Sunday, October 18, 2009

Textbook Selection

I'm thoroughly convinced that textbook selection can make or break a class. While an excellent teacher can overcome a bad textbook, or just plain not use it and do their own thing, in some situations there is nothing that can be done.

In the kids program that I teach in, most of the students are fluent (ish) and are quite articulate, even in their writing. But the textbooks we're using are ESL textbooks, designed for adults. Do dating and Bollywood movies have any relevance for a 10 year old kid in Korea? NO! By way of example, I used the exact same textbook for my conversational uni class last year that the elementary kids are using now. And it went over well with the uni students so just imagine how much elementary kids like it! And so I wonder why we're not using textbooks that are designed for native speaker kids in the USA, Canada or England. Maybe at two or three grade levels below where they're actually at in Korean school to account for the second language factor.

And the thing is, that the teachers are getting hassled by the power that be to teach exactly what is written on the syllabus. In some cases, using 3 different inappropriate books in a 45 minute class. I'm frustrated. And powerless. And thinking that this semester might be the end of teaching in this program. The money is not worth the stress of trying to make something interesting, engaging and fun out of something totally inappropriate.

Active English Discussion 1 (With CD)World Link, Book 1 Teacher's Edition, With CD-ROM (World Link, Developing English Fuency, 1)Smart Choice 1 Student Book with Multi-ROM pack

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