Textbook Evaluation Checklist (adapted from Robinett, 1978: 249)

1. Goals of the course (Will this textbook help to accomplish your course goals?)

2. Background of the students (Does the book fit the students' background?)

a. age

b. native language and culture

c. educational background

d. motivation or purpose for learning English.

3. Approach (Does the theoretical approach reflected in the book reflect a philosophy that you and your institution and your students can easily identify with?)

a. theory of learning

b. theory of language

4. Language skills (Does the book integrate the "four skills"? Is there a balanced
approach toward the skills? Does the textbook emphasize skills which the curriculum
also emphasizes?)

a. listening

b. speaking

c. reading

d. writing

5. General content (Does the book reflect what is now known about language and
language learning?)

a. validity - does the textbook accomplish what it purports to?

b. authenticity of language

c. appropriateness and currency of topics, situations, and contexts

d. proficiency level - is it pitched for the right level?

6. Quality of practice material

a. exercises - is there a variety from controlled to free?

b. clarity of directions - are they clear to both students and teacher?

c. active participation of students - is this encouraged effectively?

d. grammatical and other linguistic explanation - inductive or deductive?

e. review material - is there sufficient spiraling and review exercises?

7. Sequencing (How is the book sequenced?)

a. by grammatical structures

b. by skills

c. by situations

d. by some combination of the above

8. Vocabulary (Does the book pay sufficient attention to words and word study?)

a. relevance

b. frequency

c. strategies for word analysis

9. General sociolinguistic factors

a. variety of English - American, British, dialects, or international variety

b. cultural content - is there a cultural bias?

10. Format (Is the book attractive, usable, and durable?)

a. clarity of typesetting

b. use of special notation (phonetic symbols, stress/intonation marking

c. quality and clarity of illustrations

d. general layout—is it comfortable and not too "busy"?

e. size of the book and binding

f. quality of editing

g. index, table of contents, chapter headings

11. Accompanying materials (Are there useful supplementary materials?)

a. workbook

b. tapes - audio and/or video

c. posters, flash cards, etc.

d. a set of tests

12. Teacher's guide (Is it useful?)

a. helpful methodological guidance

b. alternative and supplementary exercises

c. suitability for non-native speaking teacher

d. answer keys

(Harmer. J. 2001. The Practice of English Language Teaching. (Chapter 21: Syllabuses and Coursebooks). Longman)

Last modified: Friday, 30 April 2010, 8:51 PM