Materials Development for language learning and teaching

Mind Map by vejhama, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by vejhama about 4 years ago


Materials can be informative (informing the learner about the target language), instructional (guiding the learner in practising the language), experiential (providing the learner with experience of the language in use), eliciting (encouraging the learner to use the language) and exploratory (helping the learner to make discoveries about the language).

Resource summary

Materials Development for language learning and teaching
1 ‘Materials development’ refers to all the processes made use of by practitioners who produce and/or use materials for language learning, including materials evaluation, their adaptation,, design, production, exploitation and research
2 History of publications on materials development
2.1 Madsen & Bowen (1978) and Swales (1980), and Candlin & Breen. Books and papers asserted that the good teacher is constantly adapting materials. Some others about evaluating and designing materials.
2.1.1 Cunningsworth (1984) exemplified methods and approaches by quoting extracts from coursebooks. Other principles from coursebooks were Dubin & Olshtain’s (1986) book on course design and Grant’s (1987). Journals with articles in the 70's and the 80's. In the 90's Byrd (1995), Cunningsworth (1995), Graves (1996) and Tomlinson (1998) worked on guides for materials writers, books, procedures and papers at conferences.. Some samples of existing materials by McDonough & Shaw (1998, 2003) McDonough, Shaw & Masuhara (2012). In the 2000s Fenner & Newby (2000) Richards (2001) McGrath (2002) (Tomlinson 2003 about design, curriculum, evaluation. Tomlinson (2007) (2008) proposed applications of theories to materials development. Research on recasts, on visual imaging, on the use of the inner voice and on comprehension approaches. Harwood (2010a) explores a genre-based approach to developing materials for writing, reading, and designing materials for community-based adult ESL programs. Tomlinson & Masuhara (2010), (2011), (2012), Gray (2010) based on writing skills, and process drama and problem-solving approaches, textbook development, tasks and new technologies. Most recent publication of Tomlinson & Masuhara (2012) about applied linguistics. Contains suggestions and illustration about how to apply these findings to materials development.
3 Materials evaluation
3.1 Establishing criteria and developing evaluation instruments
3.1.1 Tucker (1975) proposed a four-component scheme for measuring the internal and external value of beginners’, Davison (1976) proposed a five-category scheme for the evaluation and selection of textbooks and Dauod & Celce-Murcia (1979) provided checklists of criteria for evaluating coursebooks. Candlin & Breen (1980) evaluating materials. Rivers (1981) provided categories and criteria for evaluating materials. Some others that wrote about it: Mariani (1983) evaluation and supplementation, Williams (1983) textbook evaluation and Cunningsworth (1984) evaluation criteria ‘for evaluating teaching material’ (p. 74). Breen & Candlin (1987) published a guide for evaluators and producers and Sheldon (1987, 1988) suggested criteria for evaluation in textbook . Skierso (1991) the most comprehensive checklist of criteria by combining checklists from various sources. Cunningsworth (1995), Harmer (1991, 1998), Roberts (1996), Ur (1996), Brown (1997), Hemsley (1997) and Gearing (1999) proposed checklists for evaluating materials. Matthews (1985) specification of the teaching situation, Cunningsworth (1995) criteria to the target learners and Byrd (2001) conection between textbook and the curriculum, students and teachers. Tomlinson & Masuhara (2004: 7) proposed questions for evaluating criteria such as: appropiated evaluation, asking one question, freedom of dogma, reliability. a) ‘Are there any materials for testing?’ (Cunningsworth 1984) ‘Are the learning activities in the course material likely to appeal to the learners...?’ b) ‘Is it attractive? Given the average age of your students, would they enjoy using it?’ (Grant 1987: 122) combines two questions in one criterion. Mukundan & Ahour (2010) review 48 evaluation checklists from 1970 to 2008. Generating clear, concise and flexible criteria would be more useful than detailed checklists. Tomlinson (2003b) and Ellis (2011). Mukundan & Ahour (2010) an evaluation of multiple components and including computer analysis of the script of the materials (focusing, for example, on the vocabulary load or on recycling). Tomlinson (2003b) universal and local criteria. Universal criteria evaluates materials for any learner anywhere.. Local criteria are those specific to the context in which the materials are going to be used. A procedure for such criteria (pp. 27–33), was used in Tomlinson et al. (2001) and in Masuhara et al. (2008). Tomlinson (2003b) evaluation ‘focuses on the users of the materials’. Measures potential or actual effects of the materials on their users. Byrd (2001) evaluation for selection and analysis for implementation. McDonough & Shaw (2003: 61) suggest that the evaluators first conduct an external evaluation ‘that offers a brief overview from the outside’ and then carry out ‘a closer and more detailed internal evaluation’. Cunningsworth (1995) bases on the importance of collecting data about the context of learning and proposes a procedure which includes a survey of the teaching/learning situation, a neutral analysis, a belief-driven evaluation and a selection. Wallace (1998), who suggests twelve ‘criterion areas’ for materials evaluation. Tomlinson & Masuhara (2004), with their evaluation procedure for inexperienced teachers and McCullagh (2010), who sets out the procedure she used to evaluate materials for medical practitioners.
3.2 Reporting evaluations
3.2.1 Many journals publish regular predictive reviews of recent materials about conducting evaluations. Such as the following: Tomlinson et al. (2001) and Masuhara et al. (2008) both welcomed the attempts to personalise the coursebooks and the expensive and unwanted increase in the number of components of coursebooks, the neglect of literature as a source of potentially engaging texts, the lack of intelligent content at lower levels, the neglect of extensive reading and listening. Other survey reviews that appeared in ELT Journal include Tribble (2009) on resources for teaching academic writing, McDonough (2010) on materials for English for specific purposes, and Wilson (2010) on materials for IELTS preparation. Micro-evaluations of materials. Ellis (2011: 234), micro-evaluations are ‘often seen as too localised and too small scale, and so theoretically uninteresting’. In Tomlinson (2008a) there are reports of macro-evaluations as well as of nine evaluations of materials currently used in different parts of the world. There are also reports of micro-evaluations of materials in action in Mukundan (2006a), Harwood (2010a) and Tomlinson & Masuhara (2010). Production of materials development. Donovan (1998) describes piloting as a way of obtaining feedback on the effectiveness of materials. More cost-effective and time-saving methods, such as reviews from experienced teachers and from academics, feedback from focus groups, questionnaires, expert panels, editorial visits and classroom observations, and competitor analysis. Amrani (2011) provides examples of some of these in action and also discusses the benefits and problems of evaluating materials in development. The main concerns of publishers relate to the extent to which their draft materials appeal to their intended users in terms of appearance, content and approach. Although, Ellis (2011), reports three micro-evaluations of the effectiveness of task materials. Another exception is Barnard (2007), who reports a study of the effectiveness of materials using a comprehension approach.
4 Materials adaptation
4.1 Madsen & Bowen (1978) propose ways of personalising, individualising, localising and modernising materials.
4.1.1 Candlin & Breen (1980), criticise published communicative materials and suggest ways of adapting them. Cunningsworth (1984), focuses on how to change materials so that they get the learners to do. Willis (1996), on ways of changing classroom management and sequencing to maximise the value of taskbased materials, Nunan (1999), on procedures for making materials more interactive and White (1998), on ways of increasing student participation when using listening materials. McGrath (2002) proposes ‘four evaluative processes’ (p. 59) when basing a lesson on a coursebook and goes on to discuss the issues and procedures involved in each process. Islam & Mares (2003) y borrow objectives and categories from previously published lists but include such objectives as adding real choice, catering for all learner styles, providing for learner autonomy, developing high-level cognitive skills, and making the input both more accessible and more engaging. Saraceni (2003), proposes that materials should actually be written with learner adaptation in mind, aiming to be learner-centred, flexible, open-ended, relevant, universal and authentic, and giving choices to learners. Jolly & Bolitho (2011), who propose a dynamic approach to materials writing and adaptation which involves teachers as materials writers trialling their materials with their classes and then modifying them to take account of student feedback and suggestions.
5 Materials production
5.1 How writers write
5.1.1 Hidalgo et al. (1995) reports by materials writers on how they wrote materials. Johnson (2003) studied the literature on task-based teaching. Experiment about ‘design an activity involving the function of describing people’ Prowse (2011) focus on the creative, inspirational aspect of materials writing (‘coursebook writing is a creative rather than a mechanical process’ (p. 173)) The ongoing evaluation is driven by a set of agreed principles, both universal principles to any learning context and local criteria.
5.2 Principled development of materials
5.2.1 . Hall (1995: 8) insists that the crucial question we need to ask is ‘How do we think people learn languages?’ and goes on to discuss the principles which he thinks should ‘underpin everything we do in planning and writing our materials’ (ibid.). Tomlinson (1998b: 5–22; 2011b) proposes fifteen principles for materials development which derive from second language acquisition (SLA) research and from his experience, and a number of other writers outline principled approaches to developing ELT materials in Tomlinson (1998a, 2011a). Tan (2002) is concerned with the role that corpus-based approaches can and should play in language teaching and contains chapters from around the world which discuss the contribution that corpora have made in, for example, the conversation class, and the teaching of vocabulary, fixed expressions, writing and collocation Tomlinson (2010c), however, points out some of the limitations of corpora and suggests ways of supplementing the information gained from them by making use of author, teacher and learner research involving following up insights gained from analysis of texts with searches for further textual evidence. Tomlinson 2008b), which proposes ways of applying commonly agreed theories of language acquisition to materials development. The principles proposed include: • the language experience needs to be contextualised and comprehensible • the learner needs to be motivated, relaxed, positive and engaged • the language and discourse features available for potential acquisition need to be salient, meaningful and frequently encountered • the learner needs to achieve deep and multi-dimensional processing of the language (Tomlinson 2008b: 4)
5.3 Practical guidance to writers
5.3.1 However, Byrd (1995) provides advice to materials writers, as does Nunan (1988, 1989). Johnson (2003) gives his informed opinion on the expertise needed to be a good task designer and Spiro (2006) provides advice on how to become an L2 storywriter. Tomlinson (2003b, 2003c) proposes a flexible text-driven framework for developing materials and puts forward ways of ensuring that materials are humanistic Tomlinson & Masuhara (2004) provide practical advice on developing materials, writing instructions, using illustrations and layout and design. Coyle, Hood & Marsh (2010) give detailed advice on how to develop materials for content and language integrated learning Van Avermaet & Gysen (2006) and Duran & Ramaut (2006) give advice on writing tasks for young learners
6 Materials exploitation
7 Issues in materials development
8 Materials development projects
9 Research in materials development
10 Conclusion
Show full summary Hide full summary


Principles for teaching
karen barranco
Language Teaching Materials and the (Very) Big Picture
English Area
Josselin Aguilar
Materials Teaching Background
Danna Carranza
The eclectic approach
angela garcia
Learning Environments
Leythe Tenes
Teaching learning process
Laura Martinez
Learning Environments
Lissette Contreras
Welcome to GoConqr!
maya velasquez
Deeper Learning
Maya V.
Collaborative Learning