Friday, October 8, 2010

Principles of Effective Materials Development.

By Prof. M.Ed. Virginia Baker Casanova.

According to Brian Tomlinson, author of Principles of Effective Materials Development, authentic material contributes to positive learning development. When guiding learners through the learning process, instructors should be very careful when selecting literature. The selected material must follow principles that contribute positively towards the principled development of ELT material.

Authors should be clear of teacher and learners needs to enhance and full their realities of publishing material.The ELT materials should stimulate interaction among learners, also help learnears to pay attention to features of authentic input, it must provide learnears with opportunities to use the target language to achieve communicative purposes and outcome feedback, as well it must stimulate intellectual, aesthetic, and emotional involvement.

Authentic material should not be push  in just one direction it should provide teachers and learners with opportunities to change the sequence of a range of texts and tasks. In this way, they can gain opportunities for language acquisition from motivated exposure to language in use.
Based on Tomlinson and Masuhara research I will mention a set of principles suggested by the authors in the development of authentic material.

Principle of Language Acquisition no.1
A prerequisite for language acquisition is that the learner are exposed to a rich, meaningful, and comprehensible input of language in use.

Learners should be expose to a great variety of language use in order to acquire the ability to use the language effectively. They need to be able to understand enough of this input to gain positive access to it.

The instructor should make sure that the materials contain plentiful spoken and written texts, also that the language the learners are exposed to is authentic in the sense that it represents how the language is typically used, if the language is inauthentic,then the learners will not acquire the ability to use the language typically or effectively.The language input is contextualized in order to provide learners with information they need to develop.

 Principle of Language Acquisition no. 2
In order for the learners to maximize their exposure to language in use, they need to be engaged both affectively and cognitively in the language experience.

Learners have to be inmerse in the acquisition of the learning process, they should think and feel, also enjoy while experiencing the learning of a second language.

Principle of Language Acquisition no.3
Language learners who achieve positive affect are much more likely to achieve communicative competence than who do not.
Positiveness is the key of success. Learners need to achieve positive self-esteem and to feel that they are achieving something worthwihile.

The material used should be interesting, relevant and enjoyable, it should also stimulate emotive responses through the use of music, song, literature, art, and so on.

Principle of Language Acquisition no.4
L2 language learners can benefit from using those mental resources that they typically utilize when acquiring and using their L1.
In L1 learning and use, learners typically employ mental imaging, inner speech, emotional responses, connections with their own lives, evaluations, predictions and personal interpretations.

Principle of Language Acquisition no 5                                                                                                  Language learners can benefit from noticing salient features of the input.
Expose learners to examples in order to increase their potencial acquisition rather than drawing the learners´attention to a particular feature of a text.

Principle of Language Acquisition no 6
Learners need opportunities to use language to try to achieve communicative purposes.
When interacting with others, learners gained feedback  if they participate in interaction, they also being pushed to clarify and elicit comprehensible feed back from their interlocutor.

By applying the above principles when developing material for ELT teachers and learners will gain effectiveness in the learning process. What is needed are the principled frameworks to help future materials writers to enhance authentic material for learners.

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