TEFL Program - Creating and Using Great Materials

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on November 9, 2011 at 8:47:15 am

Creating and Using Great Materials


This unit looks at using extra materials in addition to the coursebook. It looks at whether they can help students learn better, and what you can do to make them.


Think About It


1.  Do you ever use materials in addition to the coursebook?



2. If so, what?



3. Do you ever make your own materials?



4. Can additonal materials help your students learn better?






Sometimes, extra materials can be very useful. Why?


1. They make lessons more fun

2. They can bring language to life

3. They can motivate students to think about their English

4. They can get students talking

5. They allow you to make the language more personal


Can you think of any more reasons here?




Think about it 


Please write down 5 types of extra materials












Now give some examples of when you might use them.














Here are some ideas we had:




B. Group Discussion: Different materials and their uses


Divide trainees into groups and set them the following task:


'List different possible materials sources and give examples of when you might use them.'


Set deadline


Put ideas on board, discuss, add to if necessary 


Some suggestions:


1. pictures:             - realia (magazines, newspapers, internet, etc.)

                        - teacher-created

                        - student-created


possible activities: trainees sugggest



2. flashcards:            - (to provoke, remind, stimulate)

                        - teacher-designed

                        - student-designed

                        - realia (bought, or adapted form other sources, eg. books)


possible activities: trainees suggest



3. games & problem solving activities:

                        - real (darts, cricket scores, cards, board games, etc.)

- teaching resource books

                        - teacher-generated (riddles, self-made cards)


possible activities: trainees suggest



4. texts:            - teaching resource books

                        - realia (authentic language)

                        - teacher-written

                        - student-written


possible activities: trainees suggest



And, introducing the most important non-textbook resource of all,


TEACHER!            - talking

                        - instructing

                        - demonstrating

                        - describing

                        - drawing

                        - setting up games and activities

                        - explaining

                        - correcting

                        - organising


Without an effective teacher, the above materials are of little use

However, it is important to choose the material carefully - it must fit the activity, guide students towards language aims, be interesting and useful


The focus on the teacher as material also highlights the importance of using the blackboard effectively. Refer to boardwork from previous session.




Remember there are limitations:

Problems of staying on a fixed syllabus, problems of large classes, problems of preparation (time, effort), problems of access to facilities (copying, computers, decent print material, etc.).

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