Wim Gombert

34 CHAPTER 2 Enduring situational realities are in uenced by policymakers, educational advisors, teacher trainers, and educational publishers, but what happens in the actual foreign language classroom may be most directly related to coursebooks. erefore, the role of coursebooks needs to be investigated further. THE ROLE OF COURSEBOOKS In the past decades, parallel with the rise of CLT principles in foreign language teaching, a rise in the use of coursebooks can be seen, as “ready-to-use” and integrated coursebooks o er structured content in a uniform format for simple and quick implementation (Crewe, 2011). ese coursebooks are generally considered important in many teaching programs because they serve di erent purposes: (1) they lend authority to the teacher as content mediator and o er a clear overview for students of what needs to be learned (Haycro , 1998), (2) they serve as a resource and reference, both for teachers and students (Cunningsworth, 1995), (3) they provide face validity to many learners and teachers (Dubin & Olshtain, 1986, p. 167), and (4) they serve as an entire teaching program and their writers as curriculum designers (ibid, p. 170), henceforth facilitating the teachers’ work. ey may even be seen as a crucial resource which serves the need for guidance for the less experienced and non-native speaking teacher (Crewe, 2011). e central role of coursebooks in foreign language teaching practice is best described by Tomlinson (2016), who claims that “…. a coursebook which achieved a perfect match with SLA principles would not achieve face validity and would almost certainly not sell” (p. 18). As coursebooks nowadays play a prominent role in foreign language teaching, they should therefore be discussed in a study of e ective foreign language teaching programs. In the light of the previously mentioned observation that CLT practice generally embodies a weak version of CLT, prioritizing language learning over language use (Howatt,1984) or communication (Waters, 2012), it is interesting to investigate the role played by modern coursebooks. On several occasions, Tomlinson (2011, 2012, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c) published di erent criteria supported by SLA research, which he claimed to be important for “durable and e ective language acquisition (Tomlinson, 2016, p. 6)”. Five of these criteria (See Table 3) are claimed to be essential in the development and evaluation of coursebook materials. TABLE 3. Five prerequisites for course material development 1. Learners need to be exposed to rich, recycled, meaningful and comprehensible input of language in use. 2. Learners need to be affectively engaged. 3. Learners need to be cognitively engaged. 4. Learners need to be helped to pay attention to form when/after focusing on meaning. 5. Learners need to be given ample opportunity to use the language for communication.