Friday, September 10, 2010

Teaching ESL - Selecting ESL Texts

As ESOL teachers, we are often faced with the challenging decision of textbook selection. Following is a checklist that can be used for ESL Textbook Selection as found on the CAL website:



Checklist for ESL Textbook Selection

A. Program and Course
Does the textbook support the goals and curriculum of the program?
Is the textbook part of a series, and if so, would using the entire series be appropriate?
Are a sufficient number of the course objectives addressed by the textbook?
Was this textbook written for learners of this age group and background?
Does the textbook reflect learners’ preferences in terms of layout, design, and organization?
Is the textbook sensitive to the cultural background and interests of the students?

B. Skills
Are the skills presented in the textbook appropriate to the course?
Does the textbook provide learners with adequate guidance as they are acquiring these skills?
Do the skills that are presented in the textbook include a wide range of cognitive skills that will be challenging to learners?

C. Exercises and Activities
Do the exercises and activities in the textbook promote learners’ language development?
Is there a balance between controlled and free exercises?
Do the exercises and activities reinforce what students have already learned and represent a progression from simple to more complex?
Are the exercises and activities varied in format so that they will continually motivate and challenge learners?

D. Practical Concerns
Is the textbook available?
Can the textbook be obtained in a timely
Is the textbook cost-effective?

Are there other criteria not mentioned above that you have found to be important considerations? Feel free to share your comments.

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