Why I Don’t Teach English From Textbooks

Someone asked me a question the other day.

They wanted me to recommend them an English textbook.

Did you know that there’s a bit of a debate in the English teaching world about textbooks?

Should you use English textbooks or should you completely avoid them?

If you think about it, textbooks have a lot of benefits. For one, all of the work has been done for you – you just open it and teach or learn from it. On top of that, most textbooks have an answer key, so you can correct your own answers.

Sounds good, right? Well, before you run out and buy a bunch of them, I have some news for you.

Textbooks are also kind of evil.

Textbooks have an evil power where they suck all of the creativity, passion and motivation from the teachers and students that use them (including the best ones).

You know that it is happening when you groan because the teacher said, “okay everyone. Open your books to page 53.”

It’s frightening.

It can turn an entire class of enthusiastic English learners into zombies. It can even turn the best teachers into mindless puppets who just turn page after page of their books.

(Here’s an easy way to spot ‘textbookitis‘, the disease which makes teachers sound like textbooks. You know when you hear someone explaining a grammar point, and they start using scientific language to describe it? That’s because they have ‘textbookitis’. Try it for yourself. The next time you watch someone explain a grammar point on YouTube, see if they have ‘textbookitis’.)

Anyway, that’s why I don’t teach from textbooks.

I want my students to be motivated, passionate and dedicated to learning English I want them to improve their English without feeling like they want to jump out of the window.

I do refer to textbooks though. They contain some really great information and some good exercises. But I never ever let them control my teaching.

Tomorrow, I’m doing a live session on how you can learn English on your own, and I’ll be showing you how you can avoid the “5 Deadly Self Study Sins”.

One of five these sins involves using textbooks.

The other four? Well, you’ll have to join the session to find out.

It’s free to sign up, but the spaces are very limited.

Sign up here: http://englishforstudy.com/selfstudy

Oh, and send the link to a friend (or five); the more people that we can save from textbooks, the better, right?

Sam

English For Study

Ps. There is no such thing as ‘textbookitis’ – I kind of made it up, but I might make it a ‘thing’. Just remember, you heard it here first!

Here’s the link for you to sign up (and share): http://englishforstudy.com/selfstudy

About the Author Sam

Sam is the founder and creator of English For Study. He's also a lecturer in EAP/Academic English. Apart from making Academic English easy, he likes learning languages, lifting weights and eating good food.

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