An example of a materials evaluation checklist

This is an excerpt from my NILE MA Materials Development assignment submission. NILE run courses covering a wide range of professional development pathways. Next week I’ll post my IATEFL 2022 talk, which will include some tips for creating a similar checklist yourself.

Please note: This excerpt is intended for reference. Plagiarism is a very serious problem, and could result in you being removed from any course you study. Please ensure that all work is your own, not copied from mine.

You can find more information about the sources I used when creating my checklist in my post summarising my IATEFL 2022 talk ‘What I think I know about materials writing‘.

Target learner profile

This is an A2.2 group of twelve students aged 11-15 at a private language school in Poland.

The group is newly formed. Four students are new to the school and probably unfamiliar with our focus on communication in lessons. Four progressed from A2.1 young learner classes, where they had a less explicit focus on grammar with minimal use of metalanguage. Four progressed from A2.1 teen classes.

One learner has dyslexia, causing problems with reading and the understanding and production of sound-spelling relationships; another has dysgraphia, causing problems with spelling and writing, especially by hand.

These students are most likely to use English while playing games on their phones or computers (reading, listening, sometimes speaking), watching Netflix (listening) or travelling (listening and speaking, encountering a range of L1 and L2 English accents).

Learning context

Lessons are face-to-face, with two 90-minute lessons per week, extensively over one academic year. Learners get homework every lesson, and the school advocates independent English practice outside class.

Their teacher will be fresh from CELTA, and has not taught teenagers before.

Course objectives

At our school, students complete half a CEFR level per academic year. By the end of this year, learners should meet the A2+ CEFR descriptors set out in Appendix 1 [not included in this post] for receptive skills, productive skills and language.

Evaluation pro-forma – general layout

My evaluation criteria

Learner engagement

To what extent do the topics covered in the materials match the interests of these learners, as described in the learner profile?

To what extent do the materials support the development of positive group dynamics in a face-to-face classroom, particularly regarding relationships between students?

To what extent are learners shown how they can continue to work on their language learning outside lessons?

To what extent are learners made aware of their progress while using the materials?

Skills

[Note: The numbers in brackets referred to the descriptors I’d included in the Appendix, but which aren’t shown here.]

To what extent does work on listening teach the skills required to work towards the A2+ CEFR receptive skills descriptors (RS1)?

To what extent does work on reading teach the skills required to work towards the A2+ CEFR receptive skills descriptors (RS2)?

To what extent are opportunities provided for learners to produce spoken language enabling them to work towards meeting the A2+ CEFR productive skills descriptors (PS1, PS3, PS6, PS7)?

To what extent is scaffolding provided for productive skills tasks to improve learners’ ability to produce spoken language to A2+ level (PS1) and interact successfully (PS3, PS5, PS6, PS7)?

To what extent are opportunities provided for learners to produce written language enabling them to work towards meeting the A2+ CEFR productive skills descriptors (PS2, PS4, PS5, PS7)?

To what extent is scaffolding provided for productive skills tasks to improve learners’ ability to produce written language to A2+ level (PS2) and interact successfully (PS4, PS5, PS6, PS7)?

Language

To what extent is the lexis introduced through the materials relevant to routine, everyday situations in which 11-15 year old Polish learners might find themselves using English, as described in A2+ CEFR language descriptors (L1, L2)?

To what extent is the functional language introduced through the materials relevant to routine, everyday situations in which 11-15 year old Polish learners might find themselves using English, as described in A2+ CEFR language descriptors (L1, L2)?

To what extent is the meaning, use and form of grammar analysed in a way that would be accessible to these learners, including those who are unfamiliar with metalanguage?

To what extent is phonological control focussed on in the materials, particularly the pronunciation of familiar words which may cause problems for Polish L1 speakers (CEFR A2+, L4)?

To what extent is contextualised practice of new language items provided which allows learners to demonstrate their mastery of vocabulary range, grammatical accuracy and phonological control (L1-L4)?

To what extent are learners encouraged to personalise new language items?

Planning

To what extent do the materials include varied activities to cater to a range of learner preferences?

To what extent do the materials allow for differentiation to enable all of the learners in the group to progress towards meeting the A2+ CEFR descriptors, regardless of their prior experience of language learning?

To what extent do the materials lend themselves to coherent 90-minute lessons, with only one or two topics or skill/language focuses throughout?

To what extent do the teacher’s notes provide linguistic guidance and support for an early career teacher?

To what extent do the teacher’s notes provide methodological guidance and support for an early career teacher?

Design

To what extent are activity rubrics clear?

To what extent is the design of the materials suitable for learners with dyslexia or dysgraphia?

To what extent are a range of voices represented within the materials, for example different genders, nationalities or ages?

To what extent do the materials avoid stereotyped, inaccurate, condescending or offensive images of gender, race, social class, disability or nationality?

2 thoughts on “An example of a materials evaluation checklist

  1. Thanks for sharing! I really like the scaffolding for productive skills criteria. I’ll be there next Thursday 🙂

    Like

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