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Custom Materials Evaluation and Materials Design Essay

The hardest task of materials development is creating one’s own materials for teaching purposes. The task is especially challenging when we are talking about young learners because, in this case, a teacher has to think about including a bit of entertainment in order to arouse more interest in students. That is why I really liked the job the author did on the topic. One more important thing for students’ stimulation and increasing their success is the quality of materials. I support the author in the idea that the materials used in teaching youngsters should be of a really high quality. Teachers should remember that this important feature concerns not only the materials like course books and everything that goes with them (workbooks, CDs, etc.). It also relates to anything they use to enrich and support the learning process such as grammar books, tables, videos, and even a piece of a newspaper if it is considered to be useful for learning purposes.

However, the core material for a language course is a course book. Therefore, I think Pinter did the right thing when she decided to start the description of evaluation and adaptation course books. How to adapt and make a course book more interesting and useful for young learners if sometimes it does not completely meets the students’ and teachers’ expectations? The author answers the question emphasizing that teachers should develop critical approach in evaluation of certain materials and feel confident when adding appropriate additional materials to the teaching process.

From afore mentioned, a course book is the backbone of any course. The author does a great work in evaluation of the books, and she encourages teachers to develop their own supplement materials. However, Pinter in the chapter informs mainly about course books while the title of it is “Materials Evaluation and Materials Design,” and it is a little bit unfair that there is so little information on other materials implementation. In this case, in my opinion, it would be more suitable to name the chapter “Course Book Evaluation and Design” in order not to mislead the readers.

Another point which evokes my disagreement with the author is the discussion of syllabus type. After Pinter highlights the role of course books in the teaching process, she extends in explaining the multilayered syllabus which are applied in most primary course books. To my mind, this discussion is not of a big importance and is irrelevant to the topic. What really has importance is linking up the type of syllabus to designing and evaluation process. The latter is the most significant part in materials development.

The author of the book offers different effective ways of course books value examining process a teacher can implement in his/her practice. First of all, the investigation of the truthfulness of all the claims, the authors make about their books, can be conducted. What is more, before and during the process, the teacher can develop particular criteria of evaluation. The last but not the least is that while performing evaluation, the investigator can gather a lot of valid information on teachers’ and students’ experiences and points of view. It can be done by means of questionnaires, interviews, and observation. Though the process is time consuming, I agree with the author that it is worth to do it. Evaluation, which is performed before the using of textbooks, helps to predict whether a certain book will be appropriate for the course. However, even if the teacher conducts the process while or after the book implementation, it is also useful due to several reasons. Firstly, the evaluation done in the process of teaching allows identifying the weaknesses and strengths of the course book. Secondly, if examining the book after it has been used, teachers may reflect on effectiveness of the book for the course.

Pinter also mentions some evaluation criteria related to the teachers, students, and contextual features of the learning course which are the following: the age of students, teacher’s experience and educational background, teaching hours, etc. I concur that the factors are important but only in the case when it is the teacher who is responsible for course book selection. Teachers in our country have to deal with another learning context which implies choosing teaching materials by the ministry of education. In this case other criteria come into use: organization, language content, visuals, methodology, and teachable properties. All these aspects should be taken into consideration when evaluating the text books in our situation.

Supplementing a course book with additional language-learning materials is also an important part of teaching process. The author provides the readers with the information on the topic which is very useful, to my mind. There are many functions of well-designed supplementary materials. First of all, they can cover the lacks in course books. Secondly, the additional materials will make the learning process more suitable for the needs of a particular group of students and more meaningful and authentic to them. Finally, using of such supplementary tools will not only enhance the learning process, but also impact students’ motivation in a very positive way. On the other hand, supplementation is not the only kind of adapting language-teaching materials. Therefore, it would be valuable for the readers if the author discussed other types of adaptation. For instance, these are modification, simplification, and re-arrangement which are widely used in arranging the materials with the purpose to meet both students’ meets and teachers’ demands. I also noticed that the author emphasizes mostly the process of modification of the materials providing it with examples and explanations. However, there is no enough information about the type of supplementation such as adaptation of an exciting activity in the course book which could be very useful for teachers. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that teachers should know how much supplementing a course book requires and what are selections criteria for adding the supporting materials.

The author throws the light on another type of adaptation process which relates to adapting authentic texts. The noticeable advantage of such practice is that during the lessons, the learners will have the opportunity to deal with the real language of everyday life. The methodology of the adaptation can be performed in different ways, for instance, simplification of some complicated texts in order to increase understanding and feedback in students. I consider the examples of the technique implementation given by Pinter as clear and informative.

The last section of the book covers the significance of involving topics in English lessons from other areas of curriculum. A teacher should be creative enough to cope with the task of the topic-based planning. He/she should first choose a topic, then gather and generate ideas for activities in order to set the objectives and sequence them. The author also states the idea of exploiting stories, poems, and thymes produced by teachers and students. From my point of view, the creativeness mostly depends on the willingness of a teacher to work hard rather than on his/her inborn capabilities. The hard job implies the following working processes. Firstly, the teachers need to identify students’ level in order to prepare suitable teaching context and the right materials for them. Secondly, teachers should provide their students with relevant and up-to-date information included in topics. Finally, to make the learning process engaging and interesting for students, teachers should be aware of the different variables that mat hinder the process. There is a lot of work, and only those specialists who really like their job will be able to perform it

On the whole, the chapter meets my expectations concerning the topic of evaluation materials. The main disadvantage of it is that the chapter lacks guidelines for teachers to design their own materials. Teachers cannot rely just on text books. They must develop supplementary materials in order to enhance the teaching process and motivate students to learn. Of course, before creating the materials, it is worth to evaluate the course book a teacher work with in order to find out what it lacks and what materials should be chosen to fill in the missing points.

To my mind, creating language-learning materials is one of the most important parts of teachers’ work because it provides the great opportunities, especially for young students, to practice the use of the English language. What is more, teacher-produced materials are good in stimulating, interaction, and communication in young learners as they tend to be active socially. The materials of the kind have to be of a really good quality and understandable for the students. If adapting some authentic texts, teachers should make them meaningful to their learners. The author mentions these important aspects; that is why I recommend the chapter not only to beginner teachers. Reading it can also be very useful for experienced professionals.

Code: Sample20

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