GREAT AND HORRIBLE TEXTBOOKS
What are the features of a great textbook? What kind of textbook would be perfect for you? Have you ever used off-putting textbooks? What made them so bad?
A great textbook for me is the one that clearly serves your purposes. It should not contain a lot of unnecessary things, not too many huge pictures, no far-fetched stories… It should be up to the point. It should be colorful, have a user-friendly size, not too heavy ))) I was unlucky to use some very boring textbooks of English when I was a student — they were ugly, stupid and disconnected from real life. Not all of them, just some of them. I dream of making a digital book from my students.
A great textbook for me should contain clear main (but not detailed) information and stimulate me to search and dig for its specific details. It should be useful for more than one kind of work, that means a good textbook is a real reference. It should also contain discussing. I also adore «applications questions» (check-point questions after a chapter and pictures. They help me understand everything without a teacher’s guidance. And what is more, endless lines with enormous texts are hard to read. What is more, it should contain only necessary current and revised information, but not outdated, dull a known known.
So, I would never get rid of such textbooks and would reread them from cover to cover from time to time…))) 🙂📚
A great textbook should be divided into units and each of them should have different themes and be based on these themes and have texts connected with the theme of the unit and also I think that it’s good when book has it’s audio disk too because by book we can improve our grammar, spelling and reading, but also it would be better I think to improve our understanding the native speakers too. And about my bad experience that was the book that only had exercises and a lot of words (nearly 50) in each unit to learn that is not good book to study I think.
A perfect textbook for me is first of all the one , that attracts a student’s attention. It should contain some pictures and tasks that will not only let students improve their knoweledge of a particular aspect (e.g. grammar or vocabulary) but also help them to learn something new about history, different people, cultures and of course it should be up to date. Also it is always great then a textbook contains some interesting quotes, collocations or proverbs. I used to have some off-putting textbooks at school — they were boring, had no pictures and the information was outdate. And also they were to heavy to carry them.
Maggy, I see what you mean, only those questions after the text are called COMPREHENSION questions )
Amina, I agree — boring books do you no good! )
Ha Ha Ha, Nila, I will remember your words — I will never create a heavy textbook )))))
As for me, a good textbook should be systemized: every topic should be on its place. Of course it should have a lot of visual and contextual examples, group exercises to make them together in class. It should include interesting well-written texts about different things (literature, art, history, lifestyle, etc.). The book also has to be up-to-date, because it’s not very interesting to read about the nineties and the problems of the society of that time. This was one of the main problems with school textbooks I had — they all had those «my mom doesn’t allow me to play my gameboy» topics which were so boring and so irrelevant.
A great textbook for me should be, first of all, interesting and comfortable for your hands and eyes. It should contains some useful materials: texts,exercises and topics, which can help students to improve their knowledge in different aspects of English culture. Moreover, it should includes some educational quizzes and quotes. At school l used to have several off-putting book. They were boring, had no pictures and interesting information.
I imagine a great text book being easily accessed for everyone! For instance, it might be web pages which can be printed if it’s necessary. No heavy books, no odd papers after years and so on. Sometimes I can’t find a collocation or grammar rule as fast as I want to. So I personally lack using a web search 🙂 It’s also important to check a list of vocabulary and targets for students in advanced. I’d like to know exactly what stage I’m going to reach then (e.g. in a language). Btw I’ll be glad to read a text with curious collocations and cultural tricks highlighted. And eventually I prefer listening to native speakers because I have already faced the difficulties in understanding several accents. That’s it.
I think that the great book is the one in which there are pictures and topics for discussion, interesting texts and exercises on translation. Personally for me, the ideal textbook is Murphy. It is good in the training grammar. I don’t remember the names of books that I don`t like but we didn’t have the right to choose the textbook and the teacher from lesson to lesson allowed to read not interesting biography and do tests. It was very boring.
Do you think a good teacher should be quite strict and maintain a distance from his/her students?
I think that teacher should be quite strict with his pupils/students, as nowadays they won’t understand that he is friendly and tries to be close with them because he wants to be on the same level so that they will be able to better understand him to be interested in the lessons, most of the students will only see in this situation a chance how to escape from doing homework or they will even miss the classes.
Dear Amina, unfortunately, you are quite right!
To my mind perfect teachers should be both strict and friendly with their students. They should build trust relationships with students, make them believe that they are their friend and they can trust their teacher and not be afraid of them. But at the same time a teacher should be strict with students and maintain a distance from them so they won’t be spoiled and will respect their teacher. They should understand that a teacher is their friend but also that he/she should be respected. I believe that a good teacher can make their students study by inspiring and encouraging them but not threatening and scaring them.
In my opinion, a good teacher should be strict, but always remain fair; demanding, but still friendly and understanding. The relationship between a teacher and a student should be built on trust, respect and tolerance. There should be a distance though, because the too-friendly atmosphere in class can ruin the productivity and a sense of duty. Both teacher and student should remember the purposes of the course they work on while making it entertaining and interesting!
In my opinion, teacher should be strict enough to enforce discipline. Today pupils or students are not well-mannered to respect their teachers,professors or instructors, learners just don’t want to understand that teachers are open to communicate with them on the same level, want to understand children and make them intrested in the lessons. That why I think that teachers should be quite strict and maintain a distant.
I partly agree with you, Sofya. Keeping a distance is a great skill. But being too distant from your students is not too productive either.
A teacher should be strict and understanding and not like in the picture. Students should not put ourselves above the teacher and a teacher is too. It sould be mutual respect between them.
As for me, I believe that a good teacher should maintain a distance from his/her students as if they were his/her colleagues or mates. I didn’t add the word «friends» because friendship is tend to ruin any gaps between two people (IMHO:)) Also I’m sure that being a perfect teacher implies being strict and demanding in case of homework. It doesn’t mean that a teacher is allowed to come to a class with screw face even if a student has made him/her upset ignored an assignment. Smiling and positive passions make a good impression, always. The best teacher is kind of an example for students what competence they should have in the long run and what person they wanna be alike.
Personally, I think that teacher should be friendly, open and understanding with students because only openness and interest of teacher in their student will help them to achieve a great success. The teacher should be humane. I believe that students will want to work in such conditions.
Without any doubt, a good teacher should be strict and establish the social distance from his/her students. The teacher’s main goal is not to be student’s friend. He/she should have professional skills, moral principles, erudition and cultural background. A good teacher should be a model of competence and should treat student with respect and value them as individuals, develop mutual understanding and cooperation by being constructively assertive and persistent, strict but just. He/she should demonstrate empathy and listen to the concerns of students. They can’t respect, form a rapport with teacher, who is wishy-washy, characterless, inconsistent in their grading, the treatment of students because it makes them uncomfortable they wouldn’t take teachers seriously. Well, professional distance without getting overly personal and without being buddies with the students makes a teacher a great professional.
Маргарита, я прошу студентов откликнуться на вопрос дискуссии, чтобы узнать их СОБСТВЕННОЕ МНЕНИЕ и увидеть, как они его формулируют. Совершенно недопустимо выдавать за свои слова других людей. «Ваш отклик» скомпилирован из мнений студентов на сайте
Mar 13, 2015 2:48pm
…students cannot respect, connect or form a rapport with a teacher who is wishy washy, unclear in their instructions, and inconsistent in their grading and the treatment of their students because it makes them uncomfortable
Jun 21, 2015 8:02pm
The teacher can develop ‘mutual understanding’ and cooperation by being constructively assertive and persistent.
Пожалуйста не допускайте такого позора впредь!
Welcome to the course of Advanced English
by Leo Jones
Delivered to you by Julia Gumanova
TWO reasons to choose this course:
EIGHT more reasons to choose this course:
Meet the author
Leo Jones lives and works in Bournemouth in the UK, where he taught for many years in a language school. He is a freelance writer and teacher-trainer and has done workshops for teachers in many countries. Among his best-known books, all published by Cambridge University Press, are: Functions of English, Ideas, Great Ideas, New International Business English, New Progress to First Certificate, Let’s Talk 1–3, Welcome!, New Cambridge Advanced English, New Progress to Proficiency, Working in English, and Making Progress to First Certificate.
Meet your tutor
Julia Gumanova is assistant professor of the Faculty of Foreign Languages of Lomonosov Moscow State University. She is an expert in cross cultural communication and distance learning, with 20 years’ university teaching experience. Julia has more than 30 published works, including 10 original textbooks and course books. She is the leader of the team of authors of the “Just English” series of textbooks (English for lawyers) which have proved popular in and outside Russia, having sold 250.000 copies to date and awarded the prestigious Moscow University Shuvalov prize. She is the author and coordinator of the Just English website for students of law and co-author of the website for students of Russian word-wide Just Russian. She has also authored a series of international distant language competitions for students.