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What you must decide

Cast list

Situation

DISCUSSING A TEXTBOOK

Possible follow-ups

1. Speak on the following topic: "Exams or Continuous Assessment".

a) a student's view; b) a teacher's view.

2. Prepare a talk on the comparative study of the British and the Russian marking systems.

3. Write a composition on the following'topics:

a) The most adequate (revealing) tasks for teaching the students' skills in the senior stage.

b) My first exam.

A school textbook is to be re-edited. At a special meeting possible changes to be introduced are discussed.1

The author

A representative of the publishers

TeacherS.

Teacher D.

Ann/Michael

Jane/Andrew final-year students

Helen/Peter

Dorothy/Donald Parker, a visiting English teacher

What possible changes should be introduced into the sec­ond edition of the textbook?

The author Aged 55

You are the author of the textbook. It is highly valued by the school teachers and so the publishing house is planning the second edition of it. As you have not been teaching at school yourself for the last ten years you have had no feed­back from the learners (only practising teachers have). You ap­preciate the criticism and suggestions offered by the partici­pants of the discussion. But you are a bit hurt by the students' impertinent remarks on your textbook and you let it show.

Publisher Aged 45

You are representing the publishing house specialising in textbooks. You conduct the discussion but your contribution to

___________

1 The teacher must decide which textbook the group is going to discuss in the role-play. The students are given cards in advance so that they will study the chosen textbook and find out the items for criticism and approval.

it is rather limited as you are more concerned with technical matters, therefore you object to colour illustrations urging to observe space limit. At the end of the discussion you thank the participants, promising to inform the editorial board of their suggestions/proposals.

Teacher S. Aged 54

You are an experienced English teacher, favouring the existing textbook, its layout and the exercises provided. As some people doubt the necessity of using the students' mother tongue and especially a number of exercises on translation you strongly object to this view and argue in favour of translation as an objective method of foreign language teaching.

NB: After being at college together with the author of the text­book, you worked at the

same school for some time.

Teacher D. Aged 25

You are a young teacher with an urge to make innovations. You've been using the textbook for two years but you can't say you are happy about it. Your firm conviction is language and culture are not separable and should be taught together. But the textbook is not informative enough. So you insist that more information about the country should be provided and should be definitely supplemented by colour illustrations.

Ann/Michael Aged 22

You are a final-year student who has already had two teach­ing practices in school. You are flattered by the invitation to participate in the discussion. You were asked to look through the exercises and drill material on the vocabulary and evaluate them. Say whether you consider the essential language items are really the most commonly used words about the topic.

Jane / Andrew Aged 22

You are a final-year student. You were reluctant to partici­pate in the discussion as you think that the grammar exercises you were asked to look through are subjected to a lot of criti­cism. They should be more contextualised. Exercises on trans­lation and filling in the blanks should be eliminated. You sound too categorical and uncompromising but you are not aware of it.

Helen/Peter Aged 30

You are a final-year student of an evening dass. For the last two years you were allowed to work at school as a trainee teacher. Therefore you know the textbook well. You think no textbook can be perfectly designed and there is no limit to per­fection. Concerning possible changes some texts pertaining to real-life teaching situations should be added to the course as well as additional visual aids (maps, diagrams, cartoons, slides, etc.)

Dorothy/Donald Parker Aged 35

You are a visiting English teacher with the English depart­ment. Today you are present at a special meeting where a school textbook planned to be re-edited is discussed. You are surprised to hear of a complex set of teaching material (try to find out what the set consists of). In Great Britain if sup to ttie subject teachers to choose any textbook for their forms. So you think that approach is a bit biased as it may reflect a teacher's preferences and it makes it difficult for a child to change schools.


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