Teach English in Changping Zhen - Dongguan Shi

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Unit 14 Overview This unit examines the advantages and disadvantages of English course books, lesson materials, and what English teachers can do to improve their lessons. The use of course books in the classroom is very common, easy for the teacher to prepare, and often the activities fits well into the timetable, so it?s comfortable. However, there are several problems and issues such as uninteresting topics, repetitive activities, and not enough language exposure. This in terms may affect the student?s learning attitude and motivation. For this reason teacher often has to create his/her own materials to improve the lesson. There are two types of lesson materials: Authentic and Created Materials. Authentic materials have advantages and disadvantages. These kinds of materials are real, which helps boost the confidence of students as the students feel they can really understand English when they read a newspaper or understand a TV show. On the other hand, many times the materials are not graded to the level of the students and it can be too hard or too easy for them. Also, it can include too formal or academic vocabulary that creates difficulties for students to understand the whole meaning. Created materials are useful for English beginners as it often allows students to experiment or match words with pictures. They are graded to the level of students and the teacher can easily choose which vocabulary or language items to include in the material (ex: crossword puzzles, matching activities, role-plays). Every year we find more and more English course books that are designed for students of all levels and ages. Therefore, the process of choosing the right course book it?s not that easy. And do we have to use text books? In this unit we learn about advantages and disadvantages of using course books. Advantages: -Are expected by students - Easier than creating own material - Well researched to correct student level - Offers a good balance of grammar, vocabulary and skills work - Offers continuity and progression - Attractive and appealing to the eye - Offers many good ideas for an inexperienced teacher Disadvantages: - Does not fit specifically with students needs - Students may disagree with the book - Lots of book work can become predictable and boring for the students - Can make the teacher lazy - A course book is almost always a compromise - Course books dictate what is being taught In conclusion, we come to understand that nothing in the world is perfect and teachers need to somehow solve the issues and problems and take right decisions in the process of using course books. In this sense, the teacher?s job is not as easy as it seems. There are going to be many hours of planning and developing other activities, but these planning and development will benefit both the student and the teacher by making the classroom activities more fun, more interesting, and result in more learning.