Teaching Material Evaluation for “Step by Step”

2019-10-08 14:54柯淑萍
校园英语·中旬 2019年9期

【Abstract】Teaching material plays an important role in foreign language teaching in China. Teaching Material is one of the key points to carry out the teaching syllabus. This paper evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of “Step by Step” by four principles for materials evaluation.

【Key words】Teaching Materials; Evaluation; Step by Step; criteria


1. Evaluation criteria for teaching material

Teaching material plays an important role in foreign language teaching in China. Teaching Material is one of the key points to carry out teaching syllabus. For teachers, with dependable teaching sequences and carefully chosen vocabulary, teachers mainly organize classroom activities according to the teaching material. For students, teaching material is also the most important resources for them to gain knowledge, skills and study strategies. So it is necessary to give the foreign teaching material an objective and scientific evaluation.

“Step by Step” has been used for more than ten years in most universities and colleges. Of course the teaching material has its advantages as well as its disadvantages. If we want to evaluate the teaching materials, we should have evaluation standards, there are four principles for materials evaluation:

(1) serve your aims and objectives( strength)

(2)equip your students to use language effectively (efficiency)

(3)keep students needs in mind.(awareness of students needs)

(4)consider the relationship between language, the learning process and the learner (harmony)

2. Evaluation for “Step by Step”

“Step by Step” will be evaluated according to the above four principles.

Firstly: Teaching materials are useful to the teachers and students. Strong and useful materials will be relevant to the students needs and interests and will provide them with tools for language use. The materials must be a good sampling of the language, authentic both linguistically and culturally. The Materials in “Step by Step” are old and not authentic, and some topics have nothing to do with the students daily life, the students cant be highly motivated. What they have listened does no help in real communication. Gradually, learning English becomes some kind of duty if they want to pass the examinations or get a degree. “Step by Step” doesnt offer many opportunities for the students to get involved in communicating with the other students or the teachers.

Secondly: Teaching material must help students use language efficiently. Many words and phrases in “Step by Step” are not active, the students perhaps will never use these words and phrases all their life. Topics are not challenging or motivating while some news reports are too difficult to understand, which is a waste of time for most students. “Step by Step” doesnt offer any chances for the students to practice or improve their pronunciation.

Thirdly: Teaching material should always bear students need in mind. Whats the purpose of learning? What do students want to get at the end of the class? What can students do after learning?  “Step by Step” adopts many topics about economics and politics but doesnt keep aware of different students needs in mind. Teaching material is general and not personalized.

Lastly: The relationship between language, the learning process and the learner should always be harmonious. It is a kind of communication between the writer and the user. “Step by Step” is well organized and coherent, but the students wont see any changes in different units. Language is clear but rather dull; the materials chosen for the students are uninteresting and lacking in variety.

3. Conclusion

Most teachers and students have a strong desire to change the teaching material “Step by Step” for new materials. They say old teaching materials are boring and inappropriate for the class .The exercises for the students are repetitive and not typical. They have spent a lot time doing exercises with little improvement of listening and speaking skills, both the students and the teachers are not highly motivated. Choosing an effective and instructive teaching material for students needs effort from responsible teachers.


[1]Ulas KAYAPINAR. Coursebook Evaluation by English Teachers [J]. Inonu University Journal of the Faculty of Education,2009.

[2]Zhang Minlun. Step by Step 2000[M]. East China Normal University Press,2010.

[3]He Lianzhen. View.Listen. Speak[M]. New College English, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press,2014.

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