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 Adapting and Supplementing Textbooks by A.Belhadia

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HAMADA
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PostSubject: Adapting and Supplementing Textbooks by A.Belhadia    Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:09 am

Adapting and Supplementing Textbooks

As an inspector ,and throughout my visits to teachers of the district
under my supervision (Chlef West), many teachers argued that they
remarked a difficulty in the content the textbooks ,a fact that inhibits
the learning process obviously.Actually , this can be interpreted as
inadequacy of the content with the learners' level and needs.
This calls aloud for a skillful intervention from the teachers' part as a
decision taker within the teaching/learning process. This intervention
lies in adapting the suggested input , this
includes mainly scripts ,visuals and activities, in the way that it
fits the learning situation while the objectives of the lessons are
preserved as stated in the syllabus.

ADAPTING TEXTBOOK ACTIVITIES


Since language planning is new, LP activities are not included in
many coursebooks. However, as Graves (2003, p. 230) points out, any
“coursebook must be adapted to your particular group of learners.” Using
the acronym SARS (Select, Adapt,
Reject, Supplement), Graves suggests ways of considering how to modify
one’s own coursebook. In that spirit,you will find here ways to
modify—in particular to adapt and supplement—coursebook materials to
incorporated language planning.

Pre-Listening Tasks

Many coursebook tasks include
pre-listening tasks as warm-up activities. These are often done for the
purpose of schema activation and to integrate top-down and bottom-up
processing. (Helgesen, 2003a). It should be noted that pre-listening
tasks are language planning, indeed, they are one of the most common and
accepted types of LP. If a listening activity does not have a
pre-listening task, one can be easily added simply by asking several
simple questions:
• What is the task? What do you need to do?
• Look at the questions? What do you already know about this topic? What vocabulary do you think you will hear?
• Look at the picture(s) (if any). What vocabulary can you name?
By having students work through
these questions, they are familiarizing themselves with the task. In the
process, they are preparing themselves to listen.

Personalize Listening Questions

After a listening task, ask 3-5 questions about the learners, based
on the listening topic. They answer about themselves. Example: If they
were listening to descriptions of people, they would hear questions
like: How long is your hair? Do you wear glasses? What do you look like?
Write at least 3 words. etc.
Then they compare in pairs or small groups.
• If they compare answers, it builds fluency & complexity.
• If they try to remember the questions based on their answers, it works on accuracy. Note that there is no reason you can’t do both.

Extend Textbook Dialogs

Most coursebooks contain dialogues. And the purpose of a dialogue, of
course, is to have practiced the dialogue. That is, the purpose is to
move beyond the conversation on the page to having conversations
containing the learners’ own ideas and information. Build on dialogues
with a 3-minute conversation task. Assign the topic. Learners close
their books. They try to have an English only conversation. Note that
this is not the same thing as “free conversation.” It is the combination
of the assigned topic plus the challenge of using English – and only
English – for three minutes that makes it an actual tasks. With this
technique, the dialogue practice served as LP.

Preview the Page

Before starting a pair- or groupwork activity, give learners a few minutes to look over the
page and read the questions or task information. They’ll naturally
start thinking about their answers. Use background music to fill the
silence. Using relaxing background music during mental preparation
activities can “fill up” the empty time. It helps both the teacher and
students become comfortable with silence. The most common genres are new
age, light classical or world music. Put the CD player on one side of
the classroom and tell student that, if they don’t like music, they can
sit on the opposite side of the room.

Evaluate the Questions

In a pairwork or groupwork that involves asking and answering many
questions, have them look over the questions before they start. They
rate each for interest. They can either use a numerical system (1=very
interesting, 2=so-so, 3= not interesting) or something as simple as
smiley faces (☺). Going through and rating the questions means learners
have to think about the content. They begin the production phase of the
activity by talking about the most interesting questions which means
they are starting at a high level of interest. Then they start with the
interesting ones.

English Please

Have the learners, in pairs or groups, answer questions without
obliging them to use English first.Then, after a minute or so, say,
“English please.” They have to try to say the same thing, but this time
in English. This allows them to think of their answers before having to
explain those answers in a foreign language.

Focus on Target Structures

Do pronunciation work with the language map or target sentences that
appear in the coursebook. Remember, of course, that pronunciation is
not only a mechanical process. Pronunciation does not begin in the voice
box. It begins in the mind (Maley, 2001.). Do pronunciation tasks that
encourage learners to work with the sounds mentally, then attempt to
match them physically. By doing pronunciation work just before a fluency
activity, it makes the learners aware of the forms which will come up
during the task. Ways to practice that involve the three primary senses
used for information processing (visuals, auditor and kinesthetic).
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