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Teacher's guides 
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:56 am
Posts: 5
Location: Japan
Post Teacher's guides
This is my first question at the wonderful site, and I was hoping some of you would share your experience with me.

Here it goes..... I always buy a teacher's guide for the texts I use in my classes, English Time, Connect and Side by Side etc. But during class I always use the same text as my students (the student book). So I was just wondering.... is there anybody out there who uses the Teacher's guide during class? :roll:

Mon May 10, 2010 12:08 pm

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 6:11 pm
Posts: 55
I only ever use the teacher's guide to check the dialogue or to check what the key phrase for each lesson is supposed to be.

I don't really use the instructions in the teacher's guide for planning the lesson. This is for the elementary school curriculum in Korea and it doesn't help that most of the guide is in Korean either! but I don't find that I need to read the guide generally.

Mon May 10, 2010 3:08 pm

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:36 pm
Posts: 386
Location: Tohoku Japan
I used them when I first started out (to get off the ground) but I quickly found them unnecessary. But we all must start, do what you feel is right for you.

Mon May 10, 2010 5:24 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
I like the teacher editions that have the teacher's notes mixed into the student's book. So, you have the notes on one page and the student's book page on the other side.

I don't really use the teacher's book for much, but sometimes there is a good idea in there or some photocopiable materials. I also will write a lesson plan for each activity in on the teacher page with my own ideas or games that I think will work well with that section. So after 1 or 2 times teaching that book, I can pretty much just use the teachers book as my lesson plan.

What I do wish they had was more space for teachers to write things in.

Also, I wish they wrote more background information about the content. Why did the authors choose this particular content for the target language. If the content has it, I'd like more background facts for discussion. I generally have to spend a lot of time looking up different facts. For example if the book is covering what items are famous/sold in different countries, match coffee to Brazil, then I'd like some information on the biggest coffee companies, how much coffee is sold out of Brazil, or something like that.

It's nice to have the audio scripts quick at hand to reference if students have a question about what a listening section script said exactly. So, yes, even though I don't really use the teachers book so much, I think it's still good to have.

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Mon May 10, 2010 10:16 pm
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Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 2:49 am
Posts: 1
Location: New Zealand
Post I Use Them
First let me say that I didn't use them when I first started teaching. I was the first one to scoff at not only the lesson plans given from the authors but the exercises and activities in the book as well. But, I regret that. I learned quite a lot by digging deeper and doing a bit of investigating. (And although I come off as a bit of a fanboy here, no I'm not an EFL material writer nor do I have any dealings with EFL publishers.)

Now, I definitely use the Teacher's Guide. Some of the schools I've worked at have tried to save money by not buying it, but I've always insisted. The first thing I do, before anything else, is read the introduction. If you want to use the book to its full potential and/or tweak it to meet your needs, you've got to get into the head of the person who wrote the book. What theories do they teach by and how did they write the book accordingly?

Usually, after the introduction, they will explain each "type of section" that you may or may not come across in each lesson plan. This is key because when you don't quite understand why a certain exercise or activity is in the book, you can flip back to the guide for that "type of section". This way you can compare theory and action.

With that knowledge it's much easier to tweak or add in a new exercise that follows the same theory and action but it is more appropriate for your class. If you want to criticize (and do away with) the the books teaching theory then I hope you've got a strong background in Second Language Acquisition.

The guys/gals who write these books (at least for the big publishers) are not only professional English teachers who write these books for their own classes, but many of them have Master's Degrees in Language Teaching and even PhD's in Linguistics. They are basing the content, exercises and activities in the book on the latest qualitative and quantitative research done at language schools and universities around the world.

A real criticism is that many of texts are mass marketed, which means they aren't tailored to deal with the specific English learning difficulties of the students in the country that you are teaching in. By the way, if you're teaching American English, haven't you ever wondered why the fictitious schools in the textbooks seem to have a strict American, Japanese and Mexican only entrance policy? Haha. "Repeat after me"."His name is Jaimenacho." LOL. But luckily the trend is going toward more "country specific".

If you're reading this post and don't use the teacher's books, I hope I've intrigued you to crack open those dusty old things. Trust me, it's worth a read!

Luck is when hard work and preparedness meet opportunity.

Wed May 19, 2010 4:12 am

Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:38 am
Posts: 128
Location: Italy
I've written, let me see, 22 teacher's guides now, and will soon be writing more. It's interesting to hear how people use - or more often than not - don't use them. I've always suspected as much. When I write these guides, I assume that most readers will be new teachers looking for maximum support, so I keep it fairly basic in terms of procedure, and spell out overy stage. I also avoid including much methodological justfication. There isn't really space, and while it mght be useful for some teachers, I think most just want some straightforward help to get on with the job. My guides are probably a rather over-explanatory and dull read for more experienced teachers - they're not really aimed at those teachers.


Thu May 20, 2010 7:23 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Warner Robins, Ga
Post Teacher's manual
I have just completed the first year of teaching conversational English in our church. As a brand new teacher, I found the teacher text very helpful in knowing what foundation to cover before presenting the conversation in the student text. With two Mandarin Chinese speakers, and four Spanish, it was quite a challenge at times to keep it relevant to their lives and time of life. The teacher manual was quite helpful at first. Jackie.

Jackie says--
Have a Jesus-filled day!

Fri May 28, 2010 4:41 am
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