Site Search:
 

Banner

Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index Teacher Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Teaching without a coursebook

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Material Writing
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
emile



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 144
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:42 am    Post subject: Teaching without a coursebook Reply with quote

I'd be interested in hearing from people who don't use a coursebook when they teach. What do you use instead, especially if you have few resources at hand?

Also what would make coursebook-haters change their minds and use one?






http://r2g-r2g2.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
strider



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 160
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi emile,

I wasn't a course book hater, but for years I didn't use coursebooks for 2 reasons. Firstly, I liked to be in control of the syllabus, including the grammar and vocab input. Secondly, I was put off by my brief experiences of using such books because I felt too much time was wasted on having to explain stuff (Who is Richard Branson? Why is this Punch cartoon funny? What is a TV dinner? etc, etc) I know that in some contexts, such discussions can be interesting and enriching, but for busy business students with ever-diminishing time available for lessons it wasn't suitable.

One day I was preparing a lesson on explaining statistics and graphs and I wanted an example of a graph. I picked up a copy of Business Goals and found an excellent unit on this subject, using exactly the vocab that I had in mind. I used the Unit as the lesson and it worked really well. To cut a long story short, I use the Business Goals series all the time now and the results are very good.

Anyway, I hope this answers your question!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1366
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave up using books ten or fifteen years ago. There was always something I didn't like, and things I had to supplement. After supplementing for so long, I had a core group of material. Now, in the summer, I plan the next fall's class by plotting out what I'm going to do on a calendar I make in Word.

For example, this semester, for the first time, I have a low level CALL class for the first time. It meets in the Computer lab on Monday and Tuesday, and in the classroom on Wed, Thur, and Friday. I connect the two sections somewhat, but not completely, so I started with the classroom section. I got a copy of the master plan for our college, and figured out what grammar I was supposed to teach, and divided it into the 18 week semester. Then I put in what activities I wanted. I use story dictations a lot (first dictating words, then sentences, then showing how people speak etc.). So I put a dictation on every Tuesday. After I did this (using things like conversations, interviews, etc.) I went back and wrote the material.

In the beginning of my teaching career, I prepared material every night. That took an incredible amount of time because I had to review in my mind where I was and where I was going before I could prepare. Then I started preparing a week at a time. Now I do a semester at a time. That isn't to say I follow my schedule exactly. In fact, I make a lot of changes as I go along, but the bulk of the material is prepared before the class starts.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
fried jiaozi



Joined: 07 Jul 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could really do with some help planning my curriculum. I have classes of mixed ability children (they are expats) ranging from very little English to fluent! I have to plan my own (speaking/listening)curriculum from scratch as there are no course books. What I am looking for to get me started is a range of themes that will appeal to children aged 8-11. I want to try to find a different range of subjects for each grade level. That way I (or the next teacher) do not have to start again with a new curriculum. I plan to differentiate activities within each class to suit varying abilities - a lot of work I know, but I only see each class once a week so it should be manageable. I would be eternally grateful for any ideas on themes that I can plan maybe half a term's work round. So far, I have:
families,hobbies, friends, homes, travel, food, animals, feelings, the future, - in other words, all rather dull! Anyone got any nice juicy topics that would get the children motivated to talk?!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1366
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do they watch TV or movies? Any kind of interesting books? Harry Potter or something? Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
emile



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 144
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have to plan my own (speaking/listening)curriculum from scratch as there are no course books.


I think it's fair to plan a speaking curriculum form scratch, but for listening they should provide you with some CDs.

Anyway, how about topics like: mysteries of the world (UFOs, ghosts), football and other sports, my favorite things, a day in the life of..., songs (sing and discuss the words, act out the story...), games (you could do up a discussion board game where kids have to hop up and down or do something silly if they land on a particular space)





www.roadtogrammar.com
http://r2g-r2g2.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
fried jiaozi



Joined: 07 Jul 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Lorikeet and emile - some nice ideas. I'll keep them in mind.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Heads Up English



Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no such thing as a perfect textbook. One is dated, another spends way too much time on grammar and writing, and yet a third... well, let 's just say some are downright painful to use. I'm forever adding supplemental material, even to the textbooks that I really like.

If you've been teaching for a long time, and are very organized (i.e., you save all your worksheets and lesson plans), then I agree with Lorikeet; just go ahead and put your own syllabus together. I will say, though, that a (good) textbook does add structure, even if you may need to add some speaking activities, worksheets, etc.

Think of the syllabus like a lesson. In a lesson, the work at the end is possible because of the activities that were built on the initial target language. If you don't teach the target language effectively, or don't build activity on activity, then the lesson fails because the students can't walk away using the language. The same holds true with a syllabus: if you don't cover grammar points or vocabulary that appears later on (or you don't present them in a logical order), then you end up back-pedaling. Students get confused, and you end up taking time away from what you intended to cover.

Chris Cotter
www.headsupenglish.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
emile



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 144
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the risk of sounding cheesy, the Internet is the best 'courseboo' or source of materials. And plenty of audio materials now with the advent of podcasting, youtube etc




www.roadtogrammar.com
http://r2g-r2g2.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Material Writing All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Teachers College, Columbia University: Train to Teach English Here or Abroad
SIT

This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group