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  • Paul
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    • 2055

    • September 21, 2010, 10:28:58 pm
    • Seoul
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 08:39:25 am by complex303 »
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Choosing new 5th and 6th grade textbooks
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 09:46:53 am »
My school just received the textbook samples for the new 5th and 6th grade book. I think there are five or six different choices for each grade. Ha some publishers like YBM even made two different books. It is a bit harrowing to have to comb through all the cd-roms, student books, and guide books but I hate to be stuck with a bad book all year. The 3rd and 4th grade books my school is using (대한교과서) are atrocious in my opinion: more Korean than English in the lessons and a little bit unwieldy. So we are changing publishers for 3-4th. I talked to my former coteachers from previous schools and they are dissatisfied with their books as well (I think they chose YBM). I'd rather not have to relive that experience with the new books.

If others are choosing their books currently, maybe Waygook can come to some sort of consensus as to what book they like the best. Then we have the chance to all be working from the same source material. We can again make and share creative lessons instead of spending our time finding lesson plans from other books that are most similar to the lesson in our current books (anyway, that's what I've been having to do).

Some questions we can consider-
-What 3rd and 4th grade books are you using? How do you feel about the materials/cd-roms provided?
-Would you consider using the same publisher?
-Are there any books you absolutely despise?
-When looking at 5th -6th grade books, what were your impressions? Notice any errors? Haha is the acting bad bad or bad in a fun way?

I think we have the chance to get us all on the same page again. I am really excited by the idea.


Re: Choosing new 5th and 6th grade textbooks
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 11:10:24 am »
I've looked over three of the 5th grade textbooks: 대교, 금성출판사, 천재교육. Here are my initial thoughts.

1. 대교- Some of the phrasing in the book is really weird. For example, The lesson on subjects teaches "I have a music class." "I have a math class." On a much smaller note. the teacher's name is Mrs. Gim (김). Haha it doesn't bug me that they have a korean teacher. It bugs me that they don't call her Mrs. Kim. I know their is a big push to make hangeul translate 1:1 with certain english letters recently (ㄱ always = G or ㅂ always = B), but I have yet to meet someone who calls themselves Bark (박) or Gim (김)

2. 금성출판사-  Some of the activities in the book look new and could be fun to try. make a fortune teller etc. They provide culture lessons in the book for the students to read. At my past school, my coteacher would always push me to make a cultural point for each lesson. Some just don't have a cultural difference.. like "How many cows" was a tough one. But it provides it in Korean for the students and can be a fun quick read. I also like that because it challenges students to think outside their own country. Gain a world perspective. The Cd-Rom includes a link to each cultural point to continue on with movies or more information. Could be fun now and again. This is the only textbook that includes a foreigner on the writing staff. Not necessarily important, but the other two books i looked at today had weird phrasings. In my initial look through this book, it did not. Some drawbacks, they include in one of the lessons a point where students can learn to transliterate their names (students have loved that in the past) but on the character sheet, all of the names are written only in korean. More importantly, my coteacher said not many korean teachers like using this company's book. I guess people using their 3rd and 4th grade books can attest to that.

3. 천재교육-  Textbook provides lesson plans in both English and Korean as well as directions for the activities in both languages. I can't tell you how frustrating it can be to open up the teacher's guide and have it make less sense than the Student book. When it gives all the instructions in Korean and you have to guess from the pictures what the activity is for the day. For example (Teacher: 얼마나 나무 우드척가 나무를 척 수있다면 우드척 척 수 있을까? Students: (Students answer freely in English)) The lesson plan layout is a little suspect. Every lesson plan involves a 5 min introduction and a 5 min closing. That's fine but their example was "Hi Class. How's the weather today?" That does not take 5 minutes. Sure a good introduction should be about that time and a good teacher can make their own, but that they would think that question alone fills the allotted time made me wonder. So I looked deeper at  one lesson. For the Who are you lesson, one activity is a maze. They said it would take 13 minutes. Followed by another reading/coloring activity that would take 7 minutes. To be fair, both parts of the activity look fun and are more original than the fill in the blank sections of some past books. But this was the main activity. Not the writing practice etc. Anyway, I grabbed a random 5th grade student. She is quite a good student. Not fluent, but good. She finished both of the set activities in about 7 minutes. That means a gap of 13 minutes of content + making your own into and closing which they don't properly provide. So the content of the book can be lacking


  • Paul
  • Featured Contributor

    • 2055

    • September 21, 2010, 10:28:58 pm
    • Seoul
Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade + Poll
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 04:44:59 pm »
Textbooks 2012 Listing
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 08:40:32 am by complex303 »
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  • Lever
  • Adventurer

    • 56

    • December 02, 2010, 09:14:40 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2011, 01:54:00 pm »
Good luck with picking a textbook.  My school had them out on Thursday.  I gave them a look through after lunch, and save 2 that I thought weren't good, they were all very similar.  Do you know if 3rd and 4th grade are going to have multiple options again?


Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 09:59:47 am »
I can only seem to get my hands on the student version, is it worth chasing down the teachers versions?


  • Paul
  • Featured Contributor

    • 2055

    • September 21, 2010, 10:28:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 11:20:02 am »
Lever:

My understanding is that for grades 3 and 4 the options are the same as they were last year for this year. The books are however purchased on a year-by-year basis so if you were really unhappy with your school's choice, and wish to push for a change of 3rd and 4th grade textbook too, now would be the time to do so.

For the record, the book marked as YBM #1 I believe is the followup (according to my school) to the YBM Si-Sa (Monty and Bora) text a lot of people chose for this years 3rd and 4th graders. Gets a bit confusing when the publishers have two out. Similarly, many of the others are follow ups. For those who cannot read hangul yet (tsk) the Mirae-En one is the follow-up to the Buzz/Bibi/Bomi text, with some of the same authors following through. Don't know about the other progressions though. Chonjae #1, Geumsong and Gyohasa should be easy to match up with their lower level counterparts by matching the foreign authors' names. The curriculum is set nationally so it shouldn't matter much if you mix and match anyway.

Steve:

If you have a specific request, I may be able to scan in the syllabus pages from one of the sample guides on Thursday or Friday this week (its far less than 10% of the book so its fair use I guess). The schools should've received them though for most of the books I'd have thought. Some samples did come incomplete to one of my schools. Ask around I'd say, else you're using guesswork to determine the teaching goals, doubly so if the student books are light on the written English.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 11:23:35 am by Paul »
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Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 02:07:18 pm »
Re-posted into the "correct thread".

Review of New 2012 Elementary School English Textbooks
Grades 5 & 6    -     2011-09-16

After reviewing the available textbooks for 2012, we have decided that the 천재교육 books written by 윤여범 are by far the best books. Below is a list of the reasons we have chosen this book and a list of general reasons we have dismissed the others.
천재교육 by 윤여범 [RECOMMENDED]

General Comments
Books are consistent between 5 and 6 grade. (teachers and students who study this book in grade 5 will be familiar with the teaching style in grade 6)

Textbook
1.   Textbook is speaking focused.
2.   Korean written content is minimal. Instead it uses simple to understand pictures to convey meaning.
3.   Attention is given to pronunciation.
4.   Activities/games are simple and focus on speaking.
5.   No irrelevant filler activities.
CD-ROM
1.   NO SPOKEN KOREAN ON CD.
2.   CD contains a wealth of information beyond that of any other textbook.
3.   Easy to navigate.
4.   Multi-level activities. (easy, medium and hard)
5.   Video and animations are clear, crisp, relatively interesting and of good quality.
6.   Songs/Chants/Dances have multiple ways of learning.
 
Teacher’s Guide
1.   Very easy to follow.
2.   All activities are explained well, CD-ROM content is referenced within the lesson plan.

Reasons for Rejecting the Others
There is no other textbook/CD combination that I am prepared to recommend. In some instances there were textbooks that I liked, but in these cases, the CD content was so terrible that it made the book unusable. As most of these reasons can be applied to all of the rejected books, I have listed them together.

Textbooks
1.   Useless filler activities.
Some textbooks, notably a YBM book, includes simplistic maze activities with no language involved. Why waste the space?
2.   Grammar/Writing/Reading focused.
We need to teach spoken English, written English will come later and grammar is already taught too much in middle school, high school and university. Reading should be delivered separately through more interesting material (eg: Dr. Seuss books)
3.   Overcomplicated Games
Games with complicated instructions usually require more explanation time than language learning time. Books with these games were rejected. Many books tried to get around this by including spoken Korean language explanations on the CD, this is bad as it switched the student’s brain back into Korean mode and breaks the English only classroom.

CD-Roms
1.   CD-ROM uses spoken Korean.
This is the worst possible crime to commit in the classroom. By using spoken Korean the student’s brains will never truly switch into ‘English mode’ and the Korean teacher will be encouraged to use additional Korean. This reason alone is almost an instant fail.
2.   Video Quality is Abysmal / Over-dubbed
Some videos were of extremely poor and laughable quality not suitable for use anywhere. For one of the YBM CDs, they had taken old video and dubbed new dialog over them. In this case, the spoken speech did not match the lip movements.
3.   Spoken dialog was unnatural.
In some cases, spoken dialog sounded ‘childish’ or ‘cartoonish’ and not natural.
4.   Boring Videos/Activites
5.   No useful content
Some CDs contained activities that had no use in the classroom. Simplistic matching games and little more than that.
6.   Horrific songs/chants
Teaching with music only works when the music is good.
7.   Navigation difficult/slow. 


  • Rilakuma
  • Adventurer

    • 66

    • June 07, 2011, 03:18:47 pm
    • Bundang, Gyeonggi
Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2011, 02:05:07 pm »
Could you add a poll to this thread? We are still in the selection process now and I would like to see what book others are choosing?

So far we believe the YBM books are the best. Seeing as CheonJae moved their lessons up to 7 periods. Insanity!


  • Lever
  • Adventurer

    • 56

    • December 02, 2010, 09:14:40 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2011, 01:06:32 pm »

CD-ROM
1.   NO SPOKEN KOREAN ON CD.
2.   CD contains a wealth of information beyond that of any other textbook.
3.   Easy to navigate.
4.   Multi-level activities. (easy, medium and hard)
5.   Video and animations are clear, crisp, relatively interesting and of good quality.
6.   Songs/Chants/Dances have multiple ways of learning.
 


Thanks for the detailed post.  I was wondering, though, do you work at a big school?  I work in two smaller schools, and as far as I know, the teachers were not given cds to review.  I saw full textbooks and full teachers guides from each publisher, but not the accompanying cds.  I suppose I may be in for an unhappy surprise if they pick a good book with an awful cd. 


Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade + Poll
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2011, 01:05:09 pm »
Hey Lever,

My school is neither big nor well off, in fact we're quite poor~! I believe the CDs and books were sent out as packages, but they may have been sent from the district offices, in which case it'd be up to them. I'm in 강서구 Gangseo District.

I'm really disappointed so many people chose the pretty YBM books, I figured a lot of people would be won over by their design and I'm surprised that people have chosen the the orange 천재교육 book which is filled with masses of complicated activities requiring lengthy Korean explanations. I believe but cannot remember, that the CD for this one was particularly awful with lots of spoken Korean.

Anybody who has tried to learn a second language will agree that hearing your native tongue during language learning lessons is the fastest way to switch your brain back into your native language. Written native tongue does not affect the brain in the same way spoken speech does.

Of the CDs, the standout by far is the Green 천재교육 (윤). I've since switched my lessons to using a combination of the current textbook and the Green 천재교육 (윤). Without asking them, the students have been telling me after class 'teacher, today very good.' I have used 5th and 6th grade versions of this book in class, the songs are easy to follow and well received. The dances are interesting for physical learners and also easy to follow, review games are good and there is NO SPOKEN KOREAN on the CD. (except for lesson selection page) I've also used the Reading and Story Time (roleplay) sections and they have been very well received.

Someone complained that the Green 천재교육 (윤) doesn't use contractions, it says "It is mine" "They are not" instead of 'It's" and "They're not" but this isn't a bad thing. Have your high level students answer questions with the contracted forms and be happy that your lower level students will have an easier time understanding the text.

As far as textbooks go, the Daegyo (대교) text has a few useful resources but the CD is one of the worst.
As far as REJECTED TEXTBOOKS go... KEEP THEM!!!!!
I've hoarded all of the textbooks and have them on the shelves as additional resources. Keep the CDs too and switch it up. Most have similar chapters and if you don't like an activity, switch it out with photocopies.

In response to the comment on Green 천재교육 (윤) being 7 lessons, if your students need to move faster, just speed it up! It's not that hard. Teach L1, 2, 3+4, 5, 6+7, whatever is appropriate for your kids, but use the best resources! Sheesh!


  • Paul
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    • 2055

    • September 21, 2010, 10:28:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade + Poll
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2011, 11:51:57 am »
I've hoarded all of the textbooks and have them on the shelves as additional resources. Keep the CDs too and switch it up. Most have similar chapters and if you don't like an activity, switch it out with photocopies.

I'd be a little wary of doing this too much though. Legal (copyright) issues aside, if you jump around too much, the students will be unable to review (and the good students unable to preview) your lessons efficiently. I've been in language classes myself that jump a lot and it can get very difficult, very quickly.

I've been told the reason why the YBM books get chosen a lot is because they are a "good brand". There seems to be a widespread belief that because they are a large company their products are simply free of errors. Personally, I can't say I've noticed this at all, but that's a belief. Also, they market relatively aggressively; just walk into any bookstore and count the paid ad stands. Thus, many Korean-speaking staff will simply pick up the first YBM book they see and vote for it out of brand appeal. The downside of this is that many schools are basically getting a random book. The silver lining is that with such a strong swing towards one brand, staff can at least compensate for the shortcomings by accessing a larger shared ancillary resource pool. Kinda makes me feel sorry for the little-guy publishers (some of whose books are quite good).
More primary school colours and shapes activity ideas and resources than you'd ever need - here
Holy free educational fonts Batman!


Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade + Poll
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2011, 10:12:09 am »
I've been told the reason why the YBM books get chosen a lot is because they are a "good brand". There seems to be a widespread belief that because they are a large company their products are simply free of errors.

I totally agree with you there Paul and in regards to switching between textbooks, i'm not suggesting it becomes a daily activity. Just keep them on the shelves for when you suddenly discover pages 130-131 appear to be teaching slave labor and need a substitute activity! Mostly they're excellent for finding better songs, anyone stuck with one of the good awful books would do well to save the 천재 CDs [and others] for song substitution.


Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade + Poll
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2012, 08:13:14 am »
Aaah I was given 2 big boxes FULL of books and told that I have to chose books for all grades by the end of the day!!! Sigh ( this was a few months back granted)
I think if I can remember correctly that I chose (A) YBM book for Grades 5 and 6- can't remember if it's the one written by Sohn or not
Grade 3 and 4 have two completely different books.
I cringed when I had to listen to the cd's and it seriously made me want to write my own book!! Some of the phrasing is completely weird and NO native English speaker would ever use the phrase that was on the CD, unless they were totally drunk and couldn't remember a damn thing..
I fear that this years books are going to be equally as bad as last years, though The CD's have slightly improved ie not much voice over dubbing etc...


Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade + Poll
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2012, 09:12:55 am »
Wow, I think it's awesome that you were given the chance to help choose a book, unlike myself...I was chosen my co-teachers. I'm going to have a look through to see which one they chose. But, I do agree with an earlier post that my last years 3 &4th grade books had entirely too much Korean and not enough english. Though, I saw that it helped one of my co-teachers out a lot who speaks little English.


  • jgmenator
  • Veteran

    • 108

    • February 27, 2011, 01:49:56 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade + Poll
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2012, 03:18:45 pm »
What I find amazing is that the 2nd most commonly chosen book was probably the worst panned on the reviews here.

Ouch.


  • J.leigh
  • Newgookin

    • 4

    • February 28, 2012, 06:18:21 pm
    • Busan, South Korea
Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade + Poll
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2012, 06:27:47 pm »
The teachers guide is very helpful.  SOme of the games in the teachers guide are not that helpful/or boring.  I think it would be better if teachers provide another game depending on the developmental level of their students:)


  • Sokogroove
  • Adventurer

    • 30

    • March 02, 2012, 07:42:03 am
    • Ilsan, Gyeonggi-do
Re: Textbook Review 2012 - 5th and 6th grade + Poll
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2012, 09:13:08 am »
Hi, I have just taken up my first public school position after a few years teaching in academies so this is my first experience with public school textbooks.

I have been reviewing and getting to grips with the new material this morning and am blown away by the amount of Korean used. In my experience of learning language as both a teacher and student, immersion is key. I would imagine that by using simple English instructions students would learn to understand what to do or simply ask their teacher. It would seem to me that by using Korean in the instructions, both on the CD and printed material the publishers are not enabling but rather hindering the students progress. This is my feeling from the outset, but I guess I will have to see how it goes during class on Monday! :)