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Ivón Lobo Fontalvo Methodology Assignment 3 1

EVALUATING AND SUPPLEMENTING MATERIALS

1. Introduction

This paper aims, first, to analyze the unit 1 of the textbook “Teenagers 8”. Then, I

will describe how and why I supplemented the lesson 1 of this unit. I will end on the

evaluation of the material’s effectiveness since the supplemented material was

already used to teach a lesson.

2. Coursebook evaluation

The basic principle underlying learner – centered systems of language learning is

that teaching programs should respond to learner’s needs (Johnson, 1989, p.63).

Therefore, the teaching materials used in our English language courses should help

the teacher to achieve his/her students’ needs. Cunningsworth (1984), points out that

“the teacher should formulate objectives with the needs of the learners in mind and

then seek out published materials which will achieve those objectives” (p.2).

When selecting an EFL coursebook it is advisable to submit it to an objective and

systematic analysis process. This, in words of Hutchinson and Waters (1987), is

“basically a matching process: matching needs to available solution” (p.87).

For this paper, I decided to analyze the fist unit in the textbook “Teenagers 8” which

is intended for secondary school learners (See appendix A). I based this analysis on

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the following criteria suggested by Wallace: rationale, context, relevance to needs,

interest and motivation and range of tasks / activities. (2000, pp. 185, 189).

The following ideas summarize the results of the material’s analysis:

1. Although the book claims to have a communicative approach, it does not provide

activities with an integrated use of language skills. Most of its activities are

designed for individual work (Lesson 1: activities 2 – 5, Lesson 2: activities 3 – 4,

Lesson 3: activities 1 – 4, Lesson 5: activities 1 – 5). There are only three

activities that facilitates students’ interactive learning ( Lesson 1: activity 1 and

Lesson 4: activities 1 – 2).

2. The book aims to promote a natural use of English, but it does not contain any

authentic material which can challenge the students’ learning process and raise

their motivation.

3. The material shows structural oriented drills with a overt explanations of the rules

which do not give the learners the opportunity to explore the language by

themselves (Lesson 1: activities 4 – 5, Lesson 2: activities 3 – 4, Lesson 3:

activities 3 – 4). Thus, the language is not seen as a tool of communication in

most of the activities, but as a devise to focus on grammatical features of the

language ( Loschky. and Bley-Vroman, 1993, p.124).

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In general, the first unit of the textbook Teenagers 8 lacks: a) real communicative

tasks in which the learners could use their language skills conjointly. b) authentic

texts that can challenge the students’ language skills and can increase their interest

as well. c) creative activities that allow the students to create meaning and language

by themselves.

3. The supplementary materials

Bearing in mind the previous ideas, I decided to supplement the first lesson of this

material, so it could fit my students’ needs and my own pedagogical purposes

(Nunan, 1991, p. 219 – 223). I added short authentic texts about varied holidays and

I created materials with information gaps to foster the learners’ collaborative work in

order to complete the task successfully. I graded the task according to my students

abilities.

Harwood, in reference to materials’ modification, (2005), states that “many teachers

adapt commercial materials, using them as “bridges” to stimulate their thinking and

as the basis for providing the most appropriate classes in their context ( p.152). On

the other hand, Harmer (2001) affirms that textbooks can become “spurs to

creativity” (p.8)

The following are the “bridges” I created for lesson N° 1:

1. A handout with a mind map to activate the students’ schemata, articulate the

students’ cultural background with the topic about celebrations and to

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promote meaningful interaction among them. This worksheet was designed to

collect information and use it again during the class. A model conversation

was also provided in the handout. (Appendix B)

2. Five multimedia slides with a collage of images that the students downloaded

from Google and Yahoo in a previous class. A table to list the celebrations

illustrated in the multimedia presentation. This material includes a guided

conversation to help the learners compare information. (Appendix C)

3. Authentic texts about Holly week, Christmas, Thanksgiving day and

Halloween to develop a jigsaw reading activity. (I also included the texts from

the book about Rio de Janeiro’s carnival, The day of dead, Saint Valentine

and April Fool’s day period). (Appendixes D1 – D2 – D3)

4. A table to gather information during a survey to three different partners in

addition to a model conversation to conduct the interviews. This type of

materials give the learners the “opportunity to use English to a purposeful end

and even at a stage when their range of structures and vocabulary is severely

limited” (Cunningswoth,1984. p. 10). (Appendix E)

5. A worksheet with questions to write a comparative text about the form they

and people from other countries celebrate holidays.

When designing the above supplementary material, I took into account the following

principles for interaction in order to help my students’ language development: a)

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Information transfer, b) Information gap, c) Jigsaw, d) Task dependency, and e)

correction for context. ( Nunan, 1989, p.119 – 125 ).

4. Lesson plan

Having considered the textbook’s drawbacks in its first unit, my students needs and

my pedagogical objectives, I planned to teach the first lesson of this unit for 8°A

learners to implement the material I supplemented.

8°A is a group of 40 elementary students, aged 13 – 14. They do not have

confidence to interact with other students using the target language and do not like

being engaged in writing tasks. On the contrary, they are interested in computers,

imagery, learning vocabulary and working in groups.

For those reasons, I decided to frame the materials I supplemented (overviews,

multimedia visuals, guided dialogues, a survey and a model composition) into

activities that give the learners a reason to interact and encourage mutual language

discovery (Doff, 1986. p.210).

5. Evaluation of the material’s effectiveness

The best way of knowing if a material’s adaptation woks well is by trying out such

material (Wallace, 2000, p. 190) . 8°A students used the following materials for the

first lesson ( see appendixes):

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The most successful aspect when trying out the adapted materials was that most of

the students accomplished the final objective of writing a comparative text about a

holiday celebration because they could obtain the appropriate information during the

all the lesson stages. Additionally, the quality of students interaction increased in the

classroom because of the confidence that the learners received by using controlled

conversation or writing examples.

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References

1. Johnson, R. (1989). The Second Language Curriculum. New York: Cambridge


University Press.

2. Cunningswoth, A (1984). Evaluating and Selecting Teaching Materials. London:


Heinneman.

3. Harmer, J. (2001). Coursebooks: A human cultural and linguistic disaster?.


Modern English Teacher, 3(3), 5 - 10

4. Harwood, N. (2005). What do we want EAP teaching materials for?. Journal of


English for Academic Purposes. Retrieved from www.elsevier.com/locate/jeap

5. Hutchinson, T. (1987). English for Specific Purposes: A learning Cantered


Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

6. Loschky, L. and Bley-Vroman, R. (1993). Grammar and Task Based


Methodology. In Crookes, G & Grass, S. (eds) Tasks and Language Learning:
IntegratingTheory and Practice.Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

7. Wallace, M. (2000). Action Research for Language Teachers. New York:


Cambridge University Press.

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ICELT LESSON PLAN FORM

Name of teacher: Ivón Ester Lobo Fontalvo Candidate Number:

Institution: Colegio Jorge N. Abello

Date of Observation: DAY MONTH Time of observation Length of


YEAR class
22 02 50
2006 minutes

Class/grade: 8°A Room: New Technologies Room

Number of students: 40 Average age of Students: 13 - 14

Number of years of English study Level of students (please circle)


(students): 3 years
Elementary Intermediate
Advanced
Lesson Number (please circle)
Observer:
1 2 3 4
Aims:

By the end of the lesson students will be able to:


1. Associate vocabulary related to celebrations.
2. Look for specific information in a short text.
3. Ask information about holidays using wh questions ( what – when -
where )
4. Give information about holidays and festivals.
5. Write a comparative text about a holiday’s celebration in Colombia and
another country.
6. Design a holidays’ calendar

Personal aims:
1. Encourage students’ interaction
2. Foster the learners’ use of English in class.

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Assumed knowledge:
8°A students are able to:
a. Identify Wh and yes / no questions.
b. Identify expressions associated with dates such as : in April, on
October 31.
c. Identify expressions associated with places such as : in Colombia, at
home.
d. Identify verbs used to express activities in present tense.

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Description of language item / skill

Meaning

Holiday, day set apart for religious observance or for the commemoration of
some extraordinary event or distinguished person, or for some other public
occasion. Holidays are characterized by a partial or total cessation of work and
normal business activities and are generally accompanied by public and private
ceremonies, including feasting (or fasting), parades and carnivals, or displays of
flags and speechmaking.

Form

To ask about holidays’ information: To give information about holidays:


What is the name of the holiday? The name of the holiday/festival is…
When do they celebrate it? It is celebrate it in…/on …
Where do they celebrate it? It takes place in …
What do people do to celebrate it? People dance/ eat/ go to …
Do we celebrate that holiday in Yes, we do. / No, we don’t
Colombia? The same day. /We celebrate it in…
When do we celebrate it? /on…

Pronunciation

• • • •

• • • •

Materials :

• Reading texts taken from Teenagers 8 . Unit 1 ( Saint Valentine’s day,


Barranquilla’s carnival, Rio de Janeiro’s carnival, April fool’s day, The day of
the dead)

• Texts about Holy week, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas taken from


www.kencollins.com, www.usinfo.pl/aboutusa/holidays/other.htm,
www.wikipedia.com
and Encarta encyclopedia 2004.

• One computer for the teacher, 16 workstations, and a data projector.

• Photos taken from magazines and news papers.

• Pieces of papers, markers, glue..

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Rationale part 1: Profile of the learners

8°A is an EFL group of beginner learners. They are 40 students aged 13 – 14 who have a 50
minute English class per week at the New’s Technologies room.

The students are able to identify yes/no questions and wh questions using the present and past
tense. They can recognize verbs in present and past in the affirmative and negative forms, but
they still find difficult to use those structures in a written or oral way.

Therefore, it is necessary for them to get involved in a task where they can use all language
abilities to practice those structures in a productive form. They need to be engaged in activities in
which they can use their background knowledge about holidays and festivals in Colombia.

Rationale part 2: Anticipated problems

Anticipated problems Planned solutions

• Some students may be afraid of • I will encourage students’


speaking or writing in English. confidence by fostering
cooperative learning and using
positive feedback.
• Some students may not be able • I will provide a model to ask for
to ask for or give information and give information.
because they lack speaking skills.
• Some students might not be able • I will give them a guide to write
to write a composition . the composition. Besides, they
will use the information
gathered during the class.

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Procedure Time Tutor’s
Stage Aim APPENDIX
Teacher B
and student activity interacti comme
on nts
Presentatio Activate The teacher divides the class in five big groups and asks a student 10
n students’ from each group to choose an envelope to brainstorm the vocabulary minutes
schemata. considering the students context. The envelopes contain a sentence “ T- S
Colombian holiday in February”, “Colombian holiday in April”, S-S
“Colombian holiday in October”, “Colombian holiday in December”,
“Colombian holiday in November”. They discuss what to write to
complete a mind map in a piece of paper (appendix C). Students
transfer the information to table on the board (appendix D)
The teacher elicits the cultural similarities and differences between
Colombian and other nations celebrations through questions: Which
nations celebrate carnivals, too?, Do they use the same music or
dances?
Practice Read about Students, in groups of 3, sit in their workstations and watch slides 20
holidays. about holidays or festivals in other nations. The teacher asks them to minutes
identify the celebrations and answer if weather we celebrate those T–S
Look for specific holidays in Colombia or not (see appendix E). The teacher asks: What S–S
information. questions should we use to ask for holidays’ information?: the name,
place, date and activities people do. Students write the answers on the
Ask for and give board.
information The teacher divides the class in 8 groups. Each group reads about a
about holidays. different holiday (appendix F). The teacher asks the students to
conduct a survey to 3 different students using a model conversation
and a table to collect the information (appendix G ).
Production Write about a Students ,in pairs, write about a holiday that is celebrated in 20
holiday Colombia and other nation, too. They answer the following minutes
Compare cultural questions to produce a comparative text: S–S
differences. 1st paragraph: What international holiday are you
going to write about?, When is it celebrate it?,
Where?, What activities do people do?.
2nd paragraph: What is the name of the holiday in
Colombia?, When is it celebrate it?, Where did you do
Assign go last year to celebrate it?, What activities did you
homework or your friends do to celebrate it?
The students use the word processor to save the information
(appendix H).
Design a calendar with the information you wrote. Use Word
models for calendars and the image gallery.
PRESENTATION

MIND MAP FOR GROUP WORK

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COLOMBIAN HOLIDAY(S)
IN ________________

Name: Name:

Days of celebration: Place of celebration: Days of celebration: Place of celebration:

Activities you did to


Activities you did to celebrate it last year:
celebrate it last year:

USEFUL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR THE ACTIVITY

• What is the name of the celebration we are going to write about?


 Let’s write about__________________
• When do we celebrate it?
 In ______________________
• Where do we celebrate it?
 We go to ___________________
• Where did you go to celebrate it last year?
 I ________________

APPENDIX C

PRACTICE

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WATCH THE MULTIMEDIA SLIDES. IDENTIFY THE HOLIDAYS AND


WRITE A TICK  IF WE CELEBRATE THOSE HOLIDAYS IN COLOMBIA
OR NOT.

Do we

it

?
Holidays in other nations Yes No Colombian name for this holiday
1
2
3
4
5

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Model Dialogue

A. What was the celebration in slide n° 1?


B. It was________________________ and What holiday did you see in slide n° 2
A. It was ___________________________ . What about n°3?
B. I think it is _____________________. What did you write in n°4?
A. __________________________. And what do you have in n° 5?
B. ____________________________ Did you write the Colombian names for these
holidays?
A. Yes, they are _______________./ No, I didn’t. Did you?
B. Yes, they are _______________./ No, I didn’t.
A. Thank you.
B. Any time

APPENDIX E

Interview 3 partners. Find out about different holidays and festivals in other nations.
Fill in the table with the information.

Partner Name of Holiday Place Date Activities

FOLLOW THE CONVERSATION TO INTERVIEW YOUR PARTNER


A: Hi!
B: Hello!
A: Can you give me some information about a holiday, please?
B: Sure.
A: What holiday did you read about?

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B: I read about _____________________________


A: Where do they celebrate it?
B: In _______________________
A: When do they celebrate it?
B: In / on _________________________________
A: How do people celebrate it?
B: _______________________________________
A: That’s all. Thanks.
B: Your welcome

APPENDIX F
WRITING
PAIR WORK ACTIVITY

Compare the way people celebrate a holiday in Colombia and in another country. Use
the information given in the class. Answer the following questions to
produce your text.

1st paragraph: What international holiday are you going to write about?,
When is it celebrate it?, Where?, What activities do people do?.

2nd paragraph: What is the name of the holiday in Colombia?, When is it


celebrate it?, Where did you do go last year to celebrate it?, What
activities did you or your friends do to celebrate it?

I’m going to write about


_________________________________________________
It is celebrated in ______________________________. People from
_____________
celebrate it in ________________________________. During this celebration
people__________________________________________________________________.

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In my country, Colombia, we call this holiday


_____________________________. It is celebrated in _________________________
. Last year, I __________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

PRESENTATION

TABLE TO TRANSFER INFORMATION ON THE BOARD

HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS IN COLOMBIA


MONTH HOLIDAY(S PLACE(S) DAY(S) ACTIVITIES

)
FEBRUARY

APRIL

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

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NAMES: Jorge Gonzalez, Alexander James. Workstation 12.

Halloween is celebrated in
October 31st in all the world.
In United States the children
and the adults dress
costumes. Children say:
“Trick or teat” to ask
candies. Adults celebrate
In my country, Colombia, we
call this holiday dia de las
brujitas or día de los niños. In
Barranquilla it is the Day of the
Angels. Halloween is
celebrated in October 31st in
the evening and the Day of the
Angels is in November 1st in the
morning. Last year I did not
use costume. I went to the
houses and said: “Triqui, triqui
with parties. School dances and neighborhood
parties called “block parties” are popular among
young and old.

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