Often when in the teacher’s room, another teacher will ask me, “So what book are you using?” I used to smile at this: “What book are you using?” not “Who are your students?” or “What level of class do you have this semester?” It seemed a pretty shallow question. However, through experience, I no longer view it this way: what book a teacher uses—or doesn’t use—reveals a lot about her teaching style and curriculum. For example, a teacher who uses Azar’s grammar series, with its clear charts and explanations of grammar points, probably takes a rather traditional, structured approach to grammar. The teacher’s colleague who uses Molinsky and Bliss’s “Side by Side” series probably takes an audiolingual approach to language instruction, with a focus on oral language and repetition of patterned drills. If I’m not familiar with the textbook the teacher names, I can find out about from him, perhaps look over a copy if he has one, and I might decide to try it next semester for my own class. Traditionally, in fact, before the electronic revolution, the textbook was considered the cornerstone of a class, much of the curriculum and instruction based on it. So how do you go about choosing an excellent textbook for your class? There is a process that will ensure picking out a strong, if not ideal, textbook. How to Select (or Not Select) a Great ESL Textbook 1. 1 Get to Know Your Students Find out as much as possible before your class meets about your students. How old are they? What level of English speakers? What motivation do they have for learning English: academic, vocational, social? Do they live in or outside an English-speaking country? Are they long-term residents or newly arrived? Answers to these questions will provide you

Choosing Textbooks

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Often when in the teachers room, another teacher will ask me, So what book are you using? I used to smile at this: What book are you using? not Who are your students? or What level of class do you have this semester? It seemed a pretty shallow question.However, through experience, I no longer view it this way: what book a teacher usesor doesnt usereveals a lot about her teaching style and curriculum.For example, a teacher who uses Azars grammar series, with its clear charts and explanations of grammar points, probably takes a rather traditional, structured approach to grammar. The teachers colleague who uses Molinsky and Blisss Side by Side series probably takes an audiolingual approach to language instruction, with a focus on oral language and repetition of patterned drills. If Im not familiar with the textbook the teacher names, I can find out about from him, perhaps look over a copy if he has one, and I might decide to try it next semester for my own class. Traditionally, in fact, before the electronic revolution, the textbook was considered the cornerstone of a class, much of the curriculum and instruction based on it.So how do you go about choosing an excellent textbook for your class? There is a process that will ensure picking out a strong, if not ideal, textbook.How to Select (or Not Select) a Great ESL Textbook1. 1Get to Know Your StudentsFind out as much as possible before your class meets about your students. How old are they? What level of English speakers? What motivation do they have for learning English: academic, vocational, social? Do they live in or outside an English-speaking country? Are they long-term residents or newly arrived? Answers to these questions will provide you with information needed to choose materials: you wouldnt want a text based on conversational American English, for example, for a population living outside the U.S. and wanting to study English primarily for succeeding in a British university.2. 2Get to Know Publishers and Their Websites and RepresentativesIt is through these channels that you will get the most up-to-date news on whats available. You can also sign up to receive print or electronic updates on their merchandise. Some major publishers for ESL are Pearson Longman, Heinle and Heinle, Cambridge University Press, Prentice Hall Regents, and Oxford University Press. They all maintain extensive websites on which you can view material; many still offer a traditional paper catalogues as well. In addition, many publishers have sales representatives who cover certain areas, like northern California, who once you have contacted the publisher once, will check in with you regarding materials needs for the next term.3. 3Select OptionsNow that you know something about your students, and you know some of the publishers, you can begin checking out some of the materials. Most publishers divide their materials by level and skill. For example, say Ive just been assigned a class of advanced level reading for the fall. In looking at Cambridge Universitys online catalog, I first selected ESL, then teachers, then English for Academic Purposes, for students studying for the purpose of entering college. I then scrolled down the resources that came upmany writing texts but only one reading, Making Connections, which has three levels of readers at the intermediate level, low intermediate, intermediate, and high intermediate, and is based on academic text, for the purpose of academic preparation. This text looks very promising even though my students are called advancedadvanced is relative, depending on the programand the books are intermediate. Im going to look up the name of my Cambridge representative and see about an exam copy. Some sites also allow you to view chapters of the book.Once I have either the book itself in front of me or pages for view on my computer screen, what should I look for? There are several features you should consider in making the final selection.Final Considerations in Selecting a Text1. 1What is the ratio of print to pictures?Is there too much dense print for students to comfortably read? Or perhaps, as is often the case with textbooks at the secondary level these days in the U.S., are there too many pictures and graphs and print to really process effectively? There should be a comfortable balance between print and nonprint material: what that is varies teacher to teacher and class to class. For a reading class, for example, I wouldnt want tons of dense print but also no more than one image or graph per page.2. 2What kind of activities are students asked to do with the text?How will it fit into your overall class? An ESL textbook is not just for reading, of course. Even with my reading text, Id want prereading and postreading questions, to help students process and understand the material, and Id want there to be discussion points at the end because interaction between peers is especially important in an ESL class, and Id want essay-type questions related to the topic to practice writing skills.3. 3What other features does the book offer?Are there CDs or DVDs? Are they extraordinarily expensive? Is the textbook itself expensive? Too expensive for students? Weigh the value of the text against the cost. Make sure that you, your students, and the school are getting good value for the money.4. 4Is the text part of a series?Many ESL texts come in leveled series. For example, American English File and American Headways, both through Oxford University Press, are leveled series from beginning to high intermediate. If you like the text, and it is part of a series, this can be helpful to your ESL program, or your multi-level class, as students would have a uniform text and activities across levels.5. 5Is there a website?Many ESL books, especially if the book is one of a series, have accompanying websites. Longmans Side-by-Side, for example has podcasts, author interviews, and links to standards information. The website for the Azar grammar series has a blog for teachers. There are websites that are more student-focused, such as the one for Oxford University Presss American English File, which has a student site with supplementary activities for practical English, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar games. This site is especially helpful for the student who finishes her work quickly and needs some extra activities to keep busy.Clearly, a lot of considerations go into choosing the right textbook.However, by knowing where to go and what questions to ask, the teacher can pick out the perfect text for her class to keep them engaged.

Reasons for Textbook Evaluation:i.Since the 1970s there has been a movement to make learners the center of language instruction and it is probably best to view textbooks as resources in achieving aims and objectives that have already been set in terms of learner needs. Therefore, we must make every effort to establish and apply a wide variety of relevant and contextually appropriate criteria for the evaluation of the textbooks that we use in our language classrooms. We should also ensure that careful selection is made, and that the materials selected closely reflect the aims, methods, and values of the teaching program. (Cunningsworth, 1995). ii.Another reason for textbook evaluation is the fact that it can be very useful in teacher development and professional growth. Cunningsworth (1995) states that textbook evaluation helps teachers to acquire useful, accurate, systematic, and contextual insights into the overall nature of textbook material. Course Book Evaluation Methods Effective evaluation relies on asking appropriate questions and interpreting the answers to them. (Cunningsworth 1995). The creation of extensive evaluation checklists by leading experts provides criteria for detailed coursebook analysis. Cunningsworths checklist for evaluation and selection contains 45 questions, covering criteria such as aims, design, language content, skills, and methodology, as well as practical considerations such as cost and obtainability

Rate the criteria below numerically on a scale from 0 to 2 or say your words. 1= Satisfactory 2= Good 0= Poor Section I. General impression 1.( ) Flick through the book briefly. The overall appearance is attractive and will be appealing to learners.2.( ) The books description of itself appears to match the contents.Section II. Appropriacy 3.Who Will Use the Coursebook? In What Situation? -------------------- , -----------------.4.( )The materials, language focus and activities are adaptable to personal learning and teaching styles or in general appropriate for your learners. a.Materials used in the book are authentic and up-todate to an acceptable degree. --------- b.Is there practice in all four skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing)? If so, is it balanced? If not, which skills are omitted?------------------------------------------------ c.Does the coursebook use authentic reading material at an appropriate level?-------------- d.What kind of comprehension questions are asked? (Concept questions asking about the meaning are always better than display question that can be answered automatically without understanding the meaning.) --------------------------------------------------- e.Does the coursebook use authentic listening material at an appropriate level?------------- f.Is accuracy balanced with fluency? How is accuracy and fluency balanced in speaking and writing? ----------------------------------, ---------------------------------------------- g.How long are the units? (Short units are believed to be more motivating than very long ones as they give learners a sense of progress.) ---------------------------------------- h.Does the material discuss and identify areas of student need? ------------------------ i.Is the book sensitive to what students need in order to learn well? ------------------ j.Does the book encourage deductive or inductive approach to learning or a balance of both? ------------------------------------------------- k.Is the material suitable for use in a self-study mode? Does it have a key to exercises? (It is important as many learners will have to study on their own from time to time, eg. when absent from school due to an illness.) -------------------------------------------------------- Section III. Motivation and the Learner 5.( )Materials with variety and pace are used while personal involvement of learners is encouraged. 6.Do you feel that the material is suitable for different learning styles and is it sufficiently transparent to motivate both students and teachers alike? ------------ a.Are learners encouraged to use language creatively? -------------------------------

b.What is the attitude towards error? ------------------------------------------------------- c.What is the attitude towards the use of students mother tongue? -------------------- Section IV. Cultural Differences 7.( )Any cultural bias in the book is restricted to a degree acceptable to your learners in the sense that the cultural tone overall is appropriate for your learners.Section V. Padagogic Analysis and the Language Content 8.What techniques are used for recycling and reinforcement? (The term of recycling refers to the situation when you meet one item more than once in the coursebook to be able to store it in long-term memory.) ------------------------------------------------------------- 9.How the language has been presented and organized into teachable units or lessons? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10.( ) Methodologically the book is in line with your institute / language academy approach to language learning. 11.( ) There are activities for communicative interaction and the development of communicative strategies. 12.( ) There are mechanisms( reviews / revision tasks) for giving regular feedback to learners. 13.Are the visuals in the book used as an integral part of teaching or are they essentially decorative? Are they reasonable well produced and attractive? -------------------------------------------------------------, ------------------------------------------------------ 14 . Is there any reflection on study techniques? Or Any advice on study skills development? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 15. Are students encouraged to take some degree of responsibility for their learning? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Grammar 16. What grammar items are included? Do they correspond to students language needs? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- a.Are they presented in small enough units for easy learning? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ b.How balanced is the treatment of form and use? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vocabulary 17. Is there any principled basis for selection of vocabulary? Is there any distinction between active and passive vocabulary, or classroom vocabulary? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ c.Are learners sensitized to the structure of the lexicon through vocabulary learning exercises based on semantic relationships, formal relationships, or collocations? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- d.Is there a list of new vocabulary or index included? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Phonology: 18. How thoroughly and systematically are each of the following aspects of the phonological system covered: individual sounds, word stress, sentence stress, intonation? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- e.Is the pronunciation work built on the other types of work, such as listening, dialogue practice etc., or does it stand separately? ---------------------------------- f.Are there CDs or cassettes for pronunciation practice? -------------------------- g.Is there any attempt to match language style to social situations? ----------------------------------------------- h.Which geographical variety of English is taught? British, American, other, International EnglishNBWhen evaluating a teachers book, you can ask the following questions: a.What components does the teachers book include? b.Is it written so as to be comprehensible enough to less experienced teachers? c.Is it suitable for native and non-native speakers? d.Is the underlying approach of the writers expressed clearly and explicitly? e.Is there cultural explanation to enable teachers unfamiliar with, for example, British lifestyles to interpret and exploit appropriately the situations portrayed in the coursebook? f.Are learning difficulties predicted and appropriate advice given? g.Are keys to exercises and other activities provided? h.Are there regular progress tests? i.Are there guidelines for evaluating how well lessons went? j.Are there any photocopiable additional materials?

UPSTREAM"The series is specially designed for students from intermediate to proficiency level. Each book consists of five modules and provides systematic preparation in all four language skills - listening, speaking, reading and writing - required at these levels. The Students Book and the Workbook are designed to be covered in approximately 100 to 120 hours of classroom work. The Workbooks for Upstream Intermediate to Proficiency each comprise ten themed units with a variety of realistic and challenging tasks and exercises divided into clear sections for Vocabulary, Grammar, Listening & Speaking and Writing as well as tapescripts of all the Listening exercises. The Workbook for Upstream Intermediate consists of two parts. Part A contains Vocabulary, Grammar, Communication, Reading, Listening and Writing sections with a variety of motivating tasks and useful exercises. Part B is a complete grammar supplement, containing a clear presentation of theory and systematic practice of the grammar dealt within the course. The Teachers Books for the Students Books contain step-by-step teaching notes, extra ideas for optional activities, a full key to the exercises in the Students Books and tapescripts of the listening exercises. The Teachers Books for the Workbooks contain overprinted answers on the relevant pages of the Students Workbooks. The Test Booklets contain photocopiable assessment tests as well as a mid-year and exit test allowing teachers to assess students progress throughout the course.

Click On 1a - 4b is the split edition of the Click On series. In full colour, the series combines active English language learning with a variety of lively topics in themed modulesKey Features realistic, stimulating dialogues featuring people in everyday situations development of vocabulary skills through interactive tasks clear presentation and thorough practice of the target language carefully controlled dialogues for learners to reproduce wide variety of listening practice writing sections containing models and project work variety of stimulating and interesting texts pronunciation sections, games and songs self-assesment tests after every module an illustrated story giving learners the chance to have fun while learning fully dramatised audio CDs fully animated DVDs interesting and informative sections comparing British and American cultures

Click On is a five-level course consisting of five modules each for learners of English from complete beginner to intermediate level. In full colour, the course combines active English language learning with a variety of lively topics presented in themed units. Its well-organised syllabus promotes the gradual development of all four language skills needed by learners to communicate effectively in English. The cross-cultural approach of the course stimulates learners' interest, focusing on topics carefully chosen to motivate. The Students Book and the Workbook for each level are designed to be covered in approximately 80 to 100 hours of classroom work.

Key Features

* five modules of two units each, per level (Click On Starter has got three modules)* realistic, stimulating dialogues featuring people in everyday situations* development of vocabulary skills through interactive tasks* exploring grammar tasks with thorough practice of grammar structures* clear presentation and thorough practice of the target language* a wide variety of listening practice* writing sections containing models and project work* a wide range of stimulating and interesting texts* games, pronunciation sections and songs* regular revision units* a story in episodes giving learners the chance to have fun while learning* fully dramatised audio CDs* special section on British and American culture

FCE Gold Plus corresponds to level B2 of the Common European Framework and helps prepare students for the Cambridge ESOL First Certificate in English examination. The wide range of up-to-date topics make it suitable for students of different ages Extensive writing sections in the coursebook include model answers which support even the weakest students Build your students confidence with the regular review sections, progress tests, and exam tips and strategies Combine the coursebook with the Exam Maximiser - a unique combination of workbook and exam handbook, which is packed with extra language and skills practice for each exam paper, plus exam strategies and tips. It also includes a CD-ROM with additional grammar & vocabulary activities

GOLD FIRST Gold First New EditionA new edition of Gold First, completely in line with Cambridge 2015 exam specifications. Build your students confidence in a fun and engaging way, combining carefully graded exam preparation for the Cambridge English: First exam with thorough language and skills development. Stimulating discussion-rich topics and strong focus on vocabulary and chunks of language plus extensive writing support will ensure your students are ready on the day of the exam. Gold is suitable for a variety of learning styles ensuring all students achieve their learning goals. Sections of Gold First that have been changed to focus specifically on the revised Cambridge English: First exam include: MyEnglishLab for Cambridge English: First Speaking tasks redesigned and rewritten in line with the revised Exam specifications Shorter Texts and tasks for comprehensive exam coverage Further writing support including useful language and sample answers Completely new writing sections with an academic focus including sample answers and lots of extra support to ensure students can tackle the Writing paper successfullyExtras: MyEnglishLab for Cambridge English: First Exam Maximiser audio accessed via http://english.com/students/goldfirst/ Online Teachers book with tests and resources Teacher's eText software for IWB Audio CDs and Student eText also available

You need to know youre using acourse that gets resultsExams are a stressful time for students, teachers and parents - we get it! You can trust Gold to support your teaching and help your students prepare for their Cambridge English exam. Gold combines interesting topics and thorough language and skills development with exam support for both you and your students. Structured work for your students on how to approach the exam and how to tackle each task, and advice for you on how to teach for exams all mean you can have confidence in Gold. Think of us as your backstage crew; you do what you do best and we'll support you with a great product. You need a hand understanding thedetail of the examLook, we're not Cambridge English. Were independent and, like you, have had to work to understand the Cambridge English exams, along with the changes coming in 2015 - and, like you, our focus is on every single learner in the classroom. We have a long and wide experience of teaching and producing teaching materials that get results. You can count on us to support you to understand the exams and navigate the changes in 2015. That's why we've designed 'Exams Place', your go-to space for all exams information. You need to keep a whole classengaged with mixed goalsGold prepares students for serious exams while keeping your classroom fun and communicative. With genuinely interesting texts alongside lots of opportunity for discussions and a chance to talk about real life experiences, Gold is a great way to engage your classroom. The course teaches general English language, skills and topics and works for non-exam takers too, so Gold is a perfect choice when you need to support the different goals of your class.FCE Gold Plus PackStudying for FCE can be motivating as well! Publisher: Pearson Longman Components reviewed: Students Book, Exam Maximiser with answers and audio CD, Teachers book, Audio CD, iTests Authors: Sally Burgess with Jacky Newbrook and Judith WilsonReviewed for TEFL.net by Jess Garca LabordaThis is a good time to be reviewing FCE books as the First Certificate in English exam has had a number of changes, such as cutting down on the length of the test. In summarizing those changes, I would say that the test did not change qualitatively or in the test constructs deep structure, so Cambridge ESOL was probably aiming to make the test measurement more communicative. Things are obviously changing in testing, trying to get rid of that old fashioned idea that testing is done mainly to find whether a student has proven his or her competence at a certain stage and moving towards the idea of finding out whether any student will be able to communicate in a given situation that requires certain competences. For instance what kind of possible communication acts can be expected from a higher intermediate student (B2 in the Common European Framework)?The FCE Gold Plus book also has had some major changes from the previous edition. For example, more motivating topics are included in the book, such as students attitudes towards social matters (Material world, unit 5), and personal relationships and friendship (Its your call, unit 6; We are family, unit 8). In this edition of the book, there is also a new approach to communicative genres such as blogs (p. 124), daily language (like fixing a house, p. 113) or songs (p. 100). There also seems to be more of an emphasis on learning as a circular process, with regular review sections, progress tests, exam tips and strategy building activities.The Students book is divided into 14 units which address the different sections in the test and different kinds of language that could come up: Grammar, Vocabulary, Reading, Writing, Use of English, Listening, and Speaking. The book also includes three progress tests, a few extra speaking tasks, communication activities (do not miss this one because it can bring some life to the tests rather repetitive activities), a grammar reference and a writing reference section.The Exam Maximiser and additional exam activities on the CD-ROM are rather interesting and well planned. The Exam Maximiser could be seen as simply a simply but it goes beyond by providing continuous practice on test formats and strategies. Like in the book, each unit includes several sections of grammar and a listening section which includes each of the four test parts and gives advice on how to approach listening in the test. These listening tasks increase in difficulty so that by the end of the book they are as demanding as those found in the test. The reading section also includes specific strategies and the vocabulary is well fitted to meet the FCE test criteria. Each unit concludes with a writing section. The book finishes with a mock exam equivalent to the one that students will face later.Especially interesting are the iTests, which permit the students to build their confidence through monitoring their performance on the tests and additional activities by checking in the iTest website. These iTests are useful to get immediate feedback on the multiple and single response items, thus getting trained in the exact format of test items in the test. Although the book does not specifically mention when or how to use iTests, iTests can be used progressively according to the course development as an autonomous learning element within the test preparation process.The CD ROM is an excellent extra and shows the publishers interest in renovating and updating the teaching methodology. The interface design follows the same guidelines as IELTS, which suggests that in a near future FCE could also go online.The teachers book is also very attractive and includes a set of pictures to practice the oral skills specifically designed for the FCE test. The Listening activities include a combination of accents and different genres as demanded by the FCEs syllabus. The teachers book pays special attention to mixed ability classes and includes additional photocopiable activities, the necessary unit and progress tests, and many notes and adds on in each section to make the class attractive.One of the drawbacks would be the little exploitation offered in the book for the iTests. This is somewhat understandable, as this is a pen and paper test, but nevertheless it would be motivating to devote some time in the classroom for online readings and other activities.Overall, this is quite an interesting approach to FCE because the computer and web elements can be exciting for both the teacher and the students. Teachers may find the new materials more demanding as the interest in language education moves progressively from knowledge to communication and from the teacher to the student. This can be seen in interest of the new communicative tasks to develop fluency in writing and listening and speaking. Nevertheless, committed teachers will find this volume challenging and worth a try.