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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Are English Textbooks Any Good?

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Oh Gillian off work here from doing

English comm today one of my group

coaching course clients asked me a good

question about commercially available

textbooks are they good he asked or are

they a total waste of time well I wasn't

familiar with the particular course book

series that he talked about but here is

my general opinion on on commercially

available textbooks first of all I'm not

gonna say that they are totally useless

and I'm certainly not going to say that

nobody could benefit from them they do

have their uses and yet they're better

than nothing this said my own experience

with them and with researching them in

particular leaves me thinking that they

are not only just in adequate not very

good and certainly as far as the the

lower quality ones are concerned

potentially damaging in some ways now

first of all the CDs that come with them

are garbage we'll roll them away they

present conversations dialogues samples

of English discourse that are slowed

down cleaned up to the point of being so

unrealistic that really they just kind

of give you confidence issues more than

anything else because you get good at

hearing these dialogues on these CDs and

you think wow I can understand English

conversation and then you go out into

the real world and hear real people

talking and you think what's wrong

with me why could I understand these CDs

why can't I understand these people well

because they're totally different the

speed at which people speak is totally

different the way people block and chunk

their language the way that we go and we

start and there it's actually not I then

go back and stop and the the kind of who

phrases and expressions we use it's all

pretty different to what you can hear in

these CDs but the deeper problem is the

way that these these textbooks tend to

be written so what will happen is

somebody will say I want to write a

series of textbooks a publishing company

will get the the the writers to to

produce the content and they'll say

right well here is

list of words you need to teach here are

some some grammar patterns that need to

be included and they will take those and

then they will create dialogues and text

based on those lists of items but the

problem is this is actually how

backwards to how it should be done

because what you end up with is overly

clean overly scripted quite unrealistic

examples and examples and cut dialogues

and conversations that can over

represent the the patterns of language

so for example something like the future

progressive you'll get a dialog where

it'll say something like I will be doing

my homework and then after I will be

going to the cinema and when I finished

at the cinema I will be going out for

lunch with my boyfriend

well we don't speak like that we don't

use the future progressive that often in

a single block of speech no we don't say

things like that's what we say

always I've got this homework

done I'm off to the cinema then I've got

to meet my boyfriend for dinner

completely different way of expressing

things so the text and the dialogues in

these text books like yeah whilst yes

they are better than nothing they give

you a very warped perception of how

English should sound and that makes you

speak in a very warped in unnatural kind

of way and also it makes it very very

difficult to you understand real

conversation because you're just like

you just don't hear what people say in

the text books in real life a lot of my

research was concerned with actually

breaking the contents of text books down

into small blocks and then comparing

them to native samples of English using

something which we developed quite a

nativeness metric and if you compare two

samples of native speaker speech what

basically happens is you get a perfect

perfect perfect score for them then when

you compare the textbooks and we use a

kind of statistical modeling to do this

what you end up with is a very very

skewed representation of the English

language that really just shows that

statistically all the probabilistic

statistical patterns of language as they

appear in textbooks really really are

pretty off for the most part now again

say this is true of every single

textbook out there because I haven't

researched all of them and I can't say

that some people won't benefit from them

because you know nothing is that black

and white what I can say again just to

repeat what I said in the beginning is

that my own experience based on my

experience howtechs books as well as my

own research shows that for the most

part many of them really are inadequate

and you can find much much better

materials materials like the ones I make

an extraordinary English speakers which

sounds like I'm boasting and I kind of

am but then hey my research is what has

all gone into developing the lessons we

make an extraordinary English speakers

so it's hardly surprising that the

quality of those are high because well

years and years of research on things

like this has gone into them anyway you

can't just join extraordinary just

because even if you wanted to because

you've got to go through my master

English math accelerated group coaching

course first and only then you eligible

so whatever I'm just rambling for the

sake of it head over to doing

english.com

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good fit for you and you a good fit for

it this is me

Julian Northbrook signing out from this

video I'm on my way to the gym it was

nice and quiet and I thought I would

stop to do this now my arm is absolutely

killing me bye bye

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