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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
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    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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