To use or not to use (the coursebook). That’s the question!

OK OK! So, I know loads of you guys have written blog posts or have thought about whether or not it is a good idea to use a course book in class or not. Well, here is my take on the issue now that things have calmed down.

First let me give you some context. My reality.I use coursebooks (eyes rolling already?!?). Yeap. For many reasons.

  1.  I have one to one lessons with Greek kids who are preparing for an exam. Parents and students expect to buy a book. It’s a tradition!Ain’t gonna go against any tradition. I am weak. I am also poor. I need learners/students to make a living. If I don’t have a book, parents would wonder, ” What does she do with my kids? Where do they write stuff”.
  2. I teach many, many hours and that makes it very difficult to find material for each and every lesson/ student (eyes rolling even more). I do not have the time, the stamina, the patience for that. I am too old! Also, I do not want to work all day (There! I said it!)
  3. I choose books from respected publications and I assume that research has gone into them. Someone with qualifications has carefully chosen the material.
  4. I don’t like giving 1000 handouts only to have pieces of paper flying around, getting lost or chewed up by a dog. Most of my learners are young. I have had this problems with EAP learners too. When there was no coursebook, students would lose stuff!
  5. There ARE some good books out there. There are good exercises accompanied by interesting texts yada yada yada. Not everything is rubbish (the word rubbish is an overgeneralisation which is a big No No,but for dramatic purposes, let me go with the overgeneralisation).
  6. Books and using them is not something I have to do. I choose it. The same way I can choose to supplement material or completely throw out a unit/lesson I disagree with. Using a coursebook is not something set in stone. Bottom line is. My book is a tool. I choose how to use it.
  7. My book is what I make it. I can ask my learners to choose what they want to do from the book. I can choose what you will do from the book. I can ask my learners what changes they would make to the book and they can go and design new lessons. You don’t like your coursebook? Adapt it. Have your students adapt it.Having said that, even if I only had a rock to use in class (or something equally boring), I would probably be able to teach something. I would rack my brains all day long till I come up with something.

So, there you have it. Yeap. I use coursebooks and I don’t have a problem with them.

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Now it’s your turn to say whatever you want to in the comments section below. Don’t forget to follow my blog so you don’t miss out on any of my fabulous rambles! Give my FB page a ‘like’ so you do not miss a post (check sidebar). OK. That’s all folks. Excuse the sarcy (?) tone!! Dunno what happened to me today. Thanks for reading xx!!

Till next time…….



6 thoughts on “To use or not to use (the coursebook). That’s the question!

  1. You might have upset far too many teachers with the coursebook thing since there seems some kind of war between fans and detractors of coursebooks.
    In my case we are made to use coursebooks but yes, they are something we can adapt to our needs, and although there’s no perfect coursebook, there are some useful ones out in the market. My fav has to be Face 2 Face by CUP; it’s very round, with vocabulary and grammar perfectly integrated in the communicative activities. One I can’t stand is The Big Picture by Richmond, very fancy in terms of pictures and colours but I’m never sure what to do with it… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Joanna, thanks for your post. Actually, I was a bit frustrated about all those talks suggesting going without coursebooks at all, or at least partially without them. I love coursebooks. If it depends on me, I prefer to spend much time choosing the appropriate book for my students and for me. As for my Spanish studies, I’ve recently chosen a perfect book for the new course , which is okay for me and for my teacher.
    And I do love the tone of your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a coursebook hater. I haven’t seen many I like, but not none. If you have the freedom to go beyond the book, or dip in and out of it, great. For too many settings, though, it is the course. This isn’t the book’s fault, nor even the writers’; publishers market them as complete courses and institutions buy and sell them because of that.

    What do your students need to do with the language is the first question to ask. If it is building toward exams, a nice set of past papers might be a good choice, with time spent building vocab or looking at difficult structures. Finding material on a topic – Google. If it’s difficult, edit for length, add a glossary for tough, blocking vocab.

    Being a Task-Based enthusiast/ Dogmetician, some of the best material ever comes from your learners. Bits of paper, Post-It’s and the board. The flying bits of paper problem could be solved by photo notes in Evernote or blogs. This makes things very searchable. Or else cheap folders.

    By the way, good books: Business One:One, set up to be dipped in and out of; Widgets, a task-based business book. I haven’t yet seen a General English book I’ve been content to recommend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Marc! You book hater… you!! :P. I think that as long as you do not follow the book as if it is something madatory, you allow yourself flexible, you add material when you think it’s ecessary and ofcourse you allow your larner to guide you, then it is OK to use a book.Thanks for stopping by!!

      Liked by 1 person

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