Teach English in Caoping Zhen - Changde Shi

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Generally speaking, course materials contain course books/textbooks and other auxiliary materials. The course materials used in different countries vary enormously. Likewise, even in a country, course materials are also used quite differently in a variety of schools. Let’s take China as example. I’ve worked as English Teacher for middle school in China for nearly six years. In China, there are all kinds of institutions such as public schools, private schools, international schools, as well as various training organizations. Normally in public schools, from elementary school to high schools, teachers use standard compulsory education course books which are called PEP English published by People’s Education Press. Whilst international schools always use their own course book introduce from English-speaking countries. There’re some classic course books such as “Pearson English”,”Phonics”,“Side-by-Side English”,etc. Course book is the main part course materials. In unit 9 of ITTT courses, there’s an overall description of course books. They usually consist of students’ book, teachers’ book, audios or cassettes or videos, and other published materials such as vocabulary flash cards and workbook for practice. Course book has many advantages which are already mentioned in unit 9. First of all, it provides with syllabus graded to a level suitable for students. Secondly, it provides a balance mix of vocabulary, grammar and skill works. Thirdly, it offers continuity and progression. Last but not least, it offers many good ideas for inexperienced teachers. On the other hand, it also has its disadvantages. From my point of view, the worst drawback is that most course books are outdated and unattractive to students. As I know, teacher use the course books in which most contents were used ten years ago in China. Nowadays, as the development of social globalization and explosion of information, more and more Chinese students go abroad for advanced study. The limited course book learned from school is far from enough to meet the language need. Therefore, it’s necessary for teachers to analyze the course book when they start giving lessons. In order to use the course book effectively, some factors are needed to bear in mind. For example, consider if the book is attractive or user friendly to students, if it’s readily allowed for ESA style lesson, or if it needs supplementary materials or replacing some sections with more suitable materials to motivate students’ interest. After taking these factors into account, teachers can plan more effective lessons by using various course materials in a targeted way. They can design their class elaborately just based on the dialogues, vocabularies and grammars of course books, devise activities that allow students to expand their oral proficiency in the language in a fun and interesting way. Or they can use auxiliary materials to supplement the course books. As I know, many teachers in public schools use a set of “New Concept English” for extensive language study, which are classic textbooks published by L.G.Alexander. I also learned this set of textbooks during my school-days. Besides, teachers can also use authentic materials or created materials to supplement or replace some sections of course books to motivate students’ interest. The authentic materials typically include magazines, newspapers, brochures, menus, etc. They’re real, practical and interesting which are more attractive for students. As a matter of fact, there’re more and more authentic materials appeared in the reading sections of testing. As for the created materials, they usually include crosswords, word search puzzles, gap fill activities, etc. Teachers can incorporate these created materials to the study stage for vocabulary or grammar in an ESA style lesson. In summary, when planning a lesson and using the course materials effectively, teachers should think about how to design their lesson, ask themselves which part needed to replace or supplement, try out new ideas, use more appropriate materials and devise various activities to motivate students for better progression and extensive studying.