How to choose a good textbook for your language class
Dec 2, 2020
How to choose a good textbook for your language class
Although it is sometimes somewhat uncomfortable for students of a language course, the need to have a study book is more than evident. With languages it is not the same as with other subjects, in which it is possible to do without this type of books, since the need for resources and, especially, audiovisuals, is essential for the student to be able to deepen in the foreign language, learn and let loose when creating both written and oral texts. Therefore, today we are going to give some advice to language teachers who need to choose a book or the most suitable for their students, which allows them to get the most out of their study and do it in the most distracted way possible.
There is no perfect textbook
As an experienced foreign language teacher, you will know that there is no magic formula when it comes to textbooks to get it all in one. That is to say, it is quite difficult to find a textbook with everything we want or need to be able to approach the teaching process with maximum completeness. For this reason, on many occasions and with the intention of making better classes and making things easier for our students, we always have to go to extra material that complements the textbook.
Over the years of work, we recommend that you collect material, that you set up your resource folders in different formats so that you can take advantage of them in your future classes. But you have to go finding them and you have to go looking for them. However, there are many very good textbooks that can be of great help as they contain practically everything you are looking for.
Tips when choosing a good textbook for your language class
- The first thing you have to do is get hold of the catalog of the publishers specialized in working with this type of books, with those that offer the most resources. This will allow you to have a greater breadth and a greater knowledge of the material that exists for sale in order to acquire it for your students. Remember that many publishers, if not all, offer free samples of their books to study centers. Ask everyone to take a good look at the book, study the different possibilities and decide which ones are truly worthwhile and fit your needs as a teacher.
- Do not limit yourself only to the large publishers or the most recognized. Of course, if they have a name, it will be for a reason. But do not forget to also approach other possibilities, even if they are smaller or limited, since sometimes they have great and very good materials that can cover some of the needs that other large publishers do not cover because they are very specific.
- What ever age that your students are, do not forget to choose a book text with visual material, because that motivates much learning as well as helping a lot with memorization. Check that they do not exceed, but also that they are lacking.
- Remember that all books must have an auditory material so that students can also work on that part. For this reason, do not forget to choose a book that has a CD or an application from which students can listen to the conversations, dialogues and oral activities.
- There are books that want to be so concise that they do not introduce any theoretical explanation in their lessons. It is very good that they do it in a schematic and fast way, but it is necessary that the books contain basic explanations of the theoretical part, so that the students always have them at hand and can resort to it to solve their doubts. You don't have to go overboard and do it in a heavy way, but you do have to show up. Otherwise, it would mean you preparing it and delivering it to the student and that is unnecessary work that you can avoid.
- The textbooks used in the language classroom must contain activities of all kinds: revision, recoliation, reinforcement ... This is essential so that each student, according to their needs, can use them at different times, they can prepare the content well and internalize it.
- Don't forget to choose a textbook that also works on the cultural part. In this way, the study and learning of a foreign language will be much more complete, as well as enjoyable. That will ensure you some other more calm and relaxed class.
- Everything will depend on the context and the need of each student, but it would be convenient for you to choose a textbook for your language classes that also had a digital version that the student can access. That would make work easier for many and make it more enjoyable.
- It is also essential that your textbook has a workbook per topic, either in the same book or as a separate book. This is great because this way the students can work on the same book without having to carry notebooks, ect. In addition, it ensures that students are practicing while learning.
- And don't forget to choose a textbook that provides you with the teacher's guide. These guides are great and they help a lot, with dynamics and tips to work the foreign language as fully as possible with your students.
- It is necessary that the textbook you use for your language class works on the fundamental skills within each topic: comprehension of texts and oral, written and spoken expression. Students need to have sufficient resources to prepare for these four basic parts. Otherwise, you should look for complementary material for the daily and fundamental work.