The Role Of Textbook’s In Teaching and Learning In Our Society

Introduction

All forms of educational institutions, including public schools, universities, and language schools, across the globe, rely heavily on textbooks in their language courses. In other situations, the textbook selection is left up to the instructors. However, the great majority of instructors have textbooks recommended, prescribed, or given to them. In the context of language teaching and learning, textbooks “play a highly vital role and are regarded the next key aspect (element) in the second/foreign language classroom after the instructor” (italics added). The instructor has a tool in the form of a textbook; the teacher must know how to utilize it and how beneficial it may be to all students. The market is flooded with published resources for English language instruction (ELT), which makes choosing the best course book a difficult process. Additionally, choosing a certain core textbook denotes an executive educational choice that involves a significant expenditure of time, money, and possibly political capital (Sheldon, 1988). For the majority of language programs, textbooks are essential. In certain cases, they provide the framework for a significant portion of the language information students get and the language practice that takes place in the classroom. They could serve as the foundation for how the lessons are structured, how the various skills are taught, and how the students practice their language. In other circumstances, the textbook could be used simply to support the teacher’s lesson plans. In addition to information from the instructor, the textbook may be the learner’s main point of contact with the language. For novice instructors, textbooks may also act as a type of teacher training since they include suggestions for how to organize and conduct classes as well as sample lesson plans. Today’s substantial usage of commercial textbooks is necessary for most of the language instruction that takes place across the globe. A teacher’s professional expertise should thus include knowledge of how to utilize and modify textbooks.

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In times of educational change, textbooks can be helpful in four different ways, according to Hutchinson and Torres (1994, p. 232): first, as “a vehicle for teacher and learner training”; second, by relieving the burden of finding materials; third, by providing “as complete a picture as possible” of “what the change will look like;” and fourth, by providing psychological support for teachers. But how well these objectives are achieved—particularly the first and third—depends on the methodology and quality of the textbook. The resources may not support the innovative teaching style that is being promoted, instead adhering to the widely accepted methodologies; conversely, the materials may be so challenging to use that teachers are unable to utilize them as intended, forcing them to return to their old technique. In either scenario, books will act as “agents of conservatism” as opposed to “agents of change,” decreasing the possibility of educators using novel, alternative techniques (Grainger, 2001). As a result, it has a significant influence at all program levels. Everyone uses textbooks substantially, from administrators and policymakers to teachers and students, to accomplish set goals and objectives. The components and techniques of learning are determined by the textbook. It regulates the subject matter, instructional strategy, and practices of learning. In other words, students learn what is taught in the textbook in the same manner that it is given in the book.

In reality, the textbook’s educational philosophies have an impact on the class and the learning process. It offers its consumers an organized and spotless platform. Teachers get top-notch ready-made assignments that provide a tangible example of classroom achievement. In 1980, Sheldon determined the rationale for the instructor’s textbook utilization. Here are some of them:

a textbook’s benefits and drawbacks

Depending on how and in what circumstances they are utilized, using commercial textbooks in the classroom offers both benefits and drawbacks. These are some of the main benefits:

However, using textbooks might potentially have unfavorable consequences. Consider this:

They might use words that are not their own.

Texts, dialogs, and other content elements in textbooks may utilize language that is not genuine since they are often produced specifically to include teaching points.

They might skew the material.

In textbooks, genuine problems are sometimes absent or presented in an idealized manner. Controversial subjects are avoided in textbooks to make them acceptable in a variety of circumstances. Instead, an idealized white middle-class perspective of society is presented as the standard.

It’s possible that they don’t take into account the requirements of the kids.

Since textbooks are often designed for international markets, they frequently do not represent the interests and requirements of students and may thus need to be modified.

Teachers may become unskilled.

The teacher’s position may be reduced to that of a technician whose main responsibility is to provide information created by others if they rely heavily on textbooks and teacher’s manuals for their instructional judgments.

In many regions of the globe, buying commercial textbooks may be too expensive for students.

Both the advantages and drawbacks of using textbooks must be taken into account. If it is determined that the textbooks being used in a program have some unfavorable effects, remedial action should be taken, such as the adaptation or addition of books or the provision of suitable guidance and support for teachers on how to use them effectively.

Therefore, it offers stability for the students or the administration of the program to ensure that the same information is being delivered throughout classes. Due to the importance of textbooks in both teaching and learning languages. A textbook is a crucial teaching tool, and before using one, a teacher must be acquainted with the many sorts of textbooks. This familiarity with a textbook may be attained by conducting a critical comparative analysis of the volumes in light of the course curriculum and underlying philosophical assumptions.