ELT materials

Claims, critiques and controversies

Authored by: John Gray

The Routledge Handbook of English Language Teaching

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415747394
eBook ISBN: 9781315676203
Adobe ISBN: 9781317384472


 Download Chapter



Although materials have been defined very broadly in the ELT literature as consisting of more or less “anything which presents or informs about the language being learned” (Tomlinson, 1998: xi; see also McGrath, 2002), three main types have been identified. The most significant and widely disseminated type consists of published materials, which includes an ever growing array of items such as textbooks, ancillary audio-visual accompaniments, workbooks, learner dictionaries, guided readers, online courses and online supplements to traditional textbook-based courses. Increasingly, online resources comprise interactive white board activities and programmes (apps) designed to run on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. A second type is made up of so-called authentic materials, consisting of newspapers, magazines, songs and all other content which was not designed for pedagogical use but which is brought into classrooms by teachers. Finally, there are teacher-made materials, which comprise the wide range of sources of input or practice material which teachers design themselves and use to supplement or to replace existing resources. Regardless of type, materials have consistently been accorded a key role in the literature of “pinning down the procedures of the classroom” and imposing structure on the complexities of second language teaching and learning (Hutchinson and Torres, 1994: 319). The focus of this chapter is on published materials, given their enduring centrality in classrooms around the world as purveyors of thematic content, syllabus and curriculum (particularly in the case of state school education, where specific values may have to be imparted) and as realisations of method and sources of examination preparation and practice.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.