In trying to select the materials that best fit the needs of the group to be taught, teachers normally make use of a coursebook package (student’s book, teacher’s book, workbook, extra activities book, DVDs, etc). Teachers then ask questions on how to make use of the materials available.
What to do if the materials do not meet the students needs?
Well, substitute the materials for other materials that focus on the same content, or adapt the materials available, as to fit the students’ needs and enrich them.
How can we adapt the materials available?
If the students need more practice, we can add more tasks/exercises to the existing ones, complement them with extra copies or with an online exercise, in case students have access to internet.
On the contrary, if there is not much time left, and it is taking too long for students to finish, the teacher may opt for skipping/omitting certain tasks. Remember the focus is for students to learn, not to teach every single aspect of a book necessarily.
If the task does not suit the students’ learning styles, you may change the form of the task by changing the interaction patterns, or doing a written exercise orally.
If you can see that the task if either too easy or too difficult for students, you might want to change the level of the task.
If you feel the sequence of the coursebook does not fit the sequence needed by the group, reorder the material to fit the groups’ needs.
If you see that your students still need further practice with a particular structure or item, make use of all the resources in the book, meaning the extra material, the photocopiable material, the progress tests, the workbook, extra listening exercises and web-site based tasks. There’s plenty to practice!
Personalize your teaching by personalizing the use of the coursebook. Teachers do not follow the coursebook exactly as it is, since it was designed at a general, international level. Modify its pace, make it Paraguayan style, tailor it based on your learners’ needs.
Select a unit from a coursebook. Answer the questions from the first paragraph of this text. In what way would you need to adapt the material?