ММСО. online
ММСО. Shakespeare
Adopt, adapt or design. How do English teachers from different countries work with coursebooks?
With the support of the Foxford online school
Eugene Lichkin
session moderator
Session participants
Dr. Emrah Cinkara
Associate Professor, Faculty of foreign languages education
Alexey Konobeiev
Editor-in-Chief, Titul publishing; Academic director, SkyEng, Moscow
Elena Peresada
Founder of "Trendy English", Moscow
Dr. Smriti Singh
Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Patna, India
James Taylor
EFL teacher, teacher trainer, materials writer and project manager for Active English, Brazil
Alex Walls
English teacher, Academic manager and teacher trainer, Moscow
Coursebooks in EFL classes
Coursebooks are among the most significant components of EFL classes. They help us to shape the curriculum, to put the list of important topics into order and to structure grammar and vocabulary, they provide opportunities for speaking and writing, broaden our cultural horizons.

At the same time, teachers feel a certain pressure from management, parents or students themselves to "get through" the whole thing – course books are expensive after all, and a book thoroughly completed is viewed as the only condition for a new level of achievement. But, many educators and students would agree that it's not unusual for us to be stuck with not the best coursebook. There's a belief that you can't teach - and learn - English well, using the school coursebooks. And when life gives you such lemons, teachers keep doing their best to turn them into a rich educational experience for students. Is this situation unique to the Russian ELT? Are there any solutions from the global community?

Two fundamental approaches to teaching english
Learning English in different non-English speaking countries is always based on a set of learning materials. Many coursebooks from different authors offer different approaches to learning, placing different emphasis. Speakers note that there are two approaches to language teaching:
Strict adherence to training materials
The teacher needs to rely on the selected manual and strictly follow its recommendations.
Perception of the coursebook as a set of ideas that need to be supplemented with their own materials for more effective learning
The teacher selects additional materials for the coursebook, which, from his point of view, will help students to master the subject more effectively

Associate Professor , Department of humanities and Social Sciences , Indian Institute of technology Patna Dr. Smriti Singh notes that there is often a focus in study materials solely on preparing for exams and the student often does not acquire real communication skills and use of the language.
The English language proficiency testing system puts pressure on teachers and students to focus on certain areas of knowledge and not give due attention to those areas that would be useful for a deep understanding of the language.
Dr. Emrah Cinkara
Associate Professor, Faculty of foreign languages education
Limited choice of coursebooks
Speakers from different countries also note the lack of a wide choice of coursebooks for language learning. Often the Ministry of Education approves only one version of the materials for study, sometimes several. However, the sharpening of these materials for testing does not allow teaching the language in the way the teacher considers correct.

James Taylor, EFL teacher, teacher trainer, materials writer and project manager for Active English, Brazil in the video below talks about how he evaluates the success and effectiveness of the coursebook and points out important aspects that should be taken into account in educational materials:

Eugene Lichkin notes that there are currently two "parallel worlds" - the world of public schools, where the teacher cannot choose a coursebook according to his preferences, where there is often no time for additional material classes and there is exam pressure, and the world of private education, where the teacher has greater freedom and opportunity to focus on the language and immerse the student in it. However, is it possible to somehow combine these parallel worlds? Are there tools to bring creativity to school education?

Dr. Emrah Cinkara. Independence from the coursebook
In his speech associate Professor, Faculty of foreign languages education Dr. Emrah Cinkara talks about her research on the relationship between teacher and coursebook.
Dr. Emrah Cinkara
associate Professor, Faculty of foreign languages education, Turkey
The teacher needs to develop independence from the coursebook and the ability to offer students additional materials based on their experience.
The speaker notes the qualities of a teacher that will help bring creativity to the learning process

Teaching experience
Each teacher has their own developed concept of teaching a lesson. Based on his experience, the teacher can bring new practices to the learning process.
Good knowledge of educational materials
Dr. Emrah Cinkara notes that often the teacher does not perfectly understand the concept of the coursebook they are teaching from. According to studies, in 75% of cases, the teacher does not study reference materials for working with a particular coursebook. In this case, the teacher will not have the freedom to bring their concepts and ideas into the educational process, because he will not have the confidence that a departure from the clear instructions of the coursebook will not "destroy" the teaching strategy that the methodologist has put in the educational material.
Focus on the student and their needs
According to research, the goal of learning English for students in most cases is not to master the coursebook and pass the test, but to be able to travel comfortably, understand song lyrics and so on. The teacher needs to understand why the student comes to his lesson and try to figure out how to help the student achieve his goals in studying the subject.
Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Dr. Smriti Singh notes that the problem of dependence on the coursebook is not with the teacher, but with the assessment system and education strategy in general:
Practical experience in finding creative solutions in teaching English
In this block of the session, practicing educators and leaders talk about how they understand coursebook independence.
Alex Walls. Authenticity in the classroom

In his speech, Alex Walls talks about authenticity practices in teaching English. English teacher, Academic manager and teacher trainer believes that the addition of authentic materials, assignments and practices will help to gain practical skills in using the language.
Alex Walls
English teacher, Academic manager and teacher trainer, Moscow
I am in favor of adding authentic texts and tasks to the practice of teaching English. The textbook cannot give the fullness of the materials that are necessary for immersion in the subject.
Practices for adding authenticity to the lesson
Additional materials are taken from open sources and are real texts/conversations
Often the topics in English lessons touch on real situations that a person faces: looking for a job, cooking according to recipes, and so on. It is necessary to add real job offers, recipes, lyrics, and so on to the examples from the coursebook.
Authentic Text Reading Practices

Often in English lessons we forget how exactly a person perceives a text in real life. Considers job advertisements, for example. At first, he selects suitable ads from a variety of ads, then weeds out those that are closest to him from the selected ones, then he reads the remaining ones to find those proposals that he likes the most. All these reading processes are different from each other. It is necessary to give tasks so that the student reproduces all these processes.
Students need exposure outside the classroom
Encourage them to read and listen for pleasure and don't set tasks. In class students can discuss what they read or listened too, but these discussions shouldn't be forced by the teacher
Elena Peresada. Gamification in English classes

Founder of "Trendy English", Moscow talks about his understanding of how a teacher can bring life to English lessons through games.
Elena Peresada
Founder of "Trendy English", Moscow
Students don't like coursebooks. A coursebook is a lesson, a lesson is a school, a school is boring. We need to find an approach that can break this pattern.
Many exercises from the coursebook can be replaced with games
Elena Peresada offers her list of games that help develop the skills necessary for mastering the language
Match pictures and words - Memory Game
The popular memory game is perfect for matching pictures and words. Such an exercise is perceived as a game if it is not within the framework of the coursebook.
Listen and point - Bingo Game
Bingo is a game popular all over the world. It can be used to develop the important skill of picking out necessary words from speech.
Listen and repeat - Clever Parrots
The game consists in the fact that the teacher shows the students cards with words, and in some cases incorrectly names the word on the card. Pupils need to repeat only those words that were named correctly.
Make true sentences about yourself - Basketball or Lava Game
Basketball or Lava rules: the words needed to memorize the lesson are laid out on the floor. The student, stepping on a word, is obliged to form a sentence about himself using this word. However, each participant has a ball in their hands and the main task is to score it into the basket. The more words you pass, the more chances you will score the ball. It is important to note that the goal of remembering the word and forming a sentence is not set as the main one here, which makes it possible to increase the student's interest in the game and gives him an incentive to win.
Discuss the questions - Facilitation Activities
The task of discussing questions can be supplemented so that it is more interesting for students. To get started, vote for the issues to be discussed. Let students make their own choices, and then they will feel responsible for their decision. Complete the questions with a diagram or diagram so that the students understand the topic more clearly.

In this session, we talked about the challenges in teaching and learning English in schools and universities around the world. We discussed how these problems can be solved, and most importantly, what is the role of the teacher in these processes.

They told how to stop depending on the coursebook and rely only on it. We found interesting ways to create authenticity in the English lesson and picked up a few games that will help in mastering the skills.

ММСО. Shakespeare.
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