Susan Holden e Vinícius Nobre
Trecho do Livro: "Teaching English Today", da Hub Editorial
The course book is normally the core item of teaching and learning material. This does not mean that you cannot teach well, or that your students will not learn, without one. However, a good textbook provides you with a well thought-out framework for teaching, and your students with something permanent to refer to which is much more satisfactory and long-lasting than downloaded or photocopied texts and exercises.
Good learning/teaching material will have been written by an experienced professional who understands the linguistic and cultural challenges connected with learning and teaching English. Most textbook writers are, or have been, teachers, and therefore understand what can and cannot be done in the classroom. They will offer you an appropriate methodology to teach the language, based on their own practical experience. When analyzing different course books, or when using them, it is important to understand the writer’s beliefs regarding languages and how they are learned. The course book may reflect a perspective that is similar to your own beliefs, or something very different.
Care will have been taken to ensure the progression is suitable for the age and language level of the learners. This should move quickly enough to make the students feel they are making progress, but not so quickly that it becomes too difficult and thus demotivating. Most textbooks use sophisticated illustrations and layout to motivate the learner and support the learning. This is important, as we live in a visual age, where websites, advertising and magazines use a ‘visual language’ which students expect to see reflected in their textbooks. It is also important, however, that the visual style should be appropriate to the subject matter and should be clear and easy to follow.
Using a textbook does not mean that you cannot be creative. Rather, it provides you with a framework for your lessons and allows you to concentrate on the actual teaching. Instead of worrying about what to teach, or how to do it, you can focus on your students. If you enjoy creating your own materials, you can always introduce your own extra texts or photos to reinforce a particular language point, or to link the language practice with your own environment.
A textbook is a framework and not a straitjacket.
Susan Holden has a long and variet experience as a teacher, teacher trainer, magazine editor, Publisher and author, including the Portfolio series and Encounters 1-4 (both Macmillan do Brasil). She is now based in Scotland, where she runs a small publishing and materials development company. She has worked with colleagues in Brazil over the last 20 years, and is delighted to be back again.
Vinicius Nobre has been working in ELT for over 23 years. He has worked as a teacher, teacher educator, material developer and academic diretor in some of the most reputable language centres in Brazil. He is a CELTA, ICELT and DELTA tutor, past presidente of BRAZ-TESOL and has written course books and methodology books. He holds na MA in Language Education and post-graduate certificate in Business Management.