1 Using resources beyond the textbook

Pause for thought

  • What resources do you use in your teaching?
  • Why do you choose them? How useful are they?

You may not have used many different resources in your classes. There are many reasons why teachers do not use many resources in their classes. A group of teachers said:

  • ‘Resources in English are expensive and I do not have access to them at my school.’
  • ‘Other resources do not help students with their exams.’
  • ‘I don’t have time to use other resources because I have to cover the syllabus.’
  • ‘My students struggle with English in the textbooks. They would not be able to understand other resources in English.’

Do you agree with any of these reasons? Can you add to the list?

You can use resources beyond the textbook to support your students’ English language learning. These resources don’t need to be expensive, and they can be in other languages, and readily available in your community.

In Activity 1, you will think about the kinds of resources beyond the textbook that you could use in your English classes.

Activity 1: Using resources in your English classes

Discuss the questions below with a colleague if you can.

  1. Look at the resources listed in Table 1 below. Are there other resources that you use or could use that are not in the list? If so, add these to the table.
  2. Put a tick in the column ‘Available’ if you and your students have access to this resource. Put a tick in the column ‘Available in English’ if you have access to this resource in English. Put a tick in the final column if you have ever used this resource in your classroom.
Table 1 Which resources are available to use in your classroom?
Resource Available Available in English I have used
Library books
Pictures, photos or drawings
Newspaper articles
Sports reports
Tourist information brochures
Popular songs
Radio programmes
TV programmes
Mobile phones
Computers and the internet

Are there other resources that you have access to but don’t use? Keep this list for future reference and perhaps return to the list in a few months to think again about the range of resources you use in the classroom.

What you can learn in this unit

2 Using pictures in the English classroom