What the research is trying to achieve:
The research is trying to investigate and evaluate the value of commercial textbooks to those of in-house and how to promote and improve the use of former and current textbooks in material design for language learners.
Questions that can be addressed in the research include:
- Why are commercial textbooks being replaced with in-house ones without critically analyzing and evaluating the change?
- How can we strike a balance between commercial textbooks and those of in-house?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of in-house developed materials and commercial textbooks?
- What is the value added of each choice through economic cost-benefit analysis.
How these questions can be addressed:
- By developing questionnaires.
- By conducting interviews with the relevant stakeholders.
- By conducting an analysis-based on previous and current material design.
What does the researcher wants to answer?
The researcher wants to answer why it is important to analyze and evaluate previous material design and also, the need to improve current material design where necessary.
The researcher argues in this context, that before replacing all commercial textbooks with in-house ones the previous text should be thoroughly analyzed and evaluated so as to identify the key strengths and weaknesses. Ones the weaknesses are identified, major improvements can be done during the replacement and therefore, coming up with a material design that best suits learners.
Advantages of in-house developed materials are:
This is where in-house developed materials are aimed at a specific group of language learners.
In commercial developed materials, contextualization is advantageous in that commercialized texts are rich in resources/ information.
b) Individual needs
In-house developed materials identify well with the learners’ needs. For example, a teacher is in contact with the learners, therefore, making it easier for him/her to develop materials that address the needs of the learners.
It is easier to attend to specific groups if different and customized means are used in approaching learning.
d) Freedom of scope
In-house developed materials have a greater choice when developing own materials. There are no restrictions because one already knows what the learners need.
e) Timely convenience
In-house developed materials can respond to events both internationally and locally. They can also attend to events and current issues of the learners.
Altan, M.Z. (1995) Culture in EFL contexts: classroom and coursebooks. MET, 4 (2), pp. 58-60.
Bell J. and Gower, R. (1998) Writing course materials for the world: a great compromise. In B. Tomlinson (ed.). Materials development in language teaching (pp. 116-129). Cambridge: Language Teaching Library, Cambridge University Press.
Block, D. (1991) Some thoughts on DIY materials design. ELT journal, 45 (3), pp. 211-217.
Cook v (c.1998). spreading the influence of SLA research. Retrieved 29 January 2004.
Demetrion, G. (1997) Communicative competence and second language teaching: lesson learned from the Bangalore project004 from. Retrieved 30 january 2004.
Ellis, G. and Sinclair, B. (1989) Learning to learn English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hadfield. C. and Hadfield, J. (2003) Hidden resources in language classroom: teaching with (next to) nothing. MET, 12 (10), pp. 5-10.
Hall, D. (1995) Materials production: theory and practice. In A.C. Hidalgo, D. Hall & G.M.
Harmer, J .(1998). How to teach: English. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Ltd.
Harmer, J. (2001). Coursebooks. A himan, cultural and linguistic disaster? MET, 8 (4), pp. 5-10.
Hedge. T. (2001) Teaching and learning in the language classroom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jacobs (eds.). Getting started: materials writers on materials writing (pp. 8-14) Singapore: SEAMO Regional Language.
Jolly, D. and Bolitho, R. (1998) A framework for material writing. In B. Tomlison (ed.). Materials development in language teaching (pp. 90-115). Cambridge: Cambridge Language Teaching Library, Cambridge University Press.
Lamie, J. (1999) Prescriptions and cures: adapting and supplementing. MET, 8 (3), pp. 49-53.
Maley, A. (2003) The dividents from diversity. Retrived 29 january 2004 .
Nunan, D. (1988) Principles for designing language teaching materials. Guidelines, 10 (2), pp. 1-24.
Nunan, D. (1991) Language teaching methodology: a textbook for teachers. Hertfordshire: Phoenix ELT.
Podromou, L. (2002) The great ELT textbook debate. MET, 11 (4), 25-33.
Thomas, W.P. & Collier, V.P. (1997) School effectiveness for language minority students. Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education.
Thornbury, S. and Meddings, L. (2001) Coursebooks: the roaring in the chimney. MET, 8 (4), pp. 11-13.
Thornbury, S. and Meddings, L. (2002) Using a coursebook the Dogme way. MET, 11 (1), pp. 36-40.