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Materials Evaluation and Design for Language Teaching

Ian McGrath

Edition: 2

Hardback i (Printed to Order)
eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

Provides a systematic approach to the selection and subsequent evaluation of textbooks

Since the first edition of this book was published in 2002 there have been many changes in language teaching, not least those associated with technological developments. Despite such changes, the same basic needs remain as far as teacher education is concerned. Teachers still need advice on how to:

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1 Materials, courses, teachers
2 Choosing materials: first steps
3 Choosing materials: close evaluation
4 Coursebook-based teaching: selection and adaptation
5 Supplementation: exercises and worksheets
6 Using the real
7 Systematising materials design
8 Learner-produced materials
9 Evaluating effects
10 Materials and ...
Appendices; Tasks: Keys and Commentaries; References; Index

About the Author

Ian McGrath has over 30 years’ experience as a materials writer and as a teacher and educator in the UK and overseas, most recently as a Visiting Associate Professor at the National Institute of Education in Singapore. He is now an educational consultant based in the UK.


Praise for the first edition

Offers teachers and teacher trainers a practical guide for materials evaluation, adaptation, supplementation or writing, with the author adopting a pro-textbook position. As a single-author volume, it does a better job of providing a coherent thesis than the other books reviewed here, moving systematically through the various stages necessary in order to maximise the effectiveness of materials and tasks used as classroom input.

- Alex Gilmore, University of Tokyo, Journal of Language Teaching

A near-comprehensive coverage of the issues in materials design and evaluation from a unitary point of view … a goldmine of discussion topics for MA and teacher training courses.

- Alan Maley, ELT Journal

Reviews of the second edition

This second edition is a timely and welcome updating of McGrath’s seminal first edition. It provides clear frameworks and practical ideas for tackling the selection of course books, adapting materials to meet learners’ needs, and designing one’s own materials. It will help both teachers and materials developers make principled choices when using and developing materials.

- Professor Kathleen Graves, University of Michigan

The book is of particular value to teacher trainers on postgraduate courses or as a set text on modular Masters courses. It is also of particular interest to experienced, practising teachers with an independent interest in professional development.

- Gail Sylvia Steele, SEAMEO RELC, Singapore, RELC Journal

Materials Evaluation and Design lays out clear frameworks and offers very practical ideas for getting to grips with the myriad facts impinging on selection and adaptation. It assists practitioners in being systematic with their approach and in making more principled choices. … Ian McGrath states in his introduction that his particular hope for this publication is that it will 'embolden readers to take at least one step beyond where they stand at present'. Materials Evaluation and Design is an inspiring and engaging book which does much more than this. We have long become used to the idea of encouraging learner autonomy in our classrooms. This book goes a long way towards encouraging teacher autonomy and as such is an excellent acquisition.

- Roy O'Kane, Modern English Teacher

This book deals with topics of very great obvious practical importance. The treatment is thoughtful, thorough, judicious, comprehensive, and reader-friendly. This book is certain to be a standard work for some years to come…. There are copious illustrative appendices; numerous apt reader/discussion tasks with keys and commentaries; as well as abundant references. A fine achievement.

- The Teacher Trainer

For a book of this size, the second edition is commendably comprehensive … The book takes the readers back to the early flowering of literature on materials development in the 1990s and then forward as far as 2014. It contains reference to all of what would be considered the mainstream literature on materials development as well as to publications and theses not normally referred to [and] is rich in principled and practical suggestions for students and teachers for the design, development, evaluation, selection, use and adaptation of materials…. The book is full of potentially stimulating content… This is a very reader-friendly book, easy to understand, easy to access, easy to navigate, and helpful in its in-chapter suggestions and the back of the book keys and commentaries for its tasks.

- Brian Tomlinson, ELT Journal

The most distinctive contribution of this book is Chapter 8, which introduces ways to include learner-produced materials. This is new terrain for many applied linguists and teachers and has not received much attention in most of the literature. McGrath, however, offers interesting, diverse and practical ways in which learners can produce materials for themselves and each other … This book is a good resource that certainly offers a variety of helpful input, tips, and discussions for applied linguists and teachers. While the text is approached from an applied linguistics perspective, it is the appendix that may prove most valuable for teachers, providing as it does a rich variety of tables, examples and graphs, which serve as useful guidelines, especially for teachers under time pressure. The author is also to be commended for his emphasis on including the learner in materials design and evaluation processes, which for me represents the book’s greatest accomplishment.

- Mona Syrbe, Coventry University London Campus, Applied Linguistics

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