachers and students. Whether choosing a textbook, authentic materials, or created materials it is important for the teacher to consider the benefits, disadvantages and how best to use the materials they have selected. This ensures the creation of an engaging program where they, as educators, may grow along with their student’s English language abilities.

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

Considering coursebook advantages and disadvantages

When selecting a coursebook, a teacher needs to go through all the material to consider the appropriateness of their prospective class. They must carefully consider if the positive aspects of the coursebook outweigh the negative ones and whether they may be able to supplement material where the textbook is lacking. To accomplish this, it is important for the educator to first consider textbooks that are appropriate for the student’s level. Maintaining the student in mind, the teacher should consider if the text is appealing to prospective students in layout as well as in lesson topics and to consider selecting a textbook that is in an affordable range. Additionally, selecting a coursebook that comes with audio and visual materials is important as it allows students the opportunity to hear a native speaker which is valuable for their future success.


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Selection of authentic materials

Concerning selecting authentic materials for the class, the teacher should be most conscious of selecting texts, videos, and audio clips that are at an appropriate level for the students; lest they become discouraged. The educator should select materials that they believe will interest their students and allow for engagement in the classroom. Using authentic materials, such as a news clip from the internet, is a great opportunity to show students how what they are learning can be applied outside of the classroom and to boost their confidence.

Creative ideas for hand-made materials

Created material is the best time for a teacher to input their ideas and creativity into their lesson plans. Where the coursebook may be lacking, the teacher can supplement with these kinds of materials. As always, the teacher should consider the interests and level of their students when selecting materials so that the students will be engaged in the lesson and receive the utmost benefit. If an educator is not confident enough to create their materials, many online resources are available teachers that would enable them to make materials based on their classroom’s needs. It is important that these materials are attractive and engaging for students or the teacher may risk losing the classes’ interest.

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A teacher must give attention to course materials in detail to have a successful class. If the teacher were to carelessly select materials, they may encounter problems in their classroom such as students not learning from the materials or becoming frustrated with them. The educator, in turn, may find that it is difficult to teach as students are not engaged. Thus, resulting in the educator potentially having to rework their lessons mid-semester to remedy the situation, which would be disruptive to all parties involved. However, with carefully selected course materials the teacher will be able to teach students at an appropriate level and in an engaging way that will benefit everyone in the classroom.

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