Coursebooks are arsenal of teachers.Coursebooks have a vital role and in ELT classes.Decision to use a specific coursebook can affect substantially lessons over the years therefore, teachers should select coursebook considering curriculum and culture of course there are other minor factors such as teacher’s experience, availability of coursebook, and constraints.For this essay we will discuss about 2 coursebooks.This essay will compare and contrast ‘’Discover English 4 ‘’ and ‘’Let’s learn English 7’’ coursebooks in terms of learner, content, methodology, learning process and language skills. At the end of the essay there will be conclusion about which one is more suitable for Turkish curriculum and ELT teachers.
Learners’ need or learners’ expectation should be fulfilled by coursebooks.So how can we understand which book is better to fulfill learners’ expectation.First of all, does the coursebook interesting for learners?
Let’s Learn English 7th Grade English Lesson Book
This question is very important for ELT class because if something doesn’t appeal to you , you never do that.For this part, Discover English 4 is much more interesting.It is colourful and content is really interesting.However, Let’s learn English isn’t so boring but it isn’t really interesting either.Second question is does the coursebook offer opportunities for cooperative learning ?
The seventh activity is pair speaking activity.Nearly all units in Discover English 4 has group activities.However, Let’s learn English doesn’t have so many group activities.This coursebook rely on student’s individuality.The last question is Do the coursebooks cater for the development of language skills ?
Discover English 4 cares for all language skills.Every unit has speaking, reading, listening, writing activities.Some activities are individual ,some are group activities.We can say the same thing for Let’s learn English.For example in Unit 4 it has a listening activity about animal sounds , reading dialogue and about extinct wild animals, speaking activity about being nature scientist and some short writing activities about wild animals.They are even in terms of covering language skills.
Content of the coursebooks has major role to determine which book is better.Are the coursebooks well contextualized ? Both coursebooks are well contextualized.Their activities, grammars and tasks are connected very well.However, Let’s learn English doesn’t have a grammar boxes like Discover English 4.This is very important for coursebooks because well organized coursebooks have grammatical explanations are required for autonomy and to clarify form of the grammar also using complex metalanguage makes coursebooks hard to understand.Both books avoid using complex metalanguage but in general Let’s learn English’s instructions, activities and tasks are much more easier.
The coursebooks intented methodoly is an essential part of its theoretical position.Does the coursebook focus on the rules or are there opportunities for the learners to discover patterns in the first place ? This is the first question I am looking for.Let’s learn English gives opportunities for learners to discover patterns.Grammar part is done through grammar lesson given by teacher.However, Discover English 4 gives grammar boxes and it is slightly focuses on grammar.Both books are topic-based.There is a general topic in unit and activities, tasks revolve around this topic.Every unit has its own unique topic.We can see topics by looking at the first pages of these coursebooks.
Let’s Learn English Topics
Discover English 4 Topics
Second question is do learners need to know what the sentences mean or simply to manipulate forms ? These question depends on the activity types.Both books have mechanical and meaningful activities but in general Let’s learn English relies on mechanical activities , Discover English 4 relies on both mechanical and meaningful activities.Both coursebooks reflect the insight of their current theory very well.
Teaching and learning process especially vital for teachers.Teachers need to know what is the process of learning of coursebook so that teacher can decide how to transfer information to learners.Cultural sensivity, time, suffiency and accessibility. are important terms for this processes.Professional made coursebooks consider cultural difference in different regions.For example you can not use Christianity related materials in Middle East Region or vice versa.Let’s learn English has Islamic activities like Ramadan Feast.This book is only appropriate for Turkish learners.Let’s Learn English Page 72
Second criteria is time.Let’s learn English is less time consuming.Nearly all activities can be done under 5 minutes (except board games) and every unit can be completed in 2 weeks English lessons.However, I can’t say the same thing for Discover English 4.There are so many activities and these activities can not be completed in 2 weeks.Let’s learn English is suitable for 40 minutes lesson.Third criteria is sufficiency.Let’s learn English is supplementary book.It can not be used as a primary book.It does not cover all subjects learners need to practice and activity quantity is insufficient.Every unit has around 10-16 activities.Discover English 4 can be used as primary book in lessons.It covers all grammar needs for seventh grade students and fullfil learner needs.Last criteria is availability.Let’s learn English is free and can be available in Turkey.Discover English 4 isn’t free but can be purchased from anywhere.In terms of availability Let’s learn English is far more available than Discover English 4.
Last thing I want to compare about is language skills.There are four language skills for learners to comprehend.These are listening, reading, speaking and writing.Both books cover these language skills.Every unit in Let’s learn English has activity called ‘’Let’s speak, Let’s listen, Let’s read and Let’s write and Let’s have fun!’’ These activities are special for this book and interesting.Discover English 4 ‘’Listen and read, work in pairs, reading and writing activities’’ . Some units like 7c does not contain speaking activities so in terms of language skills Let’s learn English is very well designed.
In conclusion, both books are designed by professionals.They fulfilled learners’ need, their content matching with current syllabus and curriculum.Both of them can be used as supplementary books.However, there are major differences as well.Cultural differences is one of the significant difference between them.Let’s learn English is much more appropriate for Turkish learners.
- Rubdy,Rani. Selection of Materials, 37-55