Supplementing Coursebooks--How, Why, and to What Effect: A Case Study

John Harper

Abstract


This article reports on a case study of one instructor’s use of supplementary materials in an English as a Foreign Language course in China. Starting with the notion that no coursebook can be perfect and that supplementary materials therefore should form part of an English course, the study employed qualitative research methods to analyze the types of supplements used, the instructor’s rationale behind his use of the supplements, and the students’ interpretations of the supplements. Class observations, semi-structured interviews with the teacher, and focus-group discussions with students allowed for the triangulation of data. Findings indicated that the instructor provided a variety of types of supplementary materials in order to cater to different learner needs (specifically, affective needs, language-learning needs, course-content needs). While findings also indicated that learners generally appreciated the instructor’s use of supplementary materials, significant mismatches between instructor goals and learner interpretations suggested that the purpose of the supplements was not always clearly defined. The article addresses these mismatches and provides suggestions for their future avoidance.

Keywords


affective factors, cognitive factors, intercultural communication, materials supplementation, perceptual mismatches

Full Text:

PDF

References


Acosta, H. & Cajas, D. (2018). Analysis of teaching resources used in EFL classes in selected Ecuadorian universities. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 8(1), 100-109.

Allen, C. (2015). Marriages of convenience? Teachers and coursebooks in the digital age. ELT Journal, 69(3), 249-263.

Bailey, K. M. (1996). The best laid plans: Teachers’ in-class decisions to depart from their lesson plans. In K. M. Bailey & D. Nunan (Eds.), Voices from the language classroom (pp. 15-40). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Block, D. (1991). Some thoughts on DIY materials design. ELT Journal, 45(3), 211-217.

Crawford, J. (2002). The role of materials in the language classroom: Finding the balance. In J. C. Richards & W. A. Renandya (Eds.), Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice (pp. 80-95). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Crookes, G. (1997). What influences what and how second and foreign language teachers teach? The Modern Language Journal, 81(1), 67-79.

Denzin, N. K. (2009). The research act: A theoretical introduction to sociological methods. New York, US: Aldine Transaction.

Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Motivational strategies in the language classroom. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Dörnyei, Z., & Murphey, T. (2003). Group dynamics in the language classroom. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Guerrettaz, A. M., & Johnston, B. (2013). Materials in the classroom ecology. The Modern Language Journal 97(3), 779–796.

Hutchinson, T., & Torres, E. (1994). The textbook as agent of change. ELT Journal, 48(4), 315-328.

Hyland, K. (2013). Materials for developing writing skills. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Developing materials for language teaching (2nd ed., pp. 391-405). London, UK: Bloomsbury.

Jazadi, I. (2003). Mandated English teaching materials and their implications to teaching and learning: The case of Indonesia. In W. Renandya (Ed.), Methodology and materials design in language teaching: Current perspectives and practices and their implications. Anthology Series 44. (pp. 142-160). Singapore: SEAMO Regional Language Centre.

Kearney, E. (2010). Cultural immersion in the foreign language classroom: Some narrative possibilities. The Modern Language Journal, 94(2), 332-336.

Islam, C., & Mares, C. (2003). Adapting classroom materials. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Developing materials for language teaching. (pp. 86-100). London, UK: Continuum.

Katz, A. (1996). Teaching style: A way to understand instruction in language classrooms. In K. M. Bailey & D. Nunan (Eds.), Voices from the language classroom (pp. 57-87). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (1991). Language-learning tasks: Teacher intention and learner interpretation. ELT Journal, 45(2), 98-107.

Littlejohn, A. (2011). The analysis of language teaching materials: Inside the Trojan Horse. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Materials development in language teaching (2nd ed., pp. 179-211). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Maley, A. (2011). Squaring the circle—Reconciling materials as constraint with materials as empowerment. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Materials development in language teaching (2nd ed., pp. 379-402). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

McDonough, J., Shaw, C., & Masuhara, H. (2013). Materials and methods in ELT (3rd ed.). New York, US: Wiley-Blackwell.

McGrath, I. (2002). Materials evaluation and design for language teaching. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.

McGrath, I. (2013). Teaching materials and the role of EFL/ESL teachers: Practice and theory. London, UK: Bloomsbury.

Nation, P. (2013). Materials for teaching vocabulary. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Developing materials for language teaching (2nd ed., pp. 351-364). London, UK: Bloomsbury.

Nunan, D. (1995). Closing the gap between learning and instruction. TESOL Quarterly, 29(1), 133-158.

Nunan, D. (1988). The Learner-centred curriculum. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Prabhu, N. S. (1987). Second language pedagogy. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Richards, J. C. (1998). Beyond training. Cambridge, UK.: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, J. C. (2001). Curriculum development in language teaching. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Saraceni, C. (2013). Adapting courses: A personal view. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Developing materials for language teaching (2nd ed., pp. 49-62). London, UK: Bloomsbury.

Seedhouse, P. (2005). “Task” as research construct. Language Learning, 55(3), 533-570.

Shawer, S., Gilmore, D., & Banks-Joseph, S. R. (2008). Student cognitive and affective development in the context of classroom-level curriculum development. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 8(1), 1-28.

Shehadeh, A. (2005). Task-based language learning and teaching: Theories and applications. In C. Edwards & J. Willis (Eds.), Teachers exploring tasks in English language teaching (pp. 13-30). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Sheldon, L. E. (1988). Evaluating ELT textbooks and materials. ELT Journal, 42(4), 237-246.

Skehan, P. (1998). A cognitive approach to language learning. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Snow, D. (2014). Encounters with westerners: Improving skills in English and intercultural communication. Shanghai, China: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

Spencer-Oatey, H., & Franklin, P. (2009). Intercultural interaction: A multidisciplinary approach to intercultural communication. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Tomlinson, B. (2013a). Humanizing the coursebook. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Developing materials for language teaching (2nd ed., pp. 139-155). London, UK: Bloomsbury.

Tomlinson, B. (2013b). Classroom research of language classes. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Applied linguistics and materials development (pp. 43-59). London, UK: Bloomsbury.

Zhou, N. (2015). Oral participation in EFL classroom: Perspectives from the administrator, teachers and learners at a Chinese university. System, 53(53), 35-46.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21462/jeltl.v4i2.283

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.






JELTL (Journal of English Language Teaching and Linguistics); Web: www.jeltl.org; Email:journal.eltl@gmail.com


Creative Commons License
JELTL by http://www.jeltl.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


Indexed and Abstracted BY: