I have previously written about textbooks (way back in January). Since that time, I have used textbooks a lot more as I have taken on a number of company classes and business English lessons.
I’m not sure if I’ve had a particularly bad experience with textbooks, or if they are all like this, but generally I find textbooks to be littered with mistakes and impractical phrases. What can you do in this situation?
Vocabulary isn’t everything in ELT, but it is an essential area on the road to fluency. Therefore, even if the textbook is impractical you can change the focus to the vocabulary. Discussing synonyms, antonyms and getting the student to make sentences using the new words is a valid way to use what the textbook has to offer.
2. Theme-based lessons
If you find the textbook limiting or not useful then you can open out the lesson and base it on the theme of the material. Asking reflective and comprehension questions gets the student thinking in English and formulating their own sentences.
3. Correct the mistakes
This does nothing to increase your students’ confidence in the textbook, but pointing out any mistakes in the textbook and asking the student to correct them or asking them for alternative ways to say a certain phrase or sentence gets the learner thinking laterally and can increase their self-confidence.
Have you had any other problems with textbooks? Or do you have something positive to say? Leave your comment below!