GENRES IN ENGLISH COURSEBOOKS: TEACHING WORDS AND IMAGES
Why are genres important for learners?Exposure to genres through teaching materialhelp learners to build knowledge of linguisticfeatures.Students gain a solid awareness of language andthey will be successful in communicating ineveryday situations.
Working with genresEFL (English as a foreign language) course bookcontains several genres such as letters,advertisements, postcards, articles, Internetpages, some in written form and others areimages. articles advertisements letters postcards Internet images pages
The visuality in course books has become moreand more appealing in recent course books.According to Terry Royce “learners need todevelop a multimodal communicativecompetence” (2002).
Genre knowledgeThe genre knowledge needs to be part ofteaching and learning a second languagebecause communication happens throughgenres.
Knowing a genre is being able to: Recognize one; Understand one; Contextualize one and Produce one.
Genres can serve as a secondary support forteaching and learning or as a direct relation to alanguage topic. Class topic Exposure based on the Text book
UNDERSTANDING COURSE BOOKSGood course books must contain as muchgenres as possible; variety of genres makes thestudents feel closer to the language.However we must notice that course booksthemselves are also a genre.
According to Davies, “The textbook is seen as anelement that is integrated into the process ofeducation, and it is identified as a genre thatfunctions communicatively as a source ofinstruction and information about how peopledo things in a society.”
Course books assures that learning actuallyhappens in school and they also teach theknowledge that is necessary for the studentsparticipation in society.
It is important to notice how often culturalaspects happen in course books. The aim is tomake students learn about the whole culturalprocess involved in this learning activity.
In an ELT (English Language Teaching) coursebook, what needs to be learned about languageis organized and sequenced in the book.Everything is arranged and illustrated in a seriesof sub-genres.
But it is not all about communicating...Schneuwly and Dolz have similar viewpointabout this topic.They both believe genres are not just way ofcommunicating but also object of teaching andlearning.
And also, classroom materials do not preparestudents for social activity outside theclassroom.Classroom activities can be unrelated to “reallife” practices.
A MULTIMODAL APPROACH USING EFL COURSE BOOKSMultimodal awareness is more important incontemporary society and it is one of thecompetences that need to be mastered.
And more...Images need to be related to written text.Learners need to understand the intentions thatinform visual representations and meanings incourse books images.
The Genres of advertising and tourist guidebooks
Why are ads often used in language teaching materials?They are appealing, motivating for students andcan lead a reflection on consumer habits. Contemporary language Cultural information Visual presentation of contexts Brevity
Listening and discussion activities about adsFocus on knowledge of visuals as social practice,not just as language learning tools.How to use it:Indicate that learners are positioned as users of ads. Explore the genre by asking students to consider the force of ads from a critical perspective.
Activities using the tourist guidebook genreImages only complement the verbal text (are notreferred to in any of the items in the activities).Questions (focused on genre contrasts of thedeveloped texts) draw attention to differences in: Purpose Audience Genre expectations Language structure Lexical choices
Invitation to Genre knowledge Recognition Understanding of genre structure Understanding of linguistic featuresAwareness of the context of each genreLearning the meaning of a used image is unexplored
What is the challenge of teaching English language?Identify the teacher’s role in the transfer ofpedagogical genre knowledge to social andprofessional knowledge of genres.
ReferenceHEMAIS, B. Genres in English language coursebooks: teaching words and images. In:GONÇALVES, G. R. et al. New challenges inlanguage and literature. Belo Horizonte: FALE,2009. p. 67-79.