Coursebook evaluation


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Coursebook evaluation

  1. 1. Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción Faculty of Education English Pedagogy Major English Methodology II UNIVERSIDAD CATÓLICA DE LA SANTÍSIMA CONCEPCIÓN COURSEBOOK EVALUATION Names : Daniel Gallardo P. Teacher : Mrs. Roxanna Correa Date : November 20, 2013
  2. 2. Eliciting teachers´ views of coursebooks In this part of the corsebook evaluation will be presented the point of view of an English teacher about it. Firstly, the teacher explained that the coursebook its important but is not the main element of the class, meaning that without the coursebook she was able to do her classes anyway. She said that she works following the Syllabus of the Ministery of Education and she complements that structure with activities of the coursebook. About the parts of the coursebook, she expressed that the activities that she uses the most are the reading activities. It is because the coursebook is well designed and uses colourful images to complement the readings and that is something that helps to engage students to do the activities. On the other hand, the activities that she seldom uses are the listening activities, because they are not much interesting to students, she explained. As she explained, the coursebook is not the main element, but it is useful to complement the syllabus of the Ministery of Education, and she believes that the way in which the coursebook are being designed is good. For that reason she believes that the designs of the coursebooks must continue having a lot of pictures and colours in order to engage students. It must present the subjects in an interesting way, for example, grammar rules. Source: Tang (2001)
  3. 3. FACTUAL DETAILS Title: Global English________________________________________________________ Author(s): Jolanta Polk Reyes _____________________________ Publisher: Alicia Manonellas Balladares__________________________ ______________ Price: Delivered by the government and free of charge____________ ________________ ISBN: 978-956-8623-97-5_____________________________ No. of pages: _151________ Components: SB / TB / WB / Tests / CD__________________ Level: 4th grade high school ____________________ Physical size: 27.5 cms__ Length: It is not specified Units: 6______ Lesson/sections: 2___ Hours: It is not specified Target skills: Speaking-Listening-Writing-reading___________________ Target Learners: High school students from 4th grade ____________ ____________________ Target Teachers: High school English teachers________________________ ASSESSMENT (* Poor ** Fair *** Good ________ **** Excellent Rationale: Task-Based Approach. **** Comments: The coursebook helps students to develop different language and learning skills in order to work on the tasks. It also produces an increase of motivation through task-based approach and the learner become personally involved. The students becomes responsable of his own learning and develops interpersonal relations while working in groups. Availability: This coursebook is not available in English bookshops. ** Comments: The coursebook is given by the chilean Ministery of Education and it is forbidden selling it at bookstores. __
  4. 4. Layout/graphics: The coursebook has many visual aids. **** Comment: This coursebook is weel designed and contains colouful images and graphics suitable for student´s real life. Accessibility: Free. **** Comments: The text is free. Given by the Ministery of Education. Linkage: Non existent. * Comments: There is no webpage of the text. Selection/grading: the text goes from simple to complex. **** Comments: The units have activities that are from the simple contents, tasks, activities to the more complex. Physical characteristics: **** Comments: The front cover of this is coursebook is mostly blue and the back cover is white. Its sheets are similar to printed sheets. Its physical size is 19,5x28,7 cms. The coursebook is attractive for students, because the combination of the colours on its front. Appropriacy: The text is appropriate for the students’ level. **** Comments: The English level, content, activities, tasks, and vocabulary are in order to the student’s level. Authenticity: The book has activities based in real context of the students. **** Comments: The coursebook have activities that are related to the students’ real life.
  5. 5. Sufficiency: The level of this book is good enough for students. **** Comments: The linguistic level is appropriate for the students’ English level, so it produces that they reach a good level of English. Cultural bias: The text has an American tendency. Comments: **** The book makes the difference btween British and American when necessary , but contains mostly aspects of American. The text presents different cultural backgrounds. Flexibility: It is flexible for the teacher to move on the units. **** Comments: This coursebook allows to the teacher move from any unit, the teacher can pick the most suitable topic for the students and then goes for the most difficult part. Source: Sheldon (1988: 242)
  6. 6. ACTIVITIES 1. Do the materials provide a balance of activities that is appropriate for your students? Yes X No Comments: Yes, because the coursebook includes activities that are well balanced in order to their level of English and the 4 skills. 2. Is there a sufficient amount of communicative output in the materials under consideration? Yes X No Comments: Yes, because there are many activities that have a communicative output including role-play, games, and dialogues, among others. 3. Do the materials provide enough roughly-tuned input for your students? Yes X No Comments: Yes, because all the activities are understandable due to the setting. Source: Harmer (1991: 281)
  7. 7. CHOOSING A TEXTBOOK Does the book suit your students? 1. Is it attractive? Given the average of YES PARTLY NO 2. Is it culturally acceptable? YES PARTLY NO 3. Is it about the right length? YES PARTLY NO 4. Does it achieve an acceptable balance YES PARTLY NO YES PARTLY NO YES PARTLY NO YES PARTLY NO YES PARTLY NO your students, would they enjoy using it? between the relevant language skills, and integrate them so that work in one skill area helps the others? Does the book suit the teacher? 5. Is there a good, clear teacher’s guide with answers and help on additional activities? 6. Are the recommended methods and approaches suitable for you, your students and your classroom? 7. Are the approaches easily adaptable if necessary? 8. Does the book use a ‘spiral’ approach so that items are regularly revised and used again in different contexts?
  8. 8. Does the book suit the syllabus and the examination? 9. Has the book been recommended or YES PARTLY NO YES PARTLY NO YES PARTLY NO approved by the authorities? 10. If it does more than the syllabus requires, is the result an improvement? 11. Is there a good balance between what the examination requires and what the students need? Score: 2 points for every YES answer, 1 point for every PARTLY answer, 0 for every NO answer. Source: Grant (1987:122-6)
  9. 9. Language Content Does the coursebook cover the main grammar items appropriate to each level, taking learners’ needs into ach level, taking learners’ needs into account? Is the material for vocabulary teaching adequate in terms of quantity and range of vocabulary, emphasis placed on vocabulary development, strategies for individual learning? Does the coursebook include material for pronunciation work? If so what is covered: individual sounds, word stress, sentence stress, intonation? Does the coursebook deal with structuring and conventions of language use above sentence level, eg how to take part in conversations, how to structure a piece of extended writing, how to identify the main points in a reading passage? (More relevant at intermediate and advanced levels) Are style and appropriacy dealt with?If so, is language style matched to social situation? Skills Are all four skills adequately covered, bearing in mind your course aims and syllabus requirements? Is there material for integrated skills work? Are reading passages and associated activities suitable for your students’ levels, interests, etc? Is there sufficient reading material? Is listening material well recorded, as authentic as possible, accompanied by background information, questions and activities which help comprehension? Is material for spoken English (dialogues, role-plays, etc) well designed to equip learners for real-life interactions? Are writing activities suitable in terms of amount of guidance/control, degree of accuracy, organization of longer pieces of writing (eg paragraphing) and use of appropriate styles? Source: Cunnigsworth (1995:3-4)
  10. 10. Essay As we know, course books are one the most useful materials in classrooms nowadays, because they provide a complete guidance for students and also for teacher. It is important to mention that coursebooks help students and teachers to improve and increase the different skills (reading, listening, writing), specially reading, because of the variety of stories, dialogues, letters and other activities that are presented in with lots of pictures and colours, things that helps students to understand in a better and easy way the subject. The purpose of this paper is to analyze and evaluate how a course book has to be designed by considering two of the most important aspects when a teacher use a coursebook in order to apply it to his or her students (language content and skills). The course book “Global English” for 4th grade high school students is provided by the Ministry of Education of Chile. It has been designed under the demands of the government, and it is focused in providing the four basic skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) to. This book also shows a very complete amount of activities that integrate the four skills appropriately with their aims and the syllabus from the Chilean Department of Education. The first of the two main aspects that the teacher takes into account while using a coursebook is the language content. Thinking in language content and the students, the teacher planns the lesson analizing the important features, such as grammar and vocabulary, going through the learning strategies and learning styles.
  11. 11. The coursebook “Global English” has showed that covers the main grammar items appropiate to each level. It has also showed that takes into account the students´ needs. It can be clearly seen in evrey pre- reading activity, in which is presented some vocabulary that will help the students to understand beatter and easily. While talking about the pronunciation issue, the coursebook contains speaking activities and in each of those activities it presents some vocabulary just like in the reading activities. Even thought it doesn´t present any material to help students knowing how to pronunce the words. Because of this, the teachers should help students by telling them how each word is pronunced and making them to repeat in order to get acquainted of how they must do it. The coursebook that has been analized presents a huge range of activities and through this activities it can be seen that the students are requested to work above sentence level. It means talking with their classmates about some specific topics or even writing activities, either individually or in groups. Through this activities it can be showed the level of the students. It is important to mention that at the beginning of each activity there are some advices or key words to pay attention to in order to understand the task that is coming later. This helps the students to take some responsability and to learn by himself giving to him some independant learning. Another important issue are Skills. As we know they are four (listening, reading, writing and speaking) and in the coursebook they are adequately covered, taking into account the syllabus requirements. In all the units that are into the Global English book
  12. 12. are covered the four skills, following the same order in each one. Firstly it presents the reading skill, then the writing part, continuing with the listening and leaving to the en the speaking part. In terms of the skills, the listening activities are well designed and very clear. Listening material is very well designed and well recorded. It shows fluent and clear English, understandable for students. In terms of speaking activities, it can seen that these are prepared in such a way that student feel motivated to participate in them, for example, creating dialogues, describing people, giving opinions, that pull them to create meaningful learning, where students can work in groups. This coursebook also provides guides to follow a discussion and topics which are interesting for the learners. Therefore, one of the few problems that this coursebook has, as it was mentioned before , is the lack of material where students could develop their pronunciation. There is no emphasis of this issue, so students need teacher’s help because they cannot work alone on it, because this book does not provide the tools to do it by themselves. In the writing part, we can that the activities that are more frequent are writing summaries, essays and reports, and this lets us know that there is interest from the government to work on long structures, which is not so motivating for learners from a 4th grade. Hattie J , Biggs J and Purdie N (1996) presents the idea of intervention. With this idea they wanted to show the importance of the instructions at the time of skill development activities. They explained the relation of instructions in the efficiency of
  13. 13. the learning form the activity which are designed to develop skills. One of the main factors that they mention is motivation. If the student is not motivated with the subject or with the activity they are going to do, the rsults will not have good results. To conclude it is important te understand the analisis of the coursebook “Global Englis” which for students of 4th grade of secondary schools. Firstly, the Global English book qualifies with almost all the requirements needed to help teachers to achieve the skills develompment in his students. Then, it must be said that thefundamental role in education and in the acquisition of students’ knowledge. The election of the appropriate course book not only depends on its content, but also the students’ real context and the relationship that their culture has with other cultures around the world, including adequate topics connected with the cultural and social contexts of the students. Finally, as a future teacher I would say that analisys of this coursebook will be very valuable at the time of planning and teaching at schools, in order to help students learning.
  14. 14. References - * Polk J. (2012) “Global English” Chile: Ministery of Education. * Hattie J , Biggs J and Purdie N (1996) , “Effects of Learning Skills Interventions on Student Learning: A Meta-Analysis” page 100-101