It is well known that most of the teachers only use the textbook for preparing their classes.
From our point of view, coursebooks are not the only option that gives aid and security especially for new teachers. It is necessary complementary materials.
We recommend that teachers should develop their own teaching materials since on this way, teachers can easily capture the attention of the students, and it develops the imagination and creativity.
Textbooks deskill teachers and rob them of their capacity to think professionally and respond to their students. They always follow a regular pattern: they read a text, then they answer some questions, then they discuss, then they write a letter, and so on, and it may lead to routine. Apart from that, they fail to contextualize language activities, fail too when presenting realistic and appropriate language, foster inadequate cultural understanding, fail to address discourse competence or teach idioms, etc.
Therefore, a textbook should never be the only material used in class. A teacher should provide individual remedial work or further exercises. Nowadays, using them or not is a personal option. The relevant point is how we use them in case we choose one. It is important to find a balance between the pre-designed material and the pupil’s needs and interests.
A non-exclusive use of it complemented by all what our imagination may provide may be a good option.
Finally, we consider that textbooks have the following advantages and disadvantages:
Disadvantages or problems:
- It is not a source of knowledge. On them we can’t find all the information that we want.
- The majority of the times, it doesn’t connect with the interests and needs of the pupils.
- It is really boring. In all of the units we can find the same type of activities (they always follow a regular pattern).
- Working without them is very motivating for children, and frequently the use of authentic materials produce intrinsic motivation.
- It is not time consuming.
- Is a guide for both teachers and students.
- Therefore, we consider that a textbook should never be the only material or resource used in class. It’s really important to find a balance between the pre-designed material and the pupil’s needs and interests.