What to Do When You Can't Chuck The Book

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Talk given at TESOL France 2013 Annual Colloquium. In person it was run as a workshop with ideas for each example discussed by participants before solutions were presented.

Talk given at TESOL France 2013 Annual Colloquium. In person it was run as a workshop with ideas for each example discussed by participants before solutions were presented.

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  • 1. + What To Do When You Can‟t Chuck The Book Federico Espinosa TESOL France Annual Colloquium November 24th, 2013
  • 2. + The Debate Pro-Coursebooks Anti-Coursebooks
  • 3. + The Debate Pro-Coursebook  They provide structure and direction to a course  Help standardize instruction and quality across courses  More and more are based on authentic and learner corpora  Provide learners with a tangible display of progress  Provide guidance for inexperienced teachers  They are a great time saving tool Source: Cambridge ELT Interview with Jack C. Richards
  • 4. + The Debate Anti-Coursebook  They inadvertently impose rigid methodologies   Leave little room for creativity   Littlejohn, 1998 Stifle opportunities for conversation and open discussion   Nunan, 1988 Transfer control of classroom time from the students to the materials   Cunningsworth, 1995 Thornbury & Meddings, 2009 Put forward a specific version of truth, beliefs and morality which do not correspond to the reality of every student.  Ilieva, 2000
  • 5. + The Reality It‟s often not even up to us to choose
  • 6. + So, What CAN We Do?
  • 7. + First off…. Have you exhausted the materials? Are you sure??  Extra activities in the back of the coursebook.  Photocopiables in Teacher‟s Book  Games/Suggestions “hidden” in the TB Instructions  Teacher‟s Resource Disk  Materials Available on Publisher‟s Website  Student Workbook  Flashcard/Story Card Sets  Etc…
  • 8. + Ok, fine, the materials are lacking. So what now?  Adapt  The materials may be ok, but need just need a little tweaking to work with your group.  Personalize  Think about your students and make it relevant to their lives.  Supplement  The material may be good in itself but need some follow up to address other known issues.  Skip  Maybe the material just doesn‟t fit your class‟ needs. That‟s fine. Skip it.
  • 9. + What must we ask ourselves before we begin?  “Demand High Asks:  Are our learners capable of more, much more?  Have the tasks and techniques we use in class become rituals and ends in themselves?  How can we stop „covering material‟ and focus on the potential for deep learning?  What small tweaks and adjustments can we make to shift the whole focus of our teaching towards getting that engine of learning going?” (Scrivner & Underhill, 2012)
  • 10. + Exam Preparation Writing, Organization and PeerFeedback
  • 11. + The Students  A class of 14 adult Czechnative English teachers  Advanced (C1) CAE Prep  In a part-time Bachelor‟s degree program in TEFL at AKCENT College  VERY chatty  Struggle with written organization  Exhausted (intensive weekend course)
  • 12. + The Activity p. 30 of Advanced Expert CAE After activities focusing on outline writing for a Review (Part 2)  Task 1 – Discuss various methods of outlining a writing task  Task 2 – Plan and write a film review  Task 3 – Compare with classmates
  • 13. + One Solution (Discussion)  Various strategies for text organization are pinned up around the room  Students walk around in pairs/threes and discuss the pros of each   They are asked to agree on the best two It‟s treated as a sort of museum visit with music playing in the background
  • 14. + One Solution (Planning & PeerEditing)  Students write a plan/sketch/outline/draft for their review  Each review plan gets a large postit placed next to it  Students all move one chair over clockwise and have one minute to read/skim their neighbor‟s plan and write a short comment on the post it.  A bell rings and they move over another chair and have another minute  Repeat until all have been read by all, then discuss comments.
  • 15. + Young Learners Story Reading with a Grammar Focus
  • 16. + The Students  A class of 8 young learners (912 y/o)  Pre-Intermediate (A2)  In an extra-curricular English class at IH Prague  A bit shy  Struggle with spelling  Like competition
  • 17. + The Activity p. 35 of Messages 2 At the end of a unit focusing on interesting trips and the past simple.  Task 1 (Pre-reading): Look at the pictures and put them in the correct order.  Task 2 (Language Focus): Find 21 different verbs in the past simple. Make a list.  Task 3 (Feedback): Retell the story using the verbs.
  • 18. + One Solution (Pre-Reading)  Students are given one enlarged and cut-out picture from the story.  They work in small groups to discuss what is happening in their picture, and to color it in.  The pictures are presented and pinned up on the board.  Students work as a class to put the pictures in the order which makes the most sense.  Students read the story to confirm.
  • 19. + One Solution (Language Focus)  To focus on the verbs. Students are given a “Double Puzzle” of the target verbs  They work in pairs to race each other to discover the hidden message  The first team gets a prize (stickers work well, candy works amazingly well)
  • 20. + One Solution (Personalization)  As a final task, students are asked to write a story about their life  They can use the verbs from their Double Puzzle to guide them  To fit the theme of the book, mine wrote about their summer vacation.  At the end each can give a quick presentation of their story.
  • 21. + Teens Vocabulary Exposition
  • 22. + The Students  A group of 12 teenagers (1318 y/o)  Advanced (C1)  In an extra-curricular English course at IH Prague  Mixed Chatty/Introverted  Mixed Motivated/Unmotivated  Mixed Snarky/Eager
  • 23. + The Activity (1) pp. 26 of Face2Face Advanced Activity focused on introducing some character adjectives.  Students are asked to “Tick the words they know” and refer to the glossary for the others.  Words: Courageous, Determined, Meticulous, Generous, Trusting, Thrifty, Confident, Spontaneous, & Cautious.
  • 24. + The Activity (2) p. 124 of Face2Face Advanced Follow up activity to character adjectives  Students are asked to look at the negative equivalents of the positive adjectives from before.  Words: Arrogant, Reckless, Tight-Fisted, Finicky, Extravagant, Gullible, Obstinate, Impetuous, Timid.
  • 25. + One Solution (Part 1)  Students are given a post-it with one of the character words written on it.  The post-it goes on their forehead (or back) without them seeing it.  Students mill around the classroom and elicit the mystery words from each other.
  • 26. + One Solution (Part 2)  Once all the words have been elicited, the corresponding negative equivalents are posted at various points around the room.  Students start in the middle and race to find their equivalent negative word and stand by it.  Points are awarded to first few to find it.  Students then read out both adjectives to the class and explain the difference.
  • 27. + General English Extension of Theme
  • 28. + The Students  A group of 10 adults  Upper-Intermediate (B2)  Intensive 20 hours/week course at a New York City Language School  Mixed-nationality/language  Generally well-motivated  Chatty
  • 29. + The Activity pp. 92-93 of American English File 4 Unit focusing on creativity and discovery.  Reading and Listening on creativity and innovation.  Four-question quiz to determine if you are creative or not.
  • 30. + One Solution Innovative Team Game  After the book‟s material introducing innovation and the short quiz, students get into small groups  Each group draws three random cards from this set of normal objects  They are given time to come up with a new product using all three objects and produce a TV commercial for it
  • 31. + In-Company Functional Language
  • 32. + The Students  A group of 5 insurance company executives  Upper-Intermediate (B2)  In-company class in a conference room  Unmotivated  Tired (end of the day)  Not chatty
  • 33. + The Activity p. 44 of Face2Face UpperIntermediate Unit focusing on expressing opinions.  Look at adjectives for expressing opinions.  Read a short article about ecological footprints.  Discuss the validity of this idea.  Branch off into discussion of other suggested topics.
  • 34. + One Solution (Part One)  Students are each given a pile of cut up scrap paper.  (Good use of that stack sitting in your office)  They watch a video clip and are asked to write down contradictory phrases. One per piece of paper.  After each view, the slips are compared and re-written so that each small group has one complete set.
  • 35. + One Solution (Part Two) Monty Python “Argument Clinic” Sketch
  • 36. + One Solution (Part Three) p. 94 of Pronunciation Games Photocopiables Book  Using their collected phrases, students play this quick card game.  They read their statement and their team members compete to be the first to correct it.  Extra Challenge: They draw their phrase cards randomly to avoid repetitive language.
  • 37. + But none of this works for me! How could we adapt material for these contexts?  Large class sizes  One-to-ones  Mixed-ability classrooms  Very young learners  Illiterate students  Students with mobility disability  Students unaccustomed to a classroom environment
  • 38. + In Conclusion • Think about your class‟ needs • Think about your lesson aims • When life gives you lemons…
  • 39. + Background References  Cunningsworth, A. (1995). Choosing your Coursebook. Oxford: Macmillan Heinemann ELT.  Ilieva, R. (2000). Exploring Culture in Texts Designed for Use in Adult ESL Classrooms. TESL Canada Journal , 17 (2), 50-63.  Littlejohn, A. (1998). The Analysis of Langauge Teaching Materials: Inside the Trojan Horse. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Materials Development in Language Teaching (pp. 190-216). Camridge: Cambridge University Press.  Nunan, D. (1988). The Learner-Centered Curriculum. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Richards, J. C. (2000, 3 14). The role of textbooks in a language program. Retrieved 11 10, 2013, from Cambridge ELT Online - Brazil: http://www.cambridge.org.br/authorsarticles/articles?the-role-of-textbooks-in-a-language-program&id=337  Thornbury, S., & Meddings, L. (2009). Teaching Unplugged: Dogme in ELT Teaching. Surrey: DELTA Publishing.  Underhill, A., & Scrivner, J. (2012, March). Demand High ELT. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://demandhighelt.wordpress.com/
  • 40. + Materials References  Advanced Expert CAE by Jan Bell, Roger Gower and Drew Hyde (Pearson Longman, 2011)  American English File 4 by Clive Oxenden and Christina Latham-Koenig (Oxford University Press, 2008)  Face2Face Advanced by Gillie Cunningham, Jan Bell & Chris Redston (Cambridge University Press, 2009)  Face2Face Upper-Intetmediate by Chris Redston and Gillie Cunningham (Cambridge University Press, 2007)  Messages 2 by Diana and Noel Goodey (Cambridge University Press, 2005)  Pronunciation Games Photocopiables by Mark Hancock (Cambridge University Press, 1996)  Monty Python Skit on YouTube: “Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl – Argument Clinic”  PuzzleMaker Site: http://www.puzzlemaker.com  Disabled Access Friendly Campaign Site: http://www.disabled-accessfriendly.com/
  • 41. + Thank You ! A copy of the presentation slides can be found at http://tinyurl.com/workwiththebook Or by scanning this QR code