Replacing the Textbook: The Importance of Durable and Reproducible Authentic TESL Material

Authentic TESL material and coursesOne of the most important decisions we face in our TESL careers is whether or not to supplement our courses with self-made TESL materials. The notable advantages, like being able to tailor our resource to specific contexts, don’t negate challenges, such as the need to organize and store your new materials carefully. At the end of the day, it’s up to us weigh up the benefits and costs of designing teaching materials and make their own decision as to whether it is worth our time and effort. In this article, I will how you how to make your material durable and reproducible.

-Online TESL Courses Equivalent to CELTA and Trinity CertTESOL-

Make your TESL material durable

Hopefully, you’re going to use your TESL materials more than once. Another hope is that they are to be used by many different learners. These are two important factors in deciding whether it is worth investing a great deal of time into your worksheet; the more emphatically you can answer yes to these questions, the better the return on your efforts. Assuming a ‘yes’, consideration needs to be given to how your resources can be made robust enough to last in the long-term, and to how you can safely store them electronically.

Read: How to Create Handouts for the ESL Class

Make your TESL material reproducible

Wherever you work, there will inevitably be a budgetary limit on things such as photocopies. While it’s nice to create beautiful, artistic colorful materials, the reality is that they will only ever be reproduced in gray scale. When creating your TESL material, bear in mind how it will look in black and white.

Read: Home Made or Off-the-Shelf Authentic Material?

Key questions for your TESL materials

  • Who is going to use your material, how often and with whom?
  • Do you have standard techniques for storing your materials in either hard (paper) or soft (word document) form?
  • When you look at your worksheet, what first draws your eye?
  • Do your colleagues ask to use your materials? If so, what part does physical appearance play in that?