Textbooks and Alternative material: positive and negative aspects

This study is about what three teachers and three students in an upper secondary school in southern Sweden consider to be the positive and negative aspects of teaching/learning English with textbooks and alternative material respectively. The focus in the study is to compare the teachers’ perspectives and the students’ perspectives, and the method used is in-depth interviews.The results showed that the teachers and the students shared many similar opinions about textbooks and alternative material as well as providing some differerent ones. All of the teachers emphasized the fact that teaching with textbooks saves them a lot of time. One of the teachers had her own opinion about textbooks. She claimed that they idealize western cultures and perspectives which is negative because students get a false picture of the world. Moreover, the majority of the teachers found it good to work with alternative material because they can use current topics which do not exist in textbooks. However, they believed that it takes too much time to work exclusively with alternative material because the workload becomes too big for them.The majority of the students enjoyed working with textbooks due to the fact that they know exactly what to do from time to time and can work in advance when they like to. However, all of the students found it boring that textbooks never contain current topics. All the students liked to work with alternative material because of interesting topics and the possibility of choosing topics themselves…


2.1 The birth of textbooks
2.2 Two different types of textbooks in the language classroom
2.2.1 Traditional textbooks
2.2.2 Communicative textbooks
2.3 The advantages of textbooks
2.4 The disadvantages of textbooks
2.5 Alternative material
3.1 Material
3.2 Procedure
3.3 Problems and limitations
4.1 Interview with Olle (Teacher 1)
4.2 Interview with Anna (Teacher 2)
4.3 Interview with Bengt (Teacher 3)
4.4 Interview with Emil (Student 1)
4.5 Interview with Fredrik (Student 2)
4.6 Interview with Mattias (Student 3)
5.1 Textbooks
5.2 Alternative material
5.3 Concluding remarks

Author: Nilsson, Michael

Source: Vaxjo University

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