14 Jun 2013

Adapting a coursebook.

In most subjects and in any grade level, teachers and, therefore, students are expected to use a textbook as a resource in their classes. However, we have to bear in mind that although those textbooks are produced by experts, experienced teachers and teacher trainers, they are created to be used by teachers who work in different teaching contexts, in different countries and with students who are in the same class, but whose level is not exactly the same. Therefore we need some things that the book doesn't provide:

CREATIVITY to adapt the textbook in order to address our students' learning needs.
SELECTION CRITERION to choose just those activities which can be useful, meaningful and suit your students' needs.
SUPPLEMENT the textbook with other kinds of activities which could work for our students and can help them develop their speaking skills and fluency.
ADAPT the activities so that they are interesting, motivating and meaningful for our students.

This is an example of an activity I adapted from the coursebook for one of my one-to-one classes with my 9 years old student.  I was supposed to create a short theatre play with a group of students, but it was just her and me in the classroom. So, I decided that she could create a very short piece on her own including some of the new vocabulary and other expressions she had learn during the school year. She wrote the script and then we recorded it. This is the result. I hope you like it!

The search (Part 1) by inmaav on GoAnimate

 The Search (Second Part) by urpillay on GoAnimate

If you are interested in discovering other possibilities to adapt your textbook I recommend you to watch Shelly Terrell's presentation on the topic:


I feel the biggest challenge for most teachers is the amount of freedom they have when it comes to adapting a coursebook. Most of us in ELT want to make this relevant and specific to each student but feel restricted by our language school institution.

That GoAnimate! site is something that I need to look into!

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