TEXTBOOKS

Report
Presented By:
Ms
Sudha Nayar
Ms Florence Dsouza
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The study attempts to capture the utility of the
textbook in the context of our language learning
situation on Oman.
The paper assumes that the learner as an intelligent
entity, utilises the textbook as a complementary
tool and is not a mere recipient of knowledge
It looks at the responses of a segment of students
at the Foundation level of engineering at
Caledonian college
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Does the student utilise the textbook as a
complementary tool?
How does the student view the helpfulness
of the textbook as an aid to his studies?
Is there a need to ‘acculturalize’ our
textbooks to help transfer of knowledge
better?
Over the years, language teaching has
developed from the………
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Traditional Approach through the
Classical Communicative Language
Teaching and into the
Current Communicative Language Teaching
1. Language is facilitated by interaction and meaningful
communication
2. Students:

Take part in meaningful conversation

Expand their language base

Are facilitated in interpersonal exchange
3. Processing content for relevance and interest
4. Holistic Process
5. Discovery learning-analytic and reflective learning
6. Creativity and trial and error
7. Learners find their methodologies
8. Strategizing learning
9. Teacher as a facilitator
10. Collaborative sharing

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According to the ELT writers it is very easy for
learners to depend on teachers and become
passive. According to their reasoning the teacher
chooses the learning materials, designs the
activities, corrects and assesses their work so
they hold the teacher responsible for the learning.
Little John(Hutchinson & Torres,1994,p. 316)
claims that textbooks “reduce the teachers role to
one of managing or over seeing preplanned
activities”.
•
•
Allwright suggests that there are two key
points with regard to the role of textbooks
in the language classroom.
1. Deficiency view
2. Difference view
According to Jane Crawford (2002), for
many researches both the views ‘challenge
teachers’ professionalism and reduce them
to classroom managers, technicians or
implementers of others’ ideas.’
SHIFT
OBSERVED CONTEXTUAL FOCUS
1. From teacher centered to learner-centered
On the learners rather than the environment
from which they get input
2. Product oriented to process oriented
On the process how language is acquired
3. Learning in isolation to holistic learning
On connecting the classroom to the outside
world
4. Preparing students for exam to learning as
a lifelong process
On acquiring language outside the classroom
5. External views to internal views
More on the views of students (Internalised)
Primary
teaching material which gives
structure to content
Is
a support mechanism
Text
books help to standardize instruction
1.
Provides structure and syllabus
Language may not be authentic
2.
Helps standardize instruction
Distorts content
3.
Maintains quality
May not reflect students’ needs
4.
Provides resource for teacher
May deskill teachers
5.
Saves teacher’s time
May trigger class apathy.
6.
Textbooks are visually
appealing
Exam oriented students/visual
learners may concentrate only on
the textbook.
 Changes
made to suit the needs of the students
ultimately going on to Engineering stream
 Materials
are broadly based on topics dealt within
Engineering
 All
components are linked
 Topics
around the Arab world have been chosen
as far as possible
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EIGHTY NINE STUDENTS FROM FOUNDATION
LEVEL WERE SURVEYED
ALL EIGHTY NINE RESPONDED
How useful do you find the
text?
Very useful
Useful
Not sure
3%
Not useful
How often do you read the
text book?
14%
32%
Always
Sometimes
7%
51%
Rarely
17%
18%
58%
Never
How does the text help you?
Getting information
Preparing for exams
Understanding what the teacher says
2%
27%
52%
19%
Which of these is the most
useful to you?
Textbook
Lecture
Powerpoint
28%
58%
14%
The teacher is necessary to
explain the text
Agree
Not sure
Disagree
6%
16%
I learn English better when the
textbooks are about
78%
Omani/Arabic culture
Agree
Disagree
22%
78%
I do additional studies by logging onto the
internet
Yes
No
19%
81%
The ultimate aim of the communicative method is
that students become self sufficient. The teacher is
responsible for making learners independent.

It means letting students choose their own topics
and activities for homework; to the passionate.

It means students’ emancipation from the hands of
the teacher and they become reflective.

To be self motivated, with initiative, clarity of ideas
and planning for achieving one’s goal.
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We cannot do without textbooks-they give structure and
uniformity
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Teaching is personalized, so she/he must be creative and
respond to needs of students
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Textbooks must be suitable to students and not be at
loggerheads with culture
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Contents must connect with further studies of students
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The ultimate aim of a language course is to have self –
directed learners who use language course as a stepping
stone to further progress
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This paper strongly recommends the need to
initiate projects to localize and culturalise the
learning of English
Borrowing ideas from elsewhere may be good but
the roots of learning must be based in the local
environment. This should help students
assimilate easier.
THANK YOU

1. Richards Jack C. & Renandya Willy A(Ed.).(2005) Methodology in Teaching Language
Teaching-An Anthology of Current Practice. Cambridge University Press.
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2. Scrivener Jim (1994) Learning Teaching. Macmillan Publishers Limited.
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3. Cunningsworth Alan(1995) Choosing your Coursebook Heinemann.
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4. Lightbown Patsy M.& Spada Nina(2003) How Languages are Learnt. Oxford University Press.

5.Richards Jack C.(n.d.) The Language Teaching Matrix. Cambridge University Press.

6.Richards Jack C.[Online]Communicative Language Teaching
Today.www.professorjackrichards.com //communicative-language-teaching-todayv2.pdf.[Accessed 7/12/09]

7.Hedge Tricia (2000) Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. Oxford University
Press.

8. Richards Jack C,& Rodgers Theodore S. (2005) Approaches and Methods in language
Teaching. Cambridge University Press.

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