ELT Materials

It is undeniable that materials are an indispensable part of language teaching and learning. In most language teaching and learning cases across the world, the course book is a central element and, besides teachers, it is often the only exposure to English that students receive. Nonetheless, there are only few studies focusing on design and development process of language teaching and learning materials. This might be because Materials Design and Development (MDD) is considered to be an atheoretical application in Applied Linguistics. However, it is not sensible to think of such an important application as being apart from research and theory. In my opinion, more Materials Design and Development (MDD) cases need to be examined in order to understand what really shapes materials and, in turn, what impact they create on their users.

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It is also acknowledged that there is generally a complex trade-off between the teacher, the materials and the learners inside the classrooms where published materials are used (Maley 1998). Thus, Allwright (1981) pictures the lesson as an interaction between the three elements of teacher, learners, and materials. Hutchinson and Torres (1994) claim that this interaction creates opportunities for learning. On the other hand, Grant (1987) states that the type of materials used will influence the way teachers teach and the way learners learn. Similarly, Cunningsworth (1995 ,7) notes that ‘teaching materials can exert considerable influence over what teachers teach and how they do it’. It should be emphasised that not only the type of the materials but also the way they are used inside the classroom will have a big influence on teaching and learning. At this point, Ghosn (1998, 291) underlines that ‘research into what teachers and students actually do with the course book in the classroom is limited’. Therefore, it might be very useful to shed light on how materials are used inside the classroom in order to understand how and in what ways materials influence teaching and learning inside the classroom.