A Critical Evaluation Of Selected Teaching Materials English Language Essay

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This assignment is aimed at supplying a critical rating of one of the faculties ( units ) in the text edition ‘New Cutting Edge, Pre-intermediate degree ‘ in a relevant context for its perchance best usage. This is an internal rating of a unit, in McDonough and Shaw ‘s ( 1993 ) footings, instead than merely an external rating based on the statements of the publishing houses. It is good known that no text edition can be so generic to work in an ideal mode in all specific contexts, but if chosen with tact, text editions can supply a general model for an optimum usage of clip and resources at the manus of instructors and scholars. The deficiency of an nonsubjective criterion to measure text editions should non convey this important probe to a arrest because in the long tally nil can replace the attention and discretion in choice of the best available resource. Experience together with accomplishment in this country would decidedly function acquisition.
There are different positions on the usage of text edition, from those who put it at the bosom of English linguistic communication programmes ( Sheldon 1988: 237 ) to those who consider their usage as debatable ( Swales 1980 ) . A sensible stance is a halfway between a long standing and utmost statements on whether text edition makes all the difference or makes no difference whatsoever. Despite being far from perfect, textbooks remain the most suited agencies of supplying construction ( Hutchinson and Torres 1994 ) and they presently are regarded as an inevitable resource for linguistic communication acquisition with its capacity and comparative consequence depending on context and the state of affairss ( Cunningsworth 1979, McGrath, 2002 ) .
Reasons for rating of text editions
A general perceptual experience is formed, as Sheldon ( 1988 ) have noted, that respects coursebooks as impermanent goods for net income instead than handling educational quality. McGrath ( 2002 ) relates the public-service corporation as a direct map of informed opinion of a instructor on the rightness of a peculiar text edition for a given schoolroom. Selection, rejection, add-on and alteration are four procedures that instructors can utilize to accommodate coursebooks to their demands ( McGrath, 2002: 59 ) . Richards ( 2001: 260 ) contends that because most instructors are non material authors themselves, they should accommodate already available text editions to suit pupils ‘ demands and seek of all time chance to be originative and supplement the text edition exercises or activities whenever necessary. a instructor will happen the demand to modify, or spread out some parts while excluding other parts, or reorganizing the content in text edition as appropriate, a fact which is besides really true for Cuting Edge.
It should besides be noted that book may be absolutely suited for one state of affairs but short of most parametric quantities of a just choice in another state of affairs. Therefore, its rating in isolation is impossible. That ‘s why Richards ( 2001: 256-257 ) explains that analyzing the function of text edition, instructors and scholars in the course of study takes precedency over casebook rating.
Methods for rating
There are assorted methods and several positions for implementing rating. One position to textbook rating is what Hutchinson and Waters ( 1987 ) nowadays merely as an analytical matching procedure to available solutions, but a by and large agreed upon standards for rating can be summarised as the focal point on design, lingual content, subject, and logistics ( McGrath, 2002 ) . Evaluation an besides be done internally or externally. The cardinal methods to measure a text edition are listed by McGrath ( 2002 ) as the impressionistic, the checklist, and the in-depth methods.
Evaluation utilizing impressionstic method
Cunningsworth ( 1995 ) holds that feelings are utile as a general debut and a speedy overview which helps taking the coursebook. The coursebook ‘s rubric ‘New Cutting Edge ‘ may non be really uncovering but it is exciting combined with its screen images. The size is convenient and the representations look multicultural. Following Cunningsworth ‘s checklist ( 1995 ) , the subject of the faculty, ‘important number ones ‘ , is a cardinal point to see whether the as it suggests assortment and raises existent involvement, and enables scholars to spread out their cultural consciousness. It provides great potency for pupil interaction. Tomlinson ( 2003 ) argues that in writing inside informations such as opening images have a great impact on scholars. In faculty 2, the exposure of adult females in really smart frocks is non readily linking to the subject or the other one near that, excessively. Images with more gesture could unwrap the energy of the subject. The exposure in the first two pages are non the unit ‘s strongest point since they are culturally loaded or at best unfamiliar to foreign linguistic communication scholar but exposures in page 3 and forth are really piquant, amusing and expressive. Another good point is the balanced focal point on signifier and significance which go side by side, and column by column.
Following is an altered rating checklist ( drawn from McGrath 2002 ) . It provides a brief overview of visual aspect and physical inside informations based on an impressionistic method.
Practical considerations
weight ( for transit intents )
Support for learning and larning
Teacher ‘s book available?
Cassettes/CD-Rom available?
Suitable for self-study?
Context Relevance
Suitable for length of class?
Suitable for purposes of class?
Suitable for scholars ‘ degree?
Suitable for scholars ‘ cultural background?
Suitable for instructors?
Needed resources available?
Likely entreaty to scholars
Yes ( partly )
Yes ( partly )
The feelings may be more accurate for experient instructors but they are frequently really subjective and simplistic. The in-depth methods, on the other manus, deserve such a infinite which is beyond the confines of this paper. The practicality of checklist method is highlighted in Cunningsworth ( 1995: 2 ) . Therefore, several methods and positions including checklist methods deserving consideration in this paper. To measure the book portion I selected which is followed by an rating from external and internal positions every bit good as a micro analysis.
Evaluation through Checklists
Cunningsworth ( 1995 ) developed a checklist which is widely used for rating of text edition. This is one the first checklists that gives a wide analysis ( Tomlinson 2003 ) . It should be noted that any checklist has its ain advantages and disadvantages and they should be adapted to run into the demands of a specific context ( McGrath, 2002: 27 ) . Cunningsworth ‘s checklist ( 1995 ) is powerful in turn toing linguistic communication content, accomplishments, subjects every bit good as methods but ignores the function of civilization and establishment.
McGrath ( 2002 ) pinpoints the rules underlying the design of stuffs.
Checklist is adaptable such as the questionnaire Rahman and Sinha ( 2010 ) used. It is given to both instructor and pupils after background information, to arouse their assessment of the text edition via several points measuring its layout and physical brand up, capable affair, vocabulary and construction, exercisings and activities. The questionnaire given to instructors has an excess subdivision on their rating of purposes and ends and has more points on each of the above mentioned subdivisions.
About any quality that instructors and linguistic communication instruction methodological analysis would hold indispensable for text editions can be evaluated through a checklist. For case, learner-centeredness is a quality that can be fostered in a text edition in a signifier of gradual independency from instructor and developing pupils ‘ ego assurance in utilizing English ( Cunningsworth, 1995 ) . Jun, Hua and Huiru used an rating questionnaire to this consequence from which using a effect would be utile. First, communicating accomplishments are developed reasonably good through the New Cutting Edge since we have two speech production undertaking about of import number ones through both an open-ended personal and a picture-aided controlled activity. A scaffold for making this undertaking is in the 3rd page where a sentence completion undertaking required brace work and comparing activity about personal information an earlier in the faculty. Most other undertakings are fill-in-gap grammar, vocabulary and composing exercisings every bit good as pronunciation pattern. Pair work encourages cooperative acquisition and pronunciation pattern leads to an consciousness of lingual accomplishments. The subject ‘important first ‘ can associate really good to pupils ‘ lives, positions and feelings and offers options to provide for scholar differences. Answer key on page 158 is a helpful mention stuff, but there is small mark of indexing and internet engineering that enhance independent linguistic communication acquisition.
External Evaluation
The publishes claims that New Cutting Edge follows a Communicative Language Approach to learning English which supports scholars ‘ across-the-board development in their linguistic communication by integrating all linguistic communication accomplishments. Students are promised to see betterment in their functional English and their ability to pass on on a day-to-day footing. It is besides said that the contents hold the involvement and respond to the demands of pupils at this degree. Subjects are wide-ranging, attractive and up-to-date and designs and images are so graphic that makes this book superior to other coursebooks. The activities in each unit are described as so prosecuting that can take pupils to a comfy usage of English outside schoolroom in existent life state of affairss and that exercises both focal point on indispensable grammatical points and aid scholars to pass on spontaneously enriched by an reliable sample of reading, listening, composing, speech production, listening and pronunciation activities.
Unit of measurements ofA New Cutting EdgeA correspond to the Common European Framework which allows pupils and instructors to merely look into the acquisition results against a by and large recognised criterion.
The coursebook besides boasts of a really clear and cumulative construction in back-to-back faculties that bit by bit build on each other to better grammatical points, cardinal vocabulary, and assorted accomplishments every bit good as alteration and pattern chances. The auxiliary stuffs for New Cutting Edge are in sufficient, supply which is deemed as suited because of its synergistic natureA and its assorted characteristics which contains class/ pupil sound cassettes and Cadmiums, a workbook with cardinal, every bit good as instructor ‘s books, trials, pictures, mini dictionary and links to other comrade web sites. ( www.longman.com/cuttingedge )
Internal rating
The New Cutting Edge series have the features of modern text editions Haines ( 1996 ) lists such as being multi-componential ( grammar, vocabulary, reading, speech production, composing and a survey tip in one faculty ) , commercialised, and culturally sensitive every bit good as holding a rich design which consist of lively images, ocular AIDSs and diagrams, indentures, word clouds, slugs and totaling. The first page begins with a catchy headline and itemised drumhead besides images at the top. Even in grammar subdivision simple images and design are intended to assist larning while in vocabulary subdivision, more expressive images are used ( human faces for words of feeling ) . The visually attractive screen of this book is a plus like Headway series because as McGrath ( 2002 ) claims, the screen, rubric or sizes of a book are of import factors in actuating scholars.
Evaluation of text edition with micro-analysis of the chosen faculty ( unit )
‘New Cutting Edge, Pre-intermediate ‘ by Cunnigham and Moor taps several linguistic communication accomplishments and subskills. It is a text edition intended for learning English as a Foreign Language. The ‘New ‘ in rubric suggest ripening from an earlier version besides holding a slippery commercial consequence. The writers ‘ claim that it merely got crisp ” and fresher and easier to utilize ” ( New Cutting Edge, Pre-intermediate Student ‘s Book ‘ , back screen ) . The book is composed of 15 faculties, each incorporating eight pages, with extra resources such as tapescripts, mini-dictionary and consolidation stuff. Auxiliary affair consists of a instructor ‘s resource book, workbook with and without cardinal editions, Cadmiums and audio cassettes for pupils ‘ usage and a separate cassette for schoolroom usage every bit good as an attach toing web site, trials and pictures.
The book under reappraisal is in general support of an incorporate accomplishments attack and this 2nd unit has a peculiar accent on pronunciation. Texts for reading are kept short. Writing is practiced at the terminal of faculty after talking undertakings. This means productive accomplishments are last in order of presentation. The colorful layout and sensible placing of points makes it look smart but the exposures are non of highest quality but the illustrations are and sketchs are lively. Closer examination follows in a tabulated signifier.
Subject: Important Firsts.
Potential to heighten guess, but may be excessively short.
Language Focus: Past Simple and Time Phrases
A good continue to a tense in old faculty ( unit ) . Seasonably to present clip phrases ( fiting with subject )
Vocabulary and Wordspot
Thematic presentation of new vocabulary with visuals is really piquant. Diagrams in wordspot can consolidate that but it may be hard for scholars at this degree.
The first undertaking with inquiries which makes scholars to speak about by and large activates the outgoing and breaks the ice for other pupils who seem to be clueless. The 2nd undertaking is aided with images and scaffolds the shy to speak about other people.
There are three countries in this unit to cover with pronunciation of past tense habitue and emphasis, a spot above the right size, comparatively.
There are 11 parts for which there is demand to listening and tape, which is comparatively high. They address non merely the listening portion itself but besides pronunciation and emphasis pattern every bit good as look intoing replies to vocabulary and grammatical exercisings.
Reading parts are short which may be good at this phase of class if it helps fast gait. May be a auxiliary reading is required for faster pupils.
The authorship pattern comes at the terminal and reading – composing incorporate activity.
In the pattern subdivision, grammar and vocabulary exercisings dominate and there is no pronunciation exercising despite the weight it has throughout the unit.
I: Sequencing two: Methodology
I: Sequencing of accomplishments is by and large good with some accomplishments pattern between. An exclusion should possibly be made for authorship: it should non be the last or the least or seem so. Because of its larning possible for foreign linguistic communication scholars that frequently go unfulfilled.
two: it follows a undertaking based course of study and a mixture of communicative attack to linguistic communication learning with form-focused direction as it brings ‘language focal point ‘ into attending.
This rating one time once more confirm the point that a pursuit to happen a perfect coursebook possibly unrealistic, but there will be a best book for any state of affairs ( Grant 1987 ) . The organisation of the stuff in this units as a sample of the book in inquiry, suggests ways that linguistic communication can be integrated in the diverse facets of life.A However, pupils with more enthusiasm can be given an chance to bring forth more end product. My recommendation is to supplement the stuff with more undertakings necessitating productive linguistic communication usage such as authorship and speech production and that there be more room for treatment and illustrations or illustrations. They can be set as prep, or if clip allows, at the terminal of session. In all, I found this book really inspiring and extremely urge it for usage in an appropriate degree and context.

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