The Role of the Textbook in the EFL Classroom (8)


by Jürgen Kurtz, Karlsruhe University of Education, Germany

A few days ago, I stumbled upon yet another example of figurative language related to using textbooks and related materials in the SL/FL classroom (see also parts 1 and 3 of this series). Focusing on foreign language teacher education, Peck (1999: 113-114) argues: “Whether a trainee eventually uses a class textbook, or writes his or her teaching materials; even more if a variety of textbooks are used on a pick-and-mix basis as a quarry, the principles on which the syllabuses underlying textbooks are organized ought to be understood by those who will ultimately use them. An inability to distinguish between a structural, a functional, a topic-based and a skills syllabus could have results as confusing as trying to spread butter on your bread without distinguishing between the properties of a knife, a fork, a spoon or a corkscrew.” 

‘Quod erat demonstrandum’ in a wider sense, …

Peck, Antony J. (1999). “Training Foreign Language Teachers – the Role of the University and the Role of the School now and in the Future.” In: Faber, Pamela; Gewehr, Rolf; Jiménez Raya, Manuel & Peck, Antony J. (eds.) (1999). English Teacher Education in Europe. New Trends and Developments. Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 109-116.

4 responses to “The Role of the Textbook in the EFL Classroom (8)

  1. I agree. I think a lot has to do with getting past the notion that the textbook is the syllabus. Using a textbook can be a crutch for some who stick only to covering content as opposed to uncovering content.

  2. I totally agree that the textbook is the syllabus is a myth.

  3. Thanks, Juergen for your scholarship efforts. I have found your collection of quotes on the textbook/dogme debate to be very useful in preparing for the “teaching materials”-session in my introductory TEFL course.

  4. Hi Henning,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Have a nice day!

    Jürgen

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