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Principles of Materials Adaptation


Academic year: 2021

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- Selection and

adaptation of materials and


Prepared by: Lian Li Fang Wan Amirah Jalilah Ismail





• Learners have different preferences and requirements for learning.

• This diversity commonly requires a supply of learning material that fits to the learners’ needs.

• No book will suit all the students in terms of their learning styles, motivations, interests and levels of English that is why teachers need to adapt materials for the lessons.


• Therefore, the textbook should be regarded as a resource for creativity and inspiration.


Principles of materials


1) Make dialogues communicative

2) Make learning activities relevant and purposeful

3) Meet the learners’ needs, both external and psychological


Factors to bear in mind when

adaptating materials

1. Teachers should not adapt materials too casually, e.g. based on his or her own

preferences or tastes

2. Materials deleted or added should not go beyond a reasonable proportion, otherwise consider alternative materials.

3. Teachers should not adapt materials only to

cater for the needs of exams or


Specific adaptation

• Omission: the teacher leaves out things inappropriate for the particular group. • Addition: where there seems to be

inadequate coverage, teachers may

decide to add to textbooks, either in the form of texts or exercise material.


• Reduction: where the teacher shortens an activity to give it less weight or emphasis.

• Extension: where an activity is lengthened in order to give it an additional dimension.

• Rewriting/modification: teacher may occasionally decide to rewrite material,

especially exercise material, to make it more appropriate, more “communicative to their students.


• Replacement: text or exercise material which is considered inadequate, for whatever

reason, may be replaced by more suitable material.

• Re-ordering: teachers may decide that the order in which the textbooks are presented is not suitable for their students. They can then decide to plot a different course through the textbooks from the one the writer has laid down.


• Branching: teachers may decide to add options to the existing activity or to

suggest alternative pathways through the activities





Working with textbook

• The textbook provide the teacher with: -a well thought out programme

-meet the needs of the intended users

-textbooks are not written for any particular class

- a source of practical teaching ideas

-a range of material for effective preparation • Textbooks offer the learners:

- a focus


Course materials

• Core components – Pupil’s Book – Activity Book – Teacher’s Guide – Class Cassettes • Supplementary components – Flashcards – Posters – Student’s Cassettes – Test Book – Picture Dictionary – Video Cassette


Learner factors

• Age • Cultural background • Cognitive maturity • Interests • Needs


Initial criteria

• Pupils’ profile – Age – Class size – Learning context • Course length • Learning focus

– Balance of language syllabus – Learning skills


Detailed criteria

• Unit organisation

– Lay-out, sequencing, revision/reference pages

• Language load per unit

– New language load / recycling of language

• Skills

– Equal emphasis on skills

• Range of activity types


Criteria for material


• The material must match the goals and objectives of the syllabus or language programme.

• The material should be consistent with the teaching-learning situation /


• The authenticity of the material. • the material must suit the target

audience –level /ability, needs, interest, time


• The material should be reasonably priced if cost is involved

• The material should make learning easier

• the material should create joy and interest in the learners.

• The material should be attractive, colourful, and durable where applicable.


Checklist for evaluation and

selection of listening and

speaking materials

1. Aims and approaches

□ Do the aims of the materials correspond closely with the aims of your lesson

objectives and with the needs of the learners □ Is the material suited to the learning /


2. Design and organisation

□ How is the content organised? ( e.g.

According to structures, functions, topics, skills, etc)? Is the organisation right for learners and you?

□ How is the content sequenced? ( e.g. On the basis of complexity, learnability, usefulness, etc)?

□ What type of text is it? (expository, narrative, descriptive, discursive, etc) □ Is the layout clear? (printed materials)


3. Language Content

□ Does the material cover the grammar item you intend to teach?

□ Is the vocabulary level suitable to your students’ ability?

□ If you are focussing on pronunciation, does the material include individual sounds/ word stress/ sentence stress/ intonation?

□ Are style and appropriacy dealt with? If so, is language style matched to social situation?


4. Skills and recorded materials

□ Does the material cover the particular micro skill for listening comprehension /oral

communication you intend to teach? □ Is listening material well-recorded? □ Is listening material authentic /


□ Does the dialogue have many speakers? □ Is the speech clear?

□ Is the accent familiar to the students? □ Is there any visual support material?


5. Topic

□ Is the topic of the listening material in the scope of the syllabus?

□ Is the topic familiar? (Culture)

□ Will the topic help expand students’ awareness and enrich their experience?

6. Teacher’s guide

□ Are tapescripts provided?

□ Is there adequate guidance as to how to conduct the activity?

□ Is there any justification on the basic premises and principles underlying the material?


• Teachers have the choice of selecting

authentic or non-authentic materials for their lessons.

• Authentic materials are produced in response to real life communicative needs rather than an imitation of real life communicative needs. • On the other hand non-authentic materials

are materials that are specially produced for pedagogical purposes.

• However, it is recommended that teachers should expose authentic materials to the

pupils as they will encounter these materials in the real world.


Examples of materials that can be used

for teaching Listening and Speaking skills

Printed materials • books • story books • newspaper articles • brochures / phamphlets • notices • announcements • calendars • internet articles • blogs Recorded materials •fairy Tales •Songs •news •Announcements •movie Trailers •conversation – face-to-face, telephone •weather report •Nursery rhymes •Documentaries •Advertisements



1. Alan Cunningsworth (1995) Choosing Your Coursebook, Oxford, Heinemann

2. Brewster J, Ellis G, Girard D (2002) The Primary English Teacher ‘s Guide. Harlow: Penguin English Guides

3. Cameron L (2001) Teaching languages to young learners. Cambridge: CUP

4. Halliwell S (1992) Teaching English in the Primary Classroom. Harlow: Longman. Chapter 4

5. House, S.(1997) An Introduction to Teaching English to Young Learners. London: Richmond Publishing. Chapter 2 6. Pinter, A. (2006) Teaching Young Learners Oxford: OUP.

Chapter 9

7. Vale D. & Feunteun A (1995) Teaching Children English Cambridge: CUP



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