Evaluation and Adaptation of Coursebook Essay

4760 Words Oct 15th, 2008 20 Pages
Evaluation and Adaptation of Coursebook for EFL Senior High School Students: External and Internal Coursebook Evaluation

1. Introduction
Language teaching material plays an important role in EFL classroom. With the rapid development and competitiveness of materials publishers, ‘the wealth of published material for English Language Teaching (ELT) available on the market makes selecting the right coursebook a challenging task’(Cunningsworth, 1995, p5). However, there is no coursebook can be absolutely ideal for a particular group of learners (Cunningsworth, 1995); evaluation and selection of suitable material would be essential and important issues for language teachers. Each group of learners has its own needs and language teachers
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or their long term effect as regards durable learning and application. (ibid, p23-25)

McGrath (2002) cites from Cunningsworth (1979, p31), there are no good or bad materials but materials which effective in helping students reach particular goals in specific situations. The pre-designed course materials, though effective in some contexts, may inappropriate in others. This raises the issue of text and learner authenticity (Lee, 1995), which advocates that the authenticity can only be achieved when there is an agreement between the material writer’s intention and the learner’s interpretation (Widdowson, 1980). Lee (1995) conducts a small-scale research in which particular course materials are prepared to EAP students based on the feedback from a need analysis questionnaire. However, it is not feasible for the teachers who are tightly constrained in the coursebook selection to develop their own materials, like the ESL context where I worked in. Then, evaluating the given materials according to the certain teaching context and adapt these materials in the light of the information gained from evaluation become crucial for the teacher in this context to implement the course materials in an effective way. Littlejohn (1998, p205) sketches a coursebook evaluation framework which might be useful for language teachers (See Appendix 1). This systematical approach

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