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Materials in the EFL classroom. Sources and exploitation.

EFL Teaching Methodology

Antonio Gómez Vélez

on 29 November 2012

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Transcript of Materials in the EFL classroom. Sources and exploitation.

Materials in the EFL classroom.
Sources and exploitation. Máster Formación de Profesorado de Enseñanza Secundaria 2011/2012
Metodología y aprendizaje de la lengua moderna: Inglés.

Antonio Gómez Vélez
Octubre 2011 Introduction: materials and learner needs. Dilemma teachers face Can pre-prepared materials meet individual needs? Some think that each group of students is so unique that its needs cannot be met by materials that are designed for another group. Textbooks are a contentious issue for many teachers. Textbooks 'reduce the teacher's role to one of managing or overseeing pre-planned events'
Littlejohn, 1994 'Textbooks are for poor teachers, those without imagination' Published materials often exhibit shortcomings. they fail to present appropriate and realistic language, they propose subordinate learner roles, they fail to contextualise language activities, they may also foster inadequate cultural understanding. Teaching materials will have a role to play in deciding what is learnt. Teachers and their experience have a crucial role to play in materials production as well as in their classroom use. The difference now is not in terms of experience. Multimedia age: educational materials need to be of an adequate level of sophistication Many teachers still have neither the time, nor access to adequate technology to create 'authentic' audiovisual materials.

The assumption seems to be that the teacher will slavishly follow the coursebook. Is it realistic to expect teachers to prepare their own materials?

In any case, materials contribute to both goals and contents:
what is learnt is a product of the interaction between learners, teachers and materials at their disposal. 'Teachers are very autonomous in their textbook use and... it is likely that only a minority of teachers really follow the text in the page-by-page manner suggested in the literature'
Stodolsky, 1989. Effective teaching materials Effective materials are likely to reflect the following statements: 1. Language is functional and must be contextualised.

2. Language development requires learners engagement in purposeful use of language.

3. The language should be realistic and authentic.

4. Classroom materials will usually seek to include an audiovisual component. 5. In our modern, technologically complex world, foreign language learners need to develop the ability to deal with written as well as spoken genres.

6. Effective teaching materials foster learner autonomy.

7. Materials need to be flexible enough to cater to individual and contextual differences.

8. Learning needs to engage learners both affectively and cognitively. 'Hi-tech visual images are a pervasive feature of young people's lives. Textbooks, worksheets and overheads are a poor match for these other, more complex, instantaneous and sometimes spectacular forms of experience and learning. In this context, the disengagement of many students from their curriculum and their teaching is not hard to understand. Teachers are having to compete more and more with this world and its surrounding culture of the image.'
Hargreaves, 1994. 'Textbooks can at best provide only a base or a core of materials. They are a jumping-off point for teacher and class. They should not aim to be more than that. A great deal of the most important work in a class may start with the textbook but end outside it, an improvisation and adaptation in spontaneous interaction in the class, and the development of that interaction.'
O'Neill, 1990. Instructional material. Instructional material: the material and aids which are used by teacher to make his teaching very effective. Teachers should select teaching material and instructional according the objectives decided by teachers so that skill of reading, understanding, writing and speaking and sub skills of skills could be developed in students. Types of Teaching and Instructional Material :

• Visual aids :

1. Boards: Blackboard, Flannel boards, soft boards.

2. Charts, Maps, Pictures, Drawings.

3. Static and Working Modal.

4. Film strip, Slide Projector, OHP, Transparencies and Episcope. (Very old-fashioned). Types of Teaching and Instructional Material :

•Audio aids :
1.Audio Cassette Player.

•Audio Visual aids :
1.DVD player.
2.Television. Types of Teaching and Instructional Material :

•Language Laboratory.

•Computer Assisted Learning.

•Interactive whiteboard. Characteristics of instructional material:
Supplement oral teaching.
Audiovisual aids as motivator.
Prevent indiscipline and monotony.
Make learning permanent.
Save time and energy.
Provide direct experience. Published materials.
Using a coursebook. Advantages of using a coursebook.

It is what the majority of teachers do and what many students expect.
It provides security for teachers and students.
It provides a syllabus graded to the level suitable for students.
It provides variety. Advantages of using a coursebook.

It gives continuity and progress.
It provides a ready-made source of tried and tested activities.
It has a techer's book, which is extremely useful.
It is profesionaly produced. Disadvantages of using a coursebook.
It is not easy to find a coursebook that will suit the needs of all the students.
You may be forced to use a coursebook which is for different students from the ones you are teaching.
The students may not like the coursebook and be reluctant to use it. Disadvantages of using a coursebook.
Exclusive use of a coursebook can become an straitjacket.
It can stop teachers from being creative.
Being an inexperienced teacher, following a coursebook may prevent teachers from exploring in depth the language which is being taught.
A coursebook is nearly a compromise. Assessing a coursebook.
Stage 1: Deciding on criteria.
Very important: double tick.
Fairly important: single tick.
Not sure: question mark.
Not important: cross.
Totally unimportant: double cross.
Stage 2: Applying criteria.
Stage 3: Summary. Best use of coursebooks.
Don't use your coursebook immediately for the whole lesson.
Think about which parts of the coursebook could be omitted, which could be used and which need supplementing.
You may want to do the activities in a different order from in the book. Best use of coursebooks.
Think about how long your group will take to complete the tasks.
Explore the ways your book could be 'personalized'.
Think about how activities and texts could be 'brought to life' through mime, actions, visuals or other aids.
Approach the coursebook critically. Other published materials: SKILLS BOOKS.
Organized according to a topic, so provide a great vocabulary focus.
Useful for developing particular skills and strategies.
They can provide materials that are a 'halfway house' between a graded coursebook and ungraded authentic material.
It is not easy to assess the level of skills books.
They may contain structures unfamiliar to students. Other published materials: READERS.

The language content is graded according to specified levels by restricting the vocabulary and grammatical structures used.
Useful for practising extensive reading skills. Other published materials: REFERENCE BOOKS.

Dictionaries: not only meanings of words but also information about grammatical rules, pronunciation and use, as well as reference sections.
Grammar reference books: They have integrated exercises or are accompanied by workbooks. Other published materials: VIDEO.

They can be used to introduce grammatical and functional structures.
Published videos are accompanied by materials.
You may use television materials or films. Other suplementary materials.
Books of language games and songs, roleplays and simulations, chants and drills.
Many include communicative activities.
Activities can add variety and enjoyment to lessons.
They must fulfil the aims and objectives of the lesson. Teacher-made materials. Good teacher-made materials are relevant and personalized, answering the needs of learners. Worksheets.

Workcards. Guidelines for teacher-made materials.
Be neat.
Begin with short and clean instructions.
Be clear and attractive to look at.
Be clearly do-able by the learners on their own.
Include self-check facility (optionally). Authentic materials. http://www.toolsforeducators.com/ Worksheets 'When I started out, I didn't have any desire to be an actress or to learn how to act. I just wanted to be famous.'
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