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Course Books Analyses 1

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  • 1. 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. English? 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 opportunities for cross-cultural comparison? 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 constructivist… 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 one? approach. 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
  • 2. – 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 all about? 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 other. 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) pupils? 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. particular teaching point recurs in a different context to be enlarged on throughout the course. What are the implications of this
  • 3. 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 students encouraged effectively? 12 – Does the course No. Yes, pictures, situations include any examples of authentic language and materials? 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 reference? 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 book encourage learners to develop them and become independent and autonomous learners? 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
  • 4. 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 styles, interests, different intelligences? 20 – Does the book Yes, some songs. contain songs, rhymes, and nursery rhymes, action stories with drama, hands-on activities, crafts, play and games which enthrall young learners? 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. flashcards, posters, puppets, stickers, readers, portfolios, games, workbooks, 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 supplementary exercises? 23 – Can you spot any notable omissions? Will you have to supplement
  • 5. the coursebook in any way? 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, comprehension questions, interactive activities? 27 – Are there reading and writing activities? Are they suitable for young learners? 28 – Are there speaking activities? Are they meaningful and fun? Are they too demanding? What kind of speaking activities are there? Final Comments It is good but there are just few tasks, activities and not enough practice. 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 games/ interaction.