Discrepancy Between EFL Coursebooks and Pedagogical Reality: Advocating for Change

In the field of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) education, coursebooks are considered crucial tools for educators. Teaching practitioners are increasingly worried that coursebooks are not meeting the actual pedagogical needs of the EFL classroom, despite being widely used. This issue arises from multiple factors, such as the lack of alignment between publishers and instructors, the failure to incorporate findings from scientific EFL research, and a stagnation in content development. A significant problem is the lack of communication between book publishers and actual teaching professionals.

Decision-makers at publishing houses and editing teams frequently lack direct expertise in the EFL classroom. Even if they possess some knowledge, it may be limited in scope or based on minimal experience. Therefore, the materials created may not precisely represent the difficulties and needs experienced by teachers and students. This gap results in a scenario where the requirements of educators and students are not sufficiently met in the coursebook content.

Many coursebook publishers do not incorporate scientific research findings in EFL instruction into their materials. Educational ideas and methods progress as scholars discover more efficient teaching techniques. Coursebooks often fall behind by using outmoded approaches and without integrating fresh research findings. This lack of attention impairs the efficiency of teaching and learning in the classroom.

Another crucial problem is the lack of communication between teachers and publishing companies. Teachers' attempts to convey their needs and demands via sales reps frequently do not reach the editors in charge of coursebook production. Publishers may fail to consider important feedback and ideas from practitioners directly engaged in EFL teaching, thereby continuing the loop of using inappropriate resources.

Moreover, there is a troubling pattern of new versions simply duplicating past material with slight modifications. Teachers are uncertain about the need for these upgrades, as they frequently do not bring in new concepts, approaches, or procedures that truly improve the learning process. Coursebooks become stagnant and ineffective in meeting the changing demands of teachers and learners without significant innovation.

The EFL classroom setting is deteriorating due to these systemic difficulties. Teachers are growing more and more upset due to the insufficient materials available to meet the different learning needs and preferences of their students. Educators are looking for alternate tools and materials that can improve their teaching due to their dissatisfaction with coursebooks.

Considering these problems, it may be necessary to make a fundamental change in strategy. There is an increasing acknowledgment of the significance of teachers creating their own educational resources instead of just using commercially provided coursebooks. Educators can create tailored resources for their students by using their knowledge and insights acquired from teaching in the classroom.

This bottom-up method of creating materials has the potential to completely transform EFL teaching. Teachers have a special advantage in comprehending their students' strengths, weaknesses, and learning preferences, enabling them to develop specific and captivating resources that promote significant language learning. Furthermore, educators can enhance instructional methods in the field by actively engaging in material development.

Ultimately, the inadequacy of EFL coursebooks in meeting the genuine pedagogical requirements of the classroom is a critical issue that demands immediate attention and intervention. Publishers should focus on working closely with educators and incorporating scientific research results to create resources that genuinely enhance language teaching. Until these changes happen, teachers should explore different methods and create their own resources to cater to the various requirements of their students. Educators may lead positive change in the EFL teaching community and ensure the provision of high-quality education by adopting a proactive approach.


Spyros Andreits

Spyros Andreits

FLS owner