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| What Do Teachers Want from Coursebooks? Essay

I find the article written by Hitomi Masuhara very informative and useful. The purpose of the article was stated clearly in the introduction and, to my mind, the author coped with the task of revealing it to the reader because of the several reasons. First of all, the writer turns the reader’s attention to the possible ways teachers’ needs and wants can be identified and then implemented to the process of materials development. For instance, class observations, questionnaires, interviews and so on. I liked that the writer points out that some of the methods can be not very efficient if conducted wrong. In the case of questionnaires vague questions can result in unclear answers and the research based on such resource of information cannot be effective for materials designers. Secondly, the discussion was relevant and maintained with examples and proves. One of them is how teachers in Namibia started to collaborate with publishers closely and improved the coursebooks writing process. What is more, the author tried to be objective in the discussion and coped with the task. For instance, she understands that solving the problem of inappropriate teaching materials is under the responsibility of both teachers and publishers._x000D_
The idea of identifying the sources of teachers’ needs is appropriate in this chapter. It should be done because the author suggests taking them into consideration during the coursebooks designing process. To my mind, for publishers to refer seriously to teachers needs and wants it is relevant to be sure that the needs are not based on simple caprices but are adequate and justified. The author emphasizes the necessity of teachers taking part in materials creating process and that publishers should encourage them to do this. I agree with the suggestions because I think the state of things that implies cooperation between the book producers and the teachers will increase the level of teachers’ satisfaction of the coursebooks and they will perform their work more efficiently for their students and engaging for themselves._x000D_
What I like most of all in the article is the variety of suggestions which are proposed by the author on how to improve the collaboration between teachers who are the actual users of coursebooks and publishers. For instance, the idea of holding meetings where the publishers represent parts of new textbooks and the teachers express their opinions and even give suggestions on things that can be changed to make the books better._x000D_
Despite all the advantages and useful information the chapter offers, I think it lacks examples. The example of the success of Namibia teachers which I have mentioned was very illustrative and inspiring. As to me, the author could include more examples of the kind. On the other hand, it is possible that there not many examples can be found because of the particular topic. As the author pointed out, the students’ needs have been taking into consideration more frequently than the teachers’ needs. That is why it can be possible that there are not enough examples in the real life to include in the chapter as the situation has only recently started to change._x000D_
From my point of view, the author succeeded in choosing this topic since a coursebook is the backbone of any course. Even if it is impossible to create the ideal coursebook which would meet all the variety of teachers expectations, as the author proved, it is still quite possible to improve the quality of the materials by involving teachers into the material developing process. As to the relation to the topic of Tomlinson’s book, I assume that this chapter is closely linked to the main idea of it because publishing coursebooks is the process of materials development which also involves stages of evaluating and exiting materials. The author tackled a great issue as the development of materials still needs practice and much research. To my point of view, the further researches on the topic will provide publishers and teachers with more evidences of the necessity of cooperation. I enjoyed reading this article very much as Hitomi Masuhara presented numerous valuable points that will help me to focus on the future researches.

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