Teaching English to Young Children
Course books Analyses Guide 1
Title: BOUNCE FOR KIDS Title: SMILES Title: SPAGHETTI
Target audience/age and Level: Target audience/age and Level: Target audience/age and
5TH GRADERS about 8, Level: 2 Level: intro- six years old
Publisher: MACMILLAN Publisher: MACMILLAN Publisher: MACMILLAN
General Questions Comments Comments
1 – Does the book fit Yes. Yes, it does. All units are Yes in a way. They have the
the students’ Level1 presents no words so ss organized by cd for the ss, but it’s
background – age, can communicate more freely. It is a six-level course. The book necessary to have
cognitive maturity, involves contents that children supplementary activities and
native language and are interested, but the pictures they are not suggested. It
culture, educational are old-fashioned (clothes, tries to be adapted to
background, technology) Brazilian schools reality.
motivation and There isn’t relation with our
purpose for learning culture or our native language.
2 – What values are There is a “Values Pack” that Relationship, friendship, It presents good values but
projected through covers topics such as respect, politeness, respect, working in it is not enough to practice
the materials? What cooperation, friendship and groups. There are some things language. Behavior aspects-
scope is there for prudence. that we as teachers can just few opportunities to
developing compare with our culture (kite, respect each other/
citizenship soccer…) environment.
education? Are there
3 – What sort of Its methodology seems to be Situational – the units are based Communicative approach
methodology does aimed more at building receptive in their routine, as playing with
the book appear to skills such as listening and friends, going out (zoo,
adopt? reading, so unless the teacher playground, school). Ex: in unit
proposes extra conversation 1 kids learn about animals
practice, the outcome will not be (vocabulary), adjectives
very communicative. (comparing them – tall, long,
big), asking and answering
questions about them.
4 – What are the There does not seem to be a Interactionism, because the They are mentioned.
underlying theories specific methodological theory in kids are motivated to interact
of learning and which to classify Bounce. It is with each other, playing,
theories of language? easier to say what it is NOT: it is singing, talking…
not behaviorist, it is not
constructivist or social
5 – Does one It seems to favor listening and Communicative approach. Communicative approach
approach reading activities. Teachers can
predominate? Which adapt it to a more interactional
6 – What kind of The syllabus includes information Multi-strand – lexical, Lexical, topic-based,
syllabus does it have on language items, vocabulary pronunciation, simple functional. It is clear and
– grammatical, and songs. In language items, the sentences structures… objective. We have a good
lexical, grammatical- name of the grammar topics is The summary is clear in its view of the book.
lexical, situational, not mentioned; only the objectives and it helps teachers
topic-based, notional, examples of language. It is understand the whole idea of
functional-notional, notional functional because the units.
mixed or ‘multi- instruction is not organized in
strand’, procedural or terms of grammar topics. Instead
process? Is it clear of listing the names of verb
and objective? Does tenses, for example, they give
it help you see what examples of functions that are
the whole book and practiced in the unit.
each specific unit are
7 – How are new Except for the opening page of The new grammar points are They are divided by unites.
teaching points each chapter, the sentences are always presented by cartoons, Each unit has 4 lessons. But
graded? How not contextualized, so mostly but it’s implicit in their they need more practice.
frequently are they there is a pattern of short activities. Each unit has Each lessons has a topic.
introduced and how sentences, probably in an something new – and through
much practice attempt to make it easier for its development they recycle
material separates students to understand and previous points.
them? produce language. Each lesson is
8 pages long + 3 workbook pages.
From book 3 on, they focus on
writing better than other skills.
8 – How is the new There is a dialogue in the Through situations. There’s
language presented? beginning of each unit where the no recalling topics previous
How is the meaning topic of the lesson and its main learned. It is not so
of items conveyed? content is presented. Meaning is contextualized. It has lack of
Are new items conveyed mostly through practice.
related to what has pictures and audio input.
been learned Contents are not necessarily
previously? connected from one unit to the
9 – How much new The amount of new language Too short tasks. Not enough.
language is printed in presented in each unit is New language is presented
each unit? Is the rate adequate to pupils. with lack of tasks/practice, if
at which new they haven’t passed through
material is introduced INTRO. Lack of preparation
appropriate for your (pre-tasks)
10 – Is the organization Up to lesson 3 it is mostly linear, It is not linear and not cyclical.
of the course linear or meaning that the topics taught are Because of the lack of practice
cyclical? Linear – not presented again. From lesson they go over the same syllabus
teaching points are 3 on, there is more of a cyclical but they do not practice
added one at a time, organization, because the present enough.
each being practiced continuous tense is presented in
before moving on to almost all the units with an
the next. Cyclical – a increasing level of complexity.
point recurs in a
different context to be
enlarged on throughout
the course. What are
the implications of this
to young learners?
11 – What kind of There is mostly controlled Too short, too superficial
practice activities are practice: listen and number, write No balance, not motivating.
there? Is there a variety the words, listen and number the
from controlled to freer pictures, match the pictures with
practice? Is there a the sentences, look at the
balance? Is there a pictures, write the sentences,
balance between follow the instructions, sing the
fluency and accuracy? song… and finally talk about (in
Are they motivating and this unit) people doing things.
meaningful? Do they Students seldom have a chance to
provide opportunities talk about themselves. Teachers
for real language use must provide opportunities for
and possibilities for free practice.
interaction? Is the
active participation of
12 – Does the course No. Yes, pictures, situations
include any examples of
authentic language and
13 – Are there any Yes, there is a homework section Yes, but they aren’t deep.
special pages for at the end of each unit. There is a
revision, self-testing, test by unit but it is too easy, not
self-assessment or challenging
14 – Are opportunities Not that we could find. No, the projects presented are
for independent work just crafts, color things…
provided such as
through project work?
15 – Are learning No.
strategies developed in
a systematic and
explicit way? Does the
learners to develop
them and become
16 – Can young learners Yes.
handle the book easily?
(What is the size of the
book? Is it appropriate
for young learners?)
17 – What are the The illustrations are nice and the
illustrations and layout layout is attractive.
like? Are they
comfortable or busy?
Are they attractive? Are
they useful or only
decorative? Will your
pupils like them?
18 – How is each unit The names of some of the units
titled? Will it be clear to are not very self-explanatory: It is
your pupils what they time for a game, a day at the
are expected to learn in beach, etc. Others give a better
the unit and what they idea: what are you doing, etc.
have to do?
19 – Are the topics, Sort of. There is a variety of
tasks, activities, activities, but mostly of the same
techniques varied so as kind in every unit.
to provide for different
learner levels, learning
20 – Does the book Yes, some songs.
contain songs, rhymes,
and nursery rhymes,
action stories with
activities, crafts, play
and games which
21 – What components The students’ book comes with an
does the course offer audio CD, and activity reader, and
the teacher and the the values book. The teacher’s
students: books, tests, book comes with posters, craft
cassettes, CDs, DVDs, time booklet, finger puppets and
CD-ROMs, videos, motivation stamps.
story books, Internet
sites? Are they useful?
22 – Is the teacher’s
guide easy to follow?
Does it contain
interleaved pages from
the pupil’s book? Is the
guidance adequate for
the teacher? Is it
useful? Or does it take
the teacher too long to
prepare lessons? Does
it offer methodological
guidance? Does it
provide the teacher
with alternative and
23 – Can you spot any
notable omissions? Will
you have to supplement
the coursebook in any
24 – How are the
different skills treated?
Are they integrated?
25 – How much
receptive language are
students exposed to?
26 – What kind of
listening activities are
there? Listen and do,
listen and repeat,
27 – Are there reading
and writing activities?
Are they suitable for
28 – Are there speaking
activities? Are they
meaningful and fun?
Are they too
demanding? What kind
of speaking activities
Final Comments It is good but there are just
few tasks, activities and not
Interesting pictures, stickers,
songs. The content is very well
organized, but the teacher has
to interfere and bring extra
activities/ games because
there aren’t enough things.
There is no accountability. Too
much writing activities and few