From the Text to the Best: Adapting & Supplementing Textbooks for Greater Student Relevance and Communicative Language Teaching Presented by: Amy E. Lingenfelter Senior English Language Fellow email@example.com www.peopleleap.com
The wind blows the dandelions throughout the field, and some seeds stick and grow into flowers. Other seeds do not. • Note: one seed that sticks and grows into a flower is better than none at all! About Teaching:
“You can lead a horse • to water, but you can’t • force him to drink” • – Old English adage • How does this • adage apply to • teaching? About Teaching:
“My students! That’s the only reason that I am working. I am working for them because I want them to improve. I want them to learn.” • – Recent GO TEACHER participant • There are people who teach • to live, and those who live to • teach. Which are you? About Teaching:
You make others happy when you’re happy and your work is meaningful: • If you TEACH FOR YOURSELF, FOR THE MOMENT AND THE JOY OF IT, the rest will follow! • Remember: teaching is a 50/50 effort! You can guide students to “meet you halfway!” About Teaching:
1. Cultural and individual perspective on what is taught. . .How does each student’s reality differ?
Tall is to short as: • Orange is to blue • Black is to white • Green is to white • Neon yellow is to gray Perspective: Which is the “best” answer to the following question?
2. Teaching content vs. skills in English. . .What’s the difference? Who cares?
Usually not, unless: • There are no other alternatives • You have no time • It would clearly promote learning and retention • Think about the benefits of spending more time explaining in English • Use as a “last resort” • Consider age, level, educational attainment, and learning preferences Is it EVER OK to Translate?
Alternatives: • Contextualize a word or grammar point: think about how you learned your first language! Give it real meaning: • Use in a sentence/s • Give examples • Teacher or student produces: • Synonyms • Antonyms • Photos/pictures/drawings • Related gestures, expressions, behaviors Is it EVER OK to Translate?
BE AWARE OF FALSE COGNATES, for example: • “Realize” vs. “realizar” • “Estoy embarazada” vs. “I’m • embarrassed” • “Actualmente” vs. “Actually” • Use graphic organizers for vocabulary Is it EVER OK to Translate?
The opposite of “grammar translation” method • Less focus on grammar and more on fluency and language USE in real-life contexts • Influenced by progressivism in education Communicative Language Teaching
Emphasizes: • Language USE over knowledge • Communicative competence • Conversational and practical English in real life situations (work, school, tourism, etc.) • Active learning • Learner autonomy and student-centered • Understanding and expressing meaning • Collaborative/cooperative learning • Immediate use and application Communicative Language Teaching
“I feel your pain:” Some classroom challenges that many teachers face. . .
Teaching/Classroom Challenges: • Limited time • Limited resources • Lack of technology • Textbooks are “boring” • Curriculum is not relevant to Ecuadorian students’ real, everyday lives • Lack of respect from school administration and other forces “in charge”
Teaching/Classroom Challenges: • Lack of respect from society, parents, even students • Student behavior problems • Excessively large class sizes that make Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) difficult • It’s easy to take the “easy way out!” • How do we save time and money, and still deliver the best lessons possible?
Now let’s talk about textbooks and materials that other people made. . .
Why do we use textbooks in teaching? Is it OK to teach directly from the textbook most of the time? Why or why not? Name at least 3 occasions when textbooks are helpful/beneficial. Name at least 3 occasions when textbooks should be supplemented (changed, added to, parts skipped) With a Partner, Discuss:
Topics are irrelevant to students’ real lives/needs • Culturally biased • Layout is overwhelming or poorly organized • Lack of visuals • Too difficult or too easy • Pacing is too fast or slow • Poor sequencing Challenges with Some Textbooks:
Not enough practice activities • Not student-centered • Not enough focus on oral communication/ conversation skills • Not enough freedom/choice • Incomplete/missing items Challenges with Some Textbooks:
Things to consider when you’re required to use materials that somebody else made. . .
Consider that you may need to supplement in three main ways: • The content (add, subtract, modify) • The delivery of the content (make it more fun, make it longer or shorter, make it clearer, etc.) • The activity itself (change or replace the activity) Things to Consider when Using Materials Somebody Else Made:
Are activities meaningful and relevant to my students? Are they appropriate for: • English level • Content/background knowledge • Age • Ecuadorian culture? • Socioeconomic status? • Gender Things to Consider when Using Materials Somebody Else Made:
Do activities: • Build on students’ prior knowledge? • Allow for pair/group work? • Keep the maximum amount of students involved and engaged at one time? • Keep the maximum amount of students speaking and listening as often as possible? Things to Consider when Using Materials Somebody Else Made:
Do activities: • Offer a lot of practice activities? • Involve speaking and writing practice/use of grammar? • Contextualize and support with visuals? • Allow for learning independence and personal choice? • Mimic authentic activities in which English could be used? Things to Consider when Using Materials Somebody Else Made:
IF there is cultural bias, can you also use that as a cultural teaching opportunity? • How can I adjust the pacing and sequencing to students’ needs? • What should be duplicated/copied from the textbook? Things to Consider when Using Materials Somebody Else Made:
Book 2, Unit 2, pg. 18 “Your Daily Routine”
Book 2, Unit 2, pg. 18 “Your Daily Routine” COMPARING AND CONTRASTING TWO THINGS ITEM A: ITEM B: Example of Compare/Contrast Graphic Organizer:
Form groups of 3. • Look through your Postcards textbook with your group mates: • Find 1-2 activities/lessons that should be supplemented for any reason and discuss reasons why • Discuss at least 3 ideas about how to supplement and improve the lesson/activity in the textbook • Write it down- you will share this with the class! Textbook Exercise:
Now let’s explore an in-depth example of textbook supplementation. . .
In groups of 3, discuss: What’s missing from the blue “Grammar Focus” box? What may confuse students about the “Practicing Grammar” section? Is there cultural bias in the photos on this page? Are there enough visuals provided? What should I use or duplicate from this lesson? What should I ignore or not use? Give one brief example of how I can improve this lesson. Example Lesson: “Postcards”Book 2, Unit 6, pg. 54/61Grammar Focus: “Teaching Simple Past”
Website to Access Texts: http://educacion.gob.ec/documentos-pedagogicos/ Example Lesson: “Postcards”Book 2, Unit 6, pg. 54/61Grammar Focus: “Teaching Simple Past”
Always put yourself in students’ shoes: • Identify things that could cause confusion • Decide the extra things that should be taught • Decide if the explanation in the text prepares students enough for the following practice activities Possible Ways to Supplement and Expand on this Activity:
For example: • Adding “it” (pronoun/indirect object) to the box and giving several examples • Pre-teach and/or do a mini-lesson on: • Personality adjectives • Adjective clauses with “who” • Professional roles/labels/titles • “There is/are/was/were” Possible Ways to Supplement and Expand on this Activity:
For example: • Recreate activity using famous people known to Ecuadorian students: • Deceased celebrities to teach past simple • Current celebrities to teach present simple Possible Ways to Supplement and Expand on this Activity: