Excuses

Since my presentation Challenging the Coursebook, there have been various responses.  With the one exception of Andrew Schmidt’s comments, none has dealt with the points I raised.

My argument  against the coursebook is in two parts.  First, most coursebooks assume that  presenting and practicing discrete formal aspects of the language in a pre-determined sequence will lead to declarative knowledge becoming procedural, and that the synthetic bits of language presented and practiced in the coursebook will be accumulated by learners in such a way as to result in the progressive re-structuring of their interlanguages.  Both these assumption are false. The assumption that learners will learn what they’re taught when they’re taught it is also false.

Second, coursebooks impose a product (synthetic) syllabus on users,  but a process (analytic) syllabus  caters better to learners’ needs and is likely to lead to faster learning and higher levels of attainment.

In reply, these comments have been made:

Not all coursebooks are the same: they differ in content and design.  Of course: and there are bound to be exceptions to my generalised assertion.  But apart from the coursebooks Anthony named, nobody else (and in particular, not Dellar) has given any coherent argument against the claim that most coursebooks are based on the false assumptions I attribute to them.

Teachers use coursebooks in very different ways.  Again: of course. But unless teachers use the coursebooks so sparingly or in ways so entirely different from the way the authors intend them to be used, the coursebook is the most important factor in determining what happens in the lessons comprising the course.

Coursebooks help busy, overworked teachers who don’t have time to prepare their own lesson plans and materials. Quite so. But if that’s the only reason to explain why teachers use them, then it follows that ELT would be better if we organised things in such a way that we didn’t rely on coursebooks.

Coursebooks help new teachers who need obvious structure and guidance. Ditto.

Expecting teachers to make their own materials without paying them is worse than asking them to use a coursebook.  Ditto.

Despite all their flaws, I use coursebooks, so there.  I know this is supposed to be funny, or witty, or something, but it’s a bit too near the truth to make me laugh.

I find it depressing that so little importance seems to be given to the underlying principles which inform our teaching practice. Why are most teachers not more concerned about these principles?  Why is there so little attempt made to seriously confront the argument that SLA is a predominantly implicit process where declarative knowledge and explicit instruction is known to play a minor role in facilitating language learning?  Likewise, why are so few people in ELT ready to take seriously the various proposals that have been made for a process syllabus?  Rather than make an attempt to critically appraise the arguments against coursebooks, or to put forward a coherent, principled counter-argument, all we get are excuses. And very lame excuses at that.

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29 thoughts on “Excuses

  1. I was ‘talking’ to Rose about this the other day. People clap and cheer people like Scott Thornbury but only a minority do anything like what he (and others, but Scott is the most visible) proposed with Dogme. Nodding heads and then a case of ‘Well, it’s much too easy to use this thing that’s been foisted upon me by the businessman in charge of my institution so I’ll carry on the way I’m doing things’. It can only be that, surely?

    The fact that a mere layman like me can open up Lightbown and Spada and see, plain as bloody day, that grammar syllabi are pointless/a rip-off/a waste of time makes me despair of some of those in the upper echelons of our profession.

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  2. Hi Geoff,
    I am the ‘living’ example to your first argument. I mean I make a ‘living’ teaching a specific group of people (young and old) English. This is how: A part of my clientele comprises of teens and adults who somehow have ended up in my one-to-one classes, after being exposed to coursebook-based instruction for years. In vain. (Yeah, I think it’s coursebook-based. Sad to say, but the teachers around me lack any sort of professional discipline or principles whatsoever, they are convinced that their job is to teach the book. No matter what they had crammed and regurgitated back in their university years, all those things labelled ‘methodology’.)The other part of my students is a bunch of kids who do English at school, they have 2-5 lessons a week, their parents hire me (for 1 lesson weekly) to help them because they simply have no clue. Some want me to help these children improve their grades (based on the tests that are based on the coursebooks), which is just helping them with tricks to be able to do well on tests, others want me to turn all that dead stuff of the coursebooks into practical knowledge.I do these things in the majority of my working hours. I’m an edu-vulture :S 😀 (Sometimes I use coursebooks though.)

    When I say I’m more of a dogme teacher, colleagues think I hate coursebooks. I have no feelings towards them, what I don’t like is the blindness that the whole thing triggers. They can’t see their students from behind the damn coursebook.

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  3. It seems to be a catch-22 situation: we’re trained that this is the way it should be, so that’s why the coursebooks are as they are, but then the coursebooks are as they are because that’s the way we are trained to teach.

    Possibly a more confusing sentence than it needed to be, but I think you get the point 🙂

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    • Hi Kirsten,

      Yes, I agree – there’s something very Catch 22 about it: the more missions you fly (courses you teach) the more remote the end of the whole silly set up becomes.

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  4. Sorry, but I think there’s more to EFL teachers’ reluctance to abandon coursebooks than brainwashing by evil Big Business or intellectual laziness. I do realise that ‘business’ is a filthy dirty word in EFL circles, but whether we like it or not, the context in which many if not most people are teaching and learning language is an economic relationship – a trade. As such, whether they’re conscious of it or not, both learners and teachers tend to see what happens in the classroom in trading terms. And even if there’s no money changing hands, there’s a trade in terms of time and energy that the learner is expected to put in to the process. So in the learner’s head it goes something like this: “I, as the learner, have paid you, the teacher, to give me something that I can’t get by myself. As I don’t know how to do this myself, I will trust your expertise sufficiently to invest money/time/energy in it – but having invested that money/time/energy, I want to make sure I GET something – and I also need to KNOW that I am getting something – or else I’ll stop and invest my money/time/energy somewhere else.”

    The problem is, that we as teachers are aware of this – but are also aware that given the constraints of language acquisition, almost ANYTHING we do with our students in the short time we typically have them in our class is highly unlikely to have much of an impact on their long term language acquisition. Not only that, but if language acquisition theory is ‘true’, then most of the progress a learner will make in acquiring the language will come from natural, spontaneous and unmediated contact with other people who already speak it. Sure, they might get this in a Dogme classroom or a classroom that has a process syllabus – but they could also just as easily get this in a pub, or at a business conference, or by moving to another country – or even, to a certain extent, by just watching loads of TV and movies in their target language. So ultimately, the ‘trade’ that any language classroom – no matter how enlightened – involves is built on a falsehood: the notion that what is being paid for in that classroom is something that can’t be had for free elsewhere. From this point of view, although the declarative knowledge in a coursebook may have little or no impact on language acquisition, it is at least knowledge – and more to the point it’s something that the learner can feel they are ‘getting’ – irrespective of what effect it actually has on their ability in the language. Dogme classes, for all that they are much more aligned with SLA theory, can ultimately only be effective if they are attended over the kind of timescales that it takes for acquisition to ‘work’ – and not only do very few schools offer courses based on such timescales, but very few students canb afford to spend the time/money acquiring the language this way anyway. So in the final analysis, if it’s a choice between two months of coursebook classes or two months of Dogme, the rational choice will always be the coursebook lessons. Neither option will give the learner what they want, but the coursebook lessons will at least give them knowledge

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    • Dear Dan,

      Nobody suggested that EFL teachers’ reluctance to abandon coursebooks can be “completely explained” by brainwashing by evil Big Business or intellectual laziness.

      Nobody said business is a filthy dirty word in EFL circles.

      Learners don’t pay teachers to give them something they can’t get by themselves. Most teachers make it clear to learners that they can’t “give” them English: they can only help them learn for themselves.

      I don’t think most teachers share your cynical view that almost anything they do in class is highly unlikely to have much of an impact on their long term language acquisition.

      Language acquisition theory is not ‘true’.

      Millions of EFL students don’t get the chance to acquire the language by natural, spontaneous and unmediated contact with other people who already speak it.

      The work going on in a Dogme classroom or a classroom using a process syllabus does NOT consist of acquiring the language by natural, spontaneous and unmediated contact with other people who already speak it. If you read Meddings’ and Thornbury’s published work on Dogme, you’ll see that it consists of a well-articulated set of principles which lays out a coherent theory of language, of language learning, and of language teaching. The latter recognises the importance of, among other things, rich comprehensible input, meaningful interaction, scaffolding, negative feedback, and explicit attention to formal elements of the language. And if you read Breen, 1987, you’ll see that you here misrepresent the process syllabus.

      The ‘trade’ that any language classroom involves is NOT built on the falsehood that what is being paid for in that classroom is something that can be had for free elsewhere. All well-informed teachers can assure learners of the studies done (the Canadian immersion studies, plus studies of TBLT courses in the USA, for example – see Loewen (2015) “Instructed SLA”, and Long (2015) “SLA and TBLT”, for example) which show that much faster and better results are achieved in courses which have some or all of these features; learner input into syllabus design, needs analysis, feedback sessions, organised homework, on-line class support systems, provision of maximum comprehensible input, use of locally-produced materials, opportunities for the negotiation of meaning, scaffolding, principled, systematic, attention to formal aspects of the language including grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and pragmatics.

      Your suggestion that although the declarative knowledge in a coursebook may have little or no impact on language acquisition, it is at least knowledge and something that the learner can feel they are ‘getting’, “irrespective of what effect it actually has on their ability in the language”, is extraordinary. If the teacher believes that most learners most of the time don’t manage to re-structure the declarative knowledge they get from coursebooks into procedural knowledge, then surely it’s their duty to change their teaching practice, rather than cynically console themselves as you suggest.

      You’re wrong to say that Dogme classes can only be effective if they are attended over the kind of timescales that it takes for acquisition to ‘work’. Right the way through your comment you show a complete ignorance of Dogme, and here you couple it with a demonstration of ignorance about immersion courses and “time scales”. There’s absolutely no good reason to suppose that, whatever “time scale” you have in mind, an EFL course run along Dogme principles would give worse results, in terms of measurable improvements in proficiency, than an EFL course run by using a coursebook. .

      If it comes to a choice between two months of coursebook classes or two months of Dogme, a rational choice will be made after properly informing yourself about what’s on offer in each case. It’s just possible that two months spent doing English classes using the Dogme approach will “get” you more than what you expect to get from the coursebook-driven option – bits of knowledge which, as far as you know, have little or no effect on your ability to use the language.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dan,
      As someone who is genuinely committed to putting my students’ needs and expectations first while at the same time developing a deeper understanding of my chosen profession, I find your comments disappointing.

      First seek to understand, then to be understood.

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  5. Hi Dan,
    You seem to be saying that what happens in a Dogme classroom is similar to to the kind of practice a learner gets in “a pub, or at a business conference, or by moving to another country – or even, to a certain extent, by just watching loads of TV and movies in their target language”. I don’t believe this is true in Dogme classrooms and it certainly wasn’t in my own where I applied a rather similar approach – the Silent Way – and also didn’t use a coursebook and encouraged students’ spontaneous expression. But that didn’t mean I just sat back and let them chat. I was extremely interventionist – constantly drawing students’ attention to their mistakes (not just grammar but also pronunciation, style, register…) and getting them to correct themselves. My aim was not for them to acquire knowledge, but know-how so I rarely gave them explicit grammar rules.

    The courses were pretty expensive and I felt they should get value for their money. They nearly always felt they did even if it wasn’t what they expected at the beginning of the course. Student satisfaction is not a proof of effective teaching but then, what is? (I don’t mean that all my courses went perfectly – they didn’t, but I learnt to do better the next time.)

    I don’t know what evidence you have for saying that Dogme courses have to be attended for two months to be effective. My own courses (and those of colleagues who worked in the same institution) were usually about 50h. I tried to work in such a way that students would have the mental criteria necessary to continue to continue to progress after the course. Mere contact with the language does not rapidly develop such mental tools.

    Cheers,
    Glenys

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  6. I really enjoyed reading this post, Geoff. I think I fall under the “Coursebooks help busy, overworked teachers who don’t have time to prepare their own lesson plans and materials” ‘excuse’ when it comes to why I believe they are useful and necessary for many of us. However, I don’t think it’s just an excuse, I think it’s an understandable reason that goes beyond being a mere excuse. Maybe it’s a question of semantics, but to me an excuse means that you could do something differently but ultimately you choose not to. There isn’t a whole lot of choice to avoid using textbooks when you are told which course you’ll be teaching only a few days before it starts, and you have to teach a full-time load without any time to develop a curriculum or get additional support. I know that your response is that “ELT would be better if we organised things in such a way that we didn’t rely on coursebooks.” But since ELT isn’t organized that way (yet) it’s frustrating to hear that using textbooks in the type of scenario I described above is then just an excuse.

    In my current teaching context, between preparing, grading, and teaching, I already work 40+ hours. I wonder how long my work week would be without using textbooks, but I assume it would at least be 10+ hours longer -making unsustainable. I know I’m only focusing on the teacher end here, but it’s a reality that has to be faced. I do believe in Dogme, and have had the chance to hear Scott talk about it a few times. I’ve also taught without textbooks and really enjoyed it -but again, I was supported in those scenarios to make it sustainable for me to do.

    What do you suggest a teacher who isn’t given time or support to develop materials and design curriculum do to avoid using textbooks or at least use them in a way that is less “nuggety”?

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    • Hi Laura, I totally understand what you are saying and it’s true that teachers are working under conditions that leave them no choice. I have been there and still, 40% my classes use coursebooks.
      But this only is so because my school started a program and didn’t know what to do with the mixed level groups. So, we ended up having to work without CBs.

      At first, the teachers working with this program brought worksheets, some still do, I shift from worksheets to blank notebooks. I got inspired by John F.Fanselow on this. Curiosity and interest is raised when you don’t know what you are going to learn. And it works super well with my teens and one-to-one classes.

      As I started to collect feedbacks from students and using Film-English video-based lesson (2011) and project-based 2012), I started discovering new ways to engage learners so that they could find the motivation to achieve their own goals (2013).

      Is there a way to avoid nuggety without ditching CB? I’m yet to find out. I don’t have a huge problem with the first two levels of the CB I have to work with adults. They are light enough and it leaves enough room to work on learner autonomy, discuss our experiences as language learners, share tools and resources we can use during the week, use Whatsapp to expand class time, and I make sure they understand that they will not learn the grammar it is there just because it’s there. And this last bit is very confusing to some learners. They don’t understand why they won’t master it at that particular moment and why they will continue to make certain mistakes until they are ready to sink in. Why do they get confused when I explain them that? Because they were taught to believe that learning is external to them and depends on the method. Marketing does a good job at this too. They make people believe that learning from a Native is better, or that Learning in their school is fun (lots of games, no grammar, bla bla bla), that they have a communicative approach, etc. This is just of some slogans we find flying around town.

      “Learning is an internal process. No one can do it for you but you. Come to our school and learn how to learn any language.” Try this slogan and see how many students you get! 😉 Convincing learners to think differently is hardworking job. I get super frustrated sometimes, but then I take a deep breath and say to myself: “it’s not his/her fault. They were taught to think that way.” It’s established culture.

      Problem is when the CB is grammar-based disguised as communicative (quite common in Brazil Market) or there is a lot of input (reading/listening) but they work as pre-text to understand grammar and little real opportunities for language use (also quite common). Is anyone here in favor of these two examples for teens and adults, please write a post about it and tell us why they are effective based on honest account of learners outcome and how you approach testing progress. Love to read it!

      I also noticed the discussions are not taking into account that the way we view learning or (have to view) will tell how we assess progress. There is a constant clash of beliefs between teacher (if one sees oneself as a teacher and not as instructor) beliefs, students beliefs and what the coursebook/course offers. It’s definitely not just the coursebook, it’s any course. It’s only natural after all we are talking about people. But as coursebooks are used and viewed as the syllabus most of the time, they get to be picked. The ideal would be to have enough space for negotiation, but that is not an option for most teachers for two reasons 1) schools sell their methods, teachers are instructors and quality control means make sure the teachers follow the schools methodology not if learners are in fact learning; 2) classroom culture is not prepared to see learning/teaching as organic. Teachers are expected to be the sole authority despite the fact that we have learners who are self-directed and can do pretty well without one.

      Taking the conditions we are in into account, one can only do so much as they are allowed to, but we should be at least frustrated with this reality that doesn’t take learners and teachers into account whatsoever. So are people ready to talk about working conditions? It seems that everyone talks about it but doesn’t seem to believe that change is possible. Halas, just let things be the way it is. Why bother?

      Apart from culture of exploration, there isn’t much we are doing for ourselves and our learners. I was reading Marek’s article about the blame game today and one thing he wrote is totally true. We are suppose to be educating the public, yet they are educated by businesses not teachers. So I agree with Marek, we are all to blame. CB in my humble opinion (the opinion of just a teacher) is just a symptom of an old sickness: Greedy. If learning was the driving force of our discussions, we would be having much more healthier and productive discussions.

      Have we lost faith in ourselves? What is the point of studying, studying and studying if there is no use for what we learn? What are DELTA and M.As for? Why should we bother with PD if much of we learn in it cannot be put into practice? Truth is if you work for a company (excuse me… I mean school) and you are not willing to play by their rules, you’ll be replaced.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Laura,

      I have absolutely no intention, inclination or right to criticise you or any teacher who uses coursebooks because they don’t have enough support from their bosses to try an alternative. I criticise those who run the current ELT industry: the publishers, the British Council, the Cambridge examination Board, those who run CELTA, DELTA etc.; the usual suspects. Those who write coursebooks, those who apologise for, promote and sell them, those who build teacher training courses around them, those who run schools where coursebooks are the only realistic option open to the teachers, and so on. If the best these people can do is make the replies I listed above, then they’re making excuses.

      The evidence from SLA research and the arguments of Breen, Candlin, Long, Doughty, Ellis, Skehan, Meddings, Thornbury and a host of others suggest that we should abandon General English coursebooks and turn our efforts to designing and delivering learner-centred L2 courses which rely on analytic / process syllabuses and materials banks which cater for local needs. All we can do as teachers is voice our objections to the way the coursebook dominates our teaching practice, argue our case, and push for change. While we use coursebooks if we have to, we can use them less, and gradually devote more classroom time to activities where they play no part. While using coursebooks, we can, at the same time, slowly build up legal, exciting, innovative materials banks among ourselves. We can take an hour off from the coursebook and use lesson plans and teaching ideas which focus on clear, single, bright ideas, rather than Part 6 in the 15-part-4-skills-singing-and-dancing-now-turn-to-page-215-and-click-on-Track-7-of-CD2-of-Headway-Intermediate. We can refuse to go to workshops where some member of the ELT establishment is flown in to tell us how to teach, and spend the time making materials and swapping ideas with colleagues. We can hold more regular feedback sessions with our learners, seek out their opinions, listen to their input, bend the course more to their individual needs. If we want to empower our learners by genuinely involving them in decisions which affect their learning, then we need to change the way the ELT industry is run. OK, so it will be gradual change not a dramatic revolution, but let’s make a start. One day next week, go into class and don’t use the coursebook – at all. Just for a day.

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  7. My responses to Geoff’s excellent post:

    1) It seems like the spirit of adventure and exploration which animated ELT in a previous generation i.e. The Silent Way (which Glenys refers to above), Community Language Learning, and other approaches have largely been confined to the dustbin of history by the mainstream of the profession, sorry….industry (Dogme being an exception perhaps that proves the rule).

    What explains this? Perhaps these earlier approaches had a clearer target or ‘enemy’ than we do – behaviourism and audiolingualism – whereas we have globalization, neoliberalism, etc. Behaviourism was subject to numerous attacks e.g. from humanistic psychology, resulting in a new wave of progressive methods and the communicative approach.

    2) The debate on coursebooks also shows the worrying ability of those in the ‘FOR’ camp to just narrow the question of coursebooks use to ‘the classroom’, or ‘what is convenient or easy’. These are dumbed-down arguments, if arguments at all. Replace the word coursebooks with ‘drilling’ and you can construct a defence of audiolingualism:

    “Not all drills are the same: they differ in content and design.”

    “Teachers use drills in very different ways.”

    On the other hand, it seems that those ‘PRO’ (or just ‘CRITICAL’) have much wider criticisms that are not answered–or even listened to.

    3) Laura’s point above is pertinent here. Once you HAVE a coursebook, and it’s at the centre of your pedagogy or working context this becomes very hard to change–habits and expectations of learners, teachers and institutions become sticky.

    I developed my own methodology–which relies on co-creating a syllabus with my learners. But yes, it does take more time than using a coursebook initially.

    So there are clear implementation costs of any new methodology or process in terms of time; in an era of increasing precarity–who has the time to change or develop their pedagogy?

    4) Bright side. Possible answers will come from open discussion and debate, like we’re having now!

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  8. In answer to Rose’s points (hi Rose!) – yes, I think a lot of teachers have ‘lost faith’ – particularly those at the bottom. The sheer amount of people I’ve spoken to who’ve said “Things will never change” is astonishing–but I think this is a symptom of the wider situation we’re talking about.

    It might help to conceptualise solving these problems in 3 stages: Defining, Opposing and Constructing. At the moment, perhaps we are only at the first stage ‘Defining’ e.g. it’s not that coursebooks are bad; the whole problem is much wider and more complicated than that–coursebooks remove the teacher’s autonomy, they deskill us, they promote values and worldviews we might not agree with, and so on. Until what we are AGAINST is clearly defined then it will be hard to build consensus on opposing it.

    To build a movement for change means that a LOT of people have to see that there are inherent problems and contradictions within the ‘way things are now’.

    That takes time and it isn’t easy.

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  9. But I live in Berlin – a city which used to have a great big wall running through the middle of it – and no one predicted the fall of that, did they!

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  10. Pingback: In Place of Coursebooks | The Other Things Matter

  11. Hi Geoff,

    You can’t know how comforting it is to have an established academic like you speak out against the use of General English coursebooks (and other shibboleths of the ELT world). I bet you’re not often called a comforter but that’s what you are to someone who spent her whole teaching life as an outsider.

    “The spirit of adventure and exploration which animated ELT in a previous generation” referred to by Paul was not very obvious to me at the time. It was possible for a few teachers to learn about The Silent Way, Community Language Learning, Suggestopedia and a little later Total Physical Response, but it was generally not feasible to implement them in the classrooms of most institutions – for the same reasons as today. I was incredibly lucky to work in a language centre where I could do so. If my immediate superiors could have got rid of me (and the small group of teachers who worked they same way) they would have done so. They had no excuse to do so because the fee-paying, adult students overwhelming liked what they got. In French universities it’s unheard of for anyone to be fired because of their intellectual standpoint.

    I see a huge change for the better because, thanks to you and a few others, thinking teachers who use coursebooks and the methodology they induce have been put on the defensive. Now the world looks very different as seen from my dustbin.

    Cheers,
    Glenys

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    • Hi Glenys,

      Thanks very much for your kind words; I’m very flattered to be called a comforter by you. I must say that blogging and thus connecting with people like you has made me feel more optimistic too: it’s good to feel that we’re making our voice heard – and making coursebook writers & publishers feel just a tad uncomfortable by doing so.

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  12. hi all

    there was an interesting report [https://www.asc.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/TradeoffFallacy_1.pdf] shared on Twitter recently that challenged marketers notion that consumers accept a tradeoff between giving up private data and benefiting from free-services/discounts/promotions etc.

    the report argues that consumers are in fact +resigned+ to giving up their private data even though they hate to do it

    a parallel could be drawn in the marketing of coursebooks where arguments are made that [teacher coursebook] consumers are making a similar tradeoff between say saving time and coursebook generalisms?

    could well be that teachers are resigned to the current set-up even though they dislike it? could discussions like these, though limited, on social media reflect more general opinion of a state of dissatisfaction about CBs?

    does anyone know of any recent surveys of teacher attitudes to CBs?

    ta
    mura

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    • Hi Mura,

      Good points. I think there is a very widespread feeling of “resignation” among teachers about coursebooks – even Scott Thornbury has expressed the opinion that coursebooks have won the battle for control of ELT and that Dogme has little chance of really challenging their use.

      I don’t know of any recent surveys of teacher attitudes to CBs – I’ll have a look around the virtual libraries and let’s hope we get suggestions.

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  13. I haven´t used a course book for over 30 years, the last 15 years have all been One to One classes. I really enjoy my job, I find it challenging and rewarding.I don´t wake up i the morning and think ” Oh shit , third conditional today, or non Bin the blasted book !- defining relative clauses” I approach every day as something totally new, not sure where it will lead, but prepared for many different outcomes.. I do suppose that comes with experience. If I had had to spend my life teaching from any of the turgid CB´s on offer, I think I would have committed linguistic Hari Kiri long, long ago. Change is not easy, but, believe me, your teaching can become a thing of joy, if you will only give Dogme and the process syllabus a chance. Negotiate with your student (s) aim to fulfill their needs, make learning English something to treasure and not just another subject on their overfull timetables or a threat to their future advancement within their companies.

    Bin the book !!!!

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  14. I brought this up with my dept head. The French ppl use an awful program from Oxford University Press called Communi-Quête and the workbooks are full of garbage like conjugation exercises etc. “They learn,” was what she said when I pointed out that there was zero research support. Great…acquisition as the byproduct of bad program design.

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