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TSL 3105 Teaching of Listening and Speaking Skills

in the Primary ESL classroom

TOPIC 3

SELECTION AND ADAPTATION OF MATERIALS


AND ACTIVITIES

3.0 SYNOPSIS
This topic aims to enhance learners knowledge of selection and
adaptation of materials to teach listening and speaking skills. It focuses
on the principles of selection and adaptation. It also provides the criteria
for evaluation of materials. Finally, some activities on devising listening
and speaking tasks based on selected learning outcomes for practice.
3.1 LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of Topic 3, you will be able to:

A. demonstrate an understanding of the principles of selection and


adaptation of materials
B. select, create and evaluate materials for developing listening and
speaking skills
C. devise listening and speaking tasks based on selected learning
outcomes

A & B. 3.2 FRAMEWORK OF TOPICS

Selection and Adaptation of Materials

Principles of selection and


Criteria
adaption
for evaluation
of materials
of materials

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Devising and listening and


speaking tasks based on
selected learning outcomes

TSL 3105 Teaching of Listening and Speaking Skills


in the Primary ESL classroom

3.3 CONTENT
CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION OF MATERIALS
Language teachers have a wide choice of materials to be used in the
language classroom. The textbook is one of the materials. Textbook
writers produce the materials to meet the needs of the intended users,
however, they are subject to adaptation when they are actually used in
the classroom. This is because the textbooks are not written for any
particular class and only the teacher teaching the class will be able to
tell whether the materials are suitable for the target group of students or
not. In most ELT cases, teachers have to adapt the materials they are
using if they want their teaching to be more effective and more
interesting.
Before a material is used in the classroom, teachers need to evaluate
the suitability of the material so that there is no mismatch between what
is needed and what is provided by checking the criteria for material
selection.
Criteria for material selection

The material must match the goals and objectives of the syllabus
or language programme.
The material should be consistent with the teaching-learning
situation / approach.
The authenticity of the material.
the material must suit the target audience level /ability, needs,
interest, time
The material should be reasonably priced if cost is involved
The material should make learning easier
the material should create joy and interest in the learners.
The material should be attractive, colourful, and durable where
applicable.

Below is a checklist for evaluation of materials.


a. Checklist for evaluation and selection of listening and speaking
materials

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TSL 3105 Teaching of Listening and Speaking Skills


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(adapted from Alan Cunningsworth (1995) Choosing Your Coursebook,


Oxford, Heinemann)

Aims and approaches

Do the aims of the materials correspond closely with the aims of your
lesson objectives and with the needs of the learners
Is the material suited to the learning / teaching situation?
Design and organisation
How is the content organised? ( e.g. According to structures, functions,
topics, skills, etc)? Is the organisation right for learners and you?
How is the content sequenced? ( e.g. On the basis of complexity,
learnability, usefulness, etc)?
What type of text is it? (expository, narrative, descriptive, discursive,
etc)
Is the layout clear? (printed materials)
Language Content
Does the material cover the grammar item you intend to teach?
Is the vocabulary level suitable to your students ability?
If you are focussing on pronunciation, does the material include
individual sounds/ word stress/ sentence stress/ intonation?
Are style and appropriacy dealt with? If so, is language style matched
to social situation?
Skills and recorded materials
Does the material cover the particular micro skill for listening
comprehension /oral communication you intend to teach?
Is listening material well-recorded?
Is listening material authentic / non-authentic?
Does the dialogue have many speakers?
Is the speech clear?
Is the accent familiar to the students?
Is there any visual support material?
Topic
Is the topic of the listening material in the scope of the syllabus?
Is the topic familiar? (Culture)
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TSL 3105 Teaching of Listening and Speaking Skills


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Will the topic help expand students awareness and enrich their
experience?

Teachers guide

Are typescripts provided?


Is there adequate guidance as to how to conduct the activity?
Is there any justification on the basic premises and principles
underlying the material?
Teachers have the choice of selecting authentic or non-authentic materials for
their lessons. Authentic materials are produced in response to real life
communicative needs rather than an imitation of real life communicative
needs. On the other hand non-authentic materials are materials that are
specially produced for pedagogical purposes. However, it is recomended that
teachers should expose authentic materials to the pupils as they will
encounter these materials in the real world.
Examples of materials that can be used for teaching Listening and Speaking
skills
b. Printed materials

books
story books
newspaper articles
brochures / pamphlets
notices
announcements
calendars
internet articles
blogs

c. Printed authentic materials

fairy Tales
songs
news
announcements
excerpts from TV shows/ Movies

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TSL 3105 Teaching of Listening and Speaking Skills


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movie Trailers
conversation face-to-face, telephone
weather report
Nursery rhymes
Documentaries
Advertisements

Discussion
1. Select five different materials to be used for a target group. Based on the
above checklist, discuss the suitability of the materials for the target
students. Present your answer in class.
2. Discuss the relevance of using authentic materials in the classroom with
specific examples.

PRINCIPLES OF MATERIALS ADAPTATION


Learning is an individual process of gathering and understanding
knowledge and learners have different preferences and requirements
for learning. This diversity commonly requires a supply of learning
material that fits to the learners needs.
Teachers have the textbook as a source of materials but not all the
materials match the particular group of pupils they are teaching.
Therefore, the textbook should be regarded as a resource for creativity
and inspiration. No book will suit all the students in terms of their
learning styles, motivations, interests and levels of English that is why
teachers need to adapt materials for the lessons.
Materials adaptation should be based on the results of materials
evaluation. It is importartant to note that different materials have
different potential areas for adaptation. The following are some common
deficiencies of existing ELT materials:
fail (unable) to fulfil the goals and objectives specified by
national or local syllabuses or curricula
fail to fulfil the goals and objectives of schools where the
materials are used
cannot be finished in the time available
require facilities or equipment or other supporting materials
that are not available

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TSL 3105 Teaching of Listening and Speaking Skills


in the Primary ESL classroom

not engaging the learners personality


detrimental to the learners culture
not cater for the learners interests

The following are principles of materials adaptation:

Make dialogues communicative


Make learning activities relevant and purposeful
Meet the learners needs, both external and psychological
Use models of real, authentic language

Very often, adaptation involves supplementation, that is, teachers add


materials from other resources to the textbook they are using. It is believed
that authentic materials are better than non-authentic materials for
supplementation. So teachers who make a point of collecting authentic
materials find it much easier to adapt textbooks. This is especially true in
ELT contexts where authentic English materials are not always readily to
hand.
a. Factors to bear in mind when adaptating materials:

Teachers should not adapt materials too casually, e.g. based on his or
her own preferences or tastes;
Materials deleted or added should not go beyond a reasonable
proportion, otherwise consider alternative materials.
Teachers should not adapt materials only to cater for the needs of exams
or tests.

b. Level of materials adaptation


Textbook adaptation can be done at three levels:

Macro adaptation

This is ideally done before the language programme begins. After


comparing what is covered in a textbook and what is required by the
syllabus or examination, the teacher may find that certain areas or even
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TSL 3105 Teaching of Listening and Speaking Skills


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whole units of the book can be omitted, and certain contents need to be
supplemented. Macro adaptation is very important because it helps to avoid
waste of time and energy of the teacher and the students as well. It also
helps the teacher to see in advance what he or she needs to supplement so
that he or she can keep an eye on materials that could be used.

Adapting a unit

This could be reordering the activities, combining activities, omitting


activities, rewriting or supplementing exercise material, et cetera. Unit
adaptation improves classroom teaching and helps the teacher to better
fulfil the aims of a unit.

Adaptation of specific activities

Occasionally an activity is regarded as valuable, but it is not well-designed


or it is not feasible in a particular class. If the teacher does not want to give
up the activity, he or she needs to adapt it.
c.

Specific adaptation

Materials adaptation can be carried out using the following techniques:


Omission: the teacher leaves out things deemed inappropriate,
offensive, unproductive, et cetera, for the particular group.
Addition: where there seems to be inadequate coverage,
teachers may decide to add to textbooks, either in the form of
texts or exercise materiall.
Reduction: where the teacher shortens an activity to give it less
weight or emphasis.
Extension: where an activity is lengthened in order to give it an
additional dimension. (for example, a vocabulary activity is
extended to draw attention to some syntactic patterning.)
Rewriting/modification: teacher may occasionally decide to
rewrite material, especially exercise material, to make it more
appropriate, more communicative, more demanding, more
accessible to their students, et cetera.
Replacement: text or exercise material which is considered
inadequate, for whatever reason, may be replaced by more
suitable material. This is often culled from other resource

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TSL 3105 Teaching of Listening and Speaking Skills


in the Primary ESL classroom

materials.
Re-ordering: teachers may decide that the order in which the
textbooks are presented is not suitable for their students. They
can then decide to plot a different course through the textbooks
from the one the writer has laid down.
Branching: teachers may decide to add options to the existing
activity or to suggest alternative pathways through the activities.
(for example, an experiential route or an analytical route.)
Task 1
Select 4 different types of authentic materials for teaching listening and speaking
skills. Based on the learning outcomes or content standard, adapt the materials
using the techniques of adaptation to suit your target students. Present your work
in the class.
DEVISE LISTENING AND SPEAKING TASKS BASED ON SELECTED
LEARNING OUTCOMES
Materials selected can be exploited for many purposes. One of it is to
devise listening and speaking tasks for language teaching. Tasks designed
must match the learning outcomes in the syllabus. An example of listening
and speaking tasks is as follow:
Target group: Year 4
Learning Outcome: 1.4 Listen to and follow simple instructions and
directions accurately.
Specifications:
1.4.2 Listen to and follow simple instructions
Material : Recording of a person giving instructions how to make a traditional
kite. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2QLdTiOU3c&feature=related)
Tapescript
How to make a traditional kite (Time 3 minutes)
Hi welcome . Were going to make a traditional kite. This is the kind of kite you
are probably used to see the old fashion kite. Its diamond shape and heres the
materials you need to do this kite. Youll need two pieces of stick wood one 33
inches one 36 inches Quater inch better have some some flexibility to it so it
doesnt crack. Some strings not just for flying the kite but for building the kite. A
couple of little tools- some sicssors; a little cutting tool you can use a little pocket
knife if you dont have something like that some masking tape some pieces of
cloths, cut like this into strips, a plastic bag or newspapers and this will be the
actual body of the kite. Im going to use plastic bag but you can use newspaper
too.

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TSL 3105 Teaching of Listening and Speaking Skills


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Ill show you how to build this kite. The first thing you need to do is take these
pieces of wood. I dont know if you can see this... but Ive cut a notch, I put two
wraps of masking tape around both ends of this and then ive cut a little notch in
there if you can see that... a little notch cut in there youre going to need and the
masking tape is really good put the masking tape all the way to the end this is
really good thisll prevent the wood from splitting and you dont have to use clear
wood you can use round owl but nice and thin reasonably flexible, thin for the
weight and flexible so that it can so that it wont crack or break in the wind .
Ok Im starting to assemble the kite here. Let me show you a couple of things. 10
inches.... this is the 36 inch-long piece that is going to be your upbreak. 10
inches from one end this is where you attach your 33 in piece like this. What I
did is I put it at the centre of this piece try to keep it as centre as possible. Put a
couple of masking tape then I wrap a bunch of string around it nice and tight
then I put a little more tape to make sure the string is locked. Then I just wrap a
piece of string all the way around the kite like this and I start it at the bottom and
I end it at the bottom here because erm youre going to use a little bit of tape to
tie it up to wrap it up itll make the bottom a little just a bit heavier its not much
but it makes a difference. Ah! After you do that put some tape over the all four of
the corners so that it holds the string in place you dont want that string to
somehow pop out a little notch. And when youre doing it make sure make sure
when youre assembling the two boards two sticks together make sure that you
line it up so that the notches are the right way.. this way and if you accidentally
put the notches the other way youll not going to be able to put the string in and
youll have to make two notches and youre take it apart so get all the notches
lined up the right way before you assemble the centre piece here. So that looks
pretty good, its pretty tight make it so pretty tight and make it so tight so that it
bows a little bit so this piece bows a little bit so im going to put the actual plastic
bag on there Ill show you how you do that. Ill be right back.
Lay your kite down... lay your kite down on top of of your plastic or the
newspaper then cut all the way round it get it nice and flat and cut all the way
around it may be leaving an inch here well may be an inch extra coz youre going
to fold this up and tape it down so cut all the way around that and youll be ready
to attach the kite and Ill show you how to do that.
Ok Ive cut my plastic. All you have to do is fold this over the string and line a
tape on it like this. Start on one side to the top and when youre doing this other
side and you can pull it taut. Tape it both sides so its reasonably tight. so Im
going ahead and Id do that Its almost done.
Listening Task 1: First listening -listen and list the items required to make the kite.
Listening Task 2: Second listening :Listen and label sequence the steps in
making a kite. (Teacher prepares the task sheet with the steps
in a jumbled order) / Listen again and make the kite in pairs/
groups.(Teacher prepares the materials for each group)

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TSL 3105 Teaching of Listening and Speaking Skills


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(The recording can be re-played and freeze for teaching


purposes until students finished making the kite.)
Listening and speaking Task 3: Group discussion for decorating and designing
the kite followed by presentation of discussion. /
One student listens to the groups instruction and
decorate the kite.
Example 2:
Target group: Year 5
Learning Outcome: 2.2 Ask questions politely to obtain information and
clarification.
2.3 Give relevant information politely in response to
enquiries made.
Specifications:

2.2.2 Ask other forms of questions to seek information


2.3.3 Talk about things heard, seen or read.

Material: Identical pictures of Cinderella for Spot the Difference activity


Student A

Student B

Listening and speaking task:


Students work in pairs labelled A and B. Each gets a corresponding picture as in
above. Student A and B are not allowed to see each others picture from the story
book, Cinderalla. Both students have to ask questions above one anothers
picture to get the differences and similiarities.
Example:

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TSL 3105 Teaching of Listening and Speaking Skills


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Student A: Cinderella is holding a broom in her left hand. Is she holding a


broom in your picture?
Student B: Yes she is holding a broom in her left hand. The mouse at her feet is
jumping up and down .....
Task 2:
Select 3 types of materials for teaching listening and speaking skills to three
different target level. Devise two listening and speaking tasks for each material
based on selected learning outcomes. Present your work in class.
Further reading:
Cunningsworth, A. (1995) Choosing Your Coursebook, Oxford: Heinemann.
Harmer, J. (2007) The Practice of English Language Teaching: England
:Pearson Education.
Grant, N. (1987) Making the Most of Your Textbook. Essex: Longman.
Sinnan M. (2010) Materials in TEFL: A Discussion of What Lies Behind Them and
Implications Humanising Language Teaching Year 12: Issue 4.
http://www.hltmag.co.uk/aug10/sart04.htm

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