The following is an example Coursebook Evaluation Form.
If you are thinking of using a TEFL coursebook with your class and want to see if it might be suitable, complete this kind of form to find out.
Obviously this is a general example, but with a little tweaking you can make it suitable for your school.
|Title:||[the name of the book]||Author:||[name of author]|
|Publisher:||[who published it]||Level:||[what learner level is this for?]|
|Length of Course:||[how long is the course?]||Suggested Lesson Length:||[1hr, 90 mins, etc]|
These days coursebooks often come with various extras aside from the basic book itself. These can include DVDs, a book of answers for the teacher and so on. These will cost extra so it’s worth looking at what you will actually need to use this book. Here publishers often make money by offering “extra” material which isn’t necessary so be sure to check out what you really need and what the school can afford.
|Total price for Students|
|Total price for School|
|Can school/students afford this?|
Other Information & Needs Analysis
Look through the book itself. You want to really understand what there is in the material and make sure that it is relevant to your students and that it is of the right level and completely suitable. Does the book match with the needs analysis you carried out on your class?
|Layout||[It is easy to read and follow? Is it too crowded or perhaps confusing?]|
|Material (realistic, appropriate, level, motivating, inclusive, etc):||[Are they the right level and of interest to the class? Are they suitable in terms of content? Check for religious or cultural bias; perhaps there’s a sexist approach to material or something which is inappropriate for the environment where you’re teaching!]|
|Photocopiable Activities?||[Can you photocopy stuff from the book? Or perhaps you need to pay extra to the publishers for a “special” book to photocopy from!]|
|Balance of 4 Skills?||[Does the book cover all the 4 language skills in the way that your class needs?]|
|Approach to language structure & function?||[How are new language items, grammar, etc, presented? Is it too traditional? Is it communicative? Does it concentrate too much on grammar? How, in other words, does it fit in with your teaching methods and ethos?]|
|Treatment of Pronunciation||[Often overlooked in books, does this coursebook include work on pronunciation which is relevant to your students?]|
If you complete a form like this for each possible coursebook for your class you will soon find that one book stands out above the others. It’s worth spending time over this because it can be very awkward when you ask your students to buy a certain book and then discover several weeks into a course that it quite simply is not suitable for the class!
Spend time in preparation and you won’t go far wrong.Image © pedrosimoes7