ERIC Number: ED253080
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Choosing and Using Textbooks.
This paper discusses criteria for evaluating foreign language textbooks. First, common textbook dislikes, concerning both content and format, are outlined. Then three desirable characteristics--authenticity, communication, and integration--are discussed at length, divided into subcriteria, and arranged as a rating scale for textbook evaluation. Criteria for text authenticity include the presence of authentic spoken and written language samples, a wide range of cultural topics, typical cultural situations, global awareness potential, and illustrations of target language and culture. Criteria for judging the communication aspect of the book include a balance of practice in all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), emphasis on the use of language in realistic situations, limited grammar and vocabulary, language practice exercises that are situational and items that are contextual, a range of meaningful activities, and open-ended questions. Criteria marking integration include clear indications of the relationship between language and culture, built-in communicative activities, systematic treatment of culture and communication as well as language, and the assigning of equal weight to language, culture, and communication. A rating scale for evaluating the materials' global potential for developing student skills and attitudes is also included. (MSE)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (Chicago, IL, November 16-18, 1984).