Textbook evaluation in EFL/ESL


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A short presentation with basic principles and ideas about how to evaluate ESL/EFL textbooks successfully.

Published in: Education, Technology

Textbook evaluation in EFL/ESL

  2. 2. IntroductionIntroduction
  3. 3. 1. Textbook selection Demands for textbooks grow while publishing industry responds with new series. Selection approach affected either by personal preferences or unrelated pedagogical factors (budget, availability, etc.) A need for a practical and straightforward method that helps analyze options according to program issues, from broad (e.g. goals and curriculum) to specific (e.g. exercises and activities).
  4. 4. Matching the textbook to the program/course Examine program/course thoroughly. Opt for a textbook series or individual texts = content and approach standardization. Compare textbook objectives and program/course objectives. Identify textbook appropriateness according to intended learners.
  5. 5. Reviewing the skills presented in the textbook Effectiveness to help learners acquire necessary skills. - Does the text focus on the skills it claims to focus on? (Progress and guidance) - Does it teach the skills or does it merely provide practice? (Content validation) Coverage of other important skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
  6. 6. Reviewing exercises and activities in the textbook Real contribution to learners’ language acquisition (Practice and extended language skills) Balanced format with controlled and free practice. Progression through the textbook (Reinforcement and complexity demand) Variety and challenge (Stimulus for communication)
  7. 7. 2.2. Textbook evaluation: ProceduresTextbook evaluation: Procedures On page evaluation / Impressionistic approach - What the textbook looks like. - Identify strengths and weaknesses. - Note significant features. - Used for making shortlists or considering adopting a textbook a later date. - No actual use in the classroom.
  8. 8. Textbook evaluation: ProceduresTextbook evaluation: Procedures Material in use evaluation / In-depth approach - Examine how it works in the classroom. - Detect any problems that may occur. - Analyze specific aspects or sections. - Study whether the textbook relates to Ss’ needs, syllabus requirements, curriculum philosophy, etc.
  9. 9. Who evaluates textbooks?Who evaluates textbooks? “Insiders” or “outsiders? = teachers, students, coordinators or supervisors and administrators? Teachers - Textbook’s usefulness for the teaching/learning context and for Ss’ progress. Students - Information about effect on motivation, interests and development. Coordinators - Information about actual use through observations.
  10. 10. How?How? Instruments and triangulationInstruments and triangulation TESTSTESTS QUESTIONNAIRESQUESTIONNAIRES OBSERVATIONSOBSERVATIONS Placement and achievement tests. look for improvements in the students’ level of English. Teachers’ questionnaire - At the end of each academic term. - Benefits from using the textbooks. Students’ questionnaire - At different times. - Comment on aspects related to opinions and reactions. How textbooks are used in authentic teaching / learning contexts. Middle of the term: Ts and Ss are familiar with the textbook. End of the term: Ts and Ss are confident with the textbook. TRIANGULATION - Gather data from a variety of sources. - Provide confirmation of findings through comparing the data.
  11. 11. How? ProcessHow? Process
  12. 12. A pragmatic approach: exampleA pragmatic approach: example
  13. 13. A pragmatic approach: exampleA pragmatic approach: example
  14. 14. 3. Textbook adaptation3. Textbook adaptation Improve materials to suit the particular situation. Give added life and impact. - Leaving out some parts: Omitting a section. - Adding material: Including other type of texts. - Replacing material: Substituting exercises. - Changing material: Reordering, reducing, or re-writing.
  15. 15. REFERENCESREFERENCES Al Amri, I. (2001). Textbook evaluation: An evaluation plan. Language center FORUM, 7, 1-5. Retrieved from http://www.squ.edu.om/Portals/28/Micro %20Gallery/forum/forum7/textbookevaluaationIbtisamAl- Amri.pdf Garinger, D. (2002). Textbook selection for the ESL classroom. Washington DC: ERIC digest. EDO-FL-02-10. Lucky, L. (2006). Some insight into textbook evaluation: A pragmatic approach. Jurnal Pendidikan, 12(1), 1-13. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/2321666/SOME_INSIGHT_INTO_TE