Materials Writers General Research-Oriented Presentation

The Unheard Voice in Materials Development

Sat, Jul 9, 10:00-10:25 Asia/Tokyo

Location: Auditorium

The learning materials or textbook used in the classroom is a core component of language learning in the EFL industry. However, the material is often designed by teams of materials writers, located far away and completely faceless from the students' perspective. Additionally, multiple researchers in the field (McGrath, 2013; Tomlinson and Masuhara, 2018) have identified one pitfall of materials development and textbooks as the lack of a meaningful feedback loop from learners, what we refer to as ‘the unheard voice.’ This presentation will report on a survey carried out by the presenters to give students a voice by listening to their attitudes towards the materials used in class. Some of the main areas covered include the level of interest or enjoyment towards the current textbooks/materials used in class, problems that they perceive in current materials, the type of materials that students would like to use, the preferred modality of learning material delivery (such as traditional pen and paper, group work, video, and online quizzes). In addition, the survey went deeper by encouraging students to think more critically by asking them to consider designing their own materials and the content and format of these materials.