a summary ofMaterials for General Englishby Hitomi Masuhara and Brian Tomlinsonin Tomlinson (Ed.) (2008: Chapter 2, 17-37),English Language Learning Materials, A CriticalReview, Continuum. University of Brighton TLM 25: Materials Prepared by Esin Yuksel Zeynep Sag
What Kinds of ELT contexts are GeneralEnglish Coursebooks Catering for?Target two different kinds of teaching contexts:• ‘General English’ (GE) in English-speaking countries• ‘English as a Foreign Language’ (EFL) in non- English-speaking countries
What are the similarities and differencesbetween GE and EFL contexts?Similarities:• Teachers have tended to be native speakers from English-speaking countries• Teaching has mainly take place in language schools, colleges and universties
DifferencesGE context:• Students are physically in the English-speaking environment.• The learners face immediate need for everyday communication.• The length of GE courses tends to be short.• Small classes, multi-cultural
EFL context:• Learners do not have immediate communication needs outside the classroom.• The length of the course is long.• Large classes, homogenous mono-lingual/ mono-cultural group• Learners often face examinations.
What are the needs of GE learners?• To improve the four language skills, especially speaking and listening to everyday English• Being fluent in English for better job prospects• To enlarge their vocabulary and consolidate their grammar
Are the coursebooks meeting users’needs and wants?They seem to respond to the general needs as:• They all cover skills, vocabulary and grammar.
Major problems with GE materials• too many dry and dull texts• not authentic or real• are not preparing students for real life situations• Seems to be culturally biased towards white- middle-class British• grammar exercises are often not related to the texts• so many activities to get through• formats are repetitive.
Suggestions for improvements• introduce interesting people and their views and opinions from different etnic groups• offer opportunities for language/cultural/critical awareness• provide ready resources that are up-to- date, varied and affectively and cognitively engaging
• not only focus on helping learners to become accurate and fluent but also help them to become appropriate and effective communicators as a result of placing production activities• provide more opportunities for extensive reading, listening and viewing• entertain and inspire teachers as well as learners
ReferencesTomlinson, B. & Masuhara, H. (2008) Materials for General English inTomlinson, B. (Ed.) English Language Learning Materials: A CriticalReview, London: Continuum, 17-37. THANK YOU