Presented By: Ms Sudha Nayar Ms Florence Dsouza 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 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……… 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 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 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. We cannot do without textbooks-they give structure and uniformity Teaching is personalized, so she/he must be creative and respond to needs of students Textbooks must be suitable to students and not be at loggerheads with culture Contents must connect with further studies of students The ultimate aim of a language course is to have self – directed learners who use language course as a stepping stone to further progress 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. 2. Scrivener Jim (1994) Learning Teaching. Macmillan Publishers Limited. 3. Cunningsworth Alan(1995) Choosing your Coursebook Heinemann. 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.