Importance of Materials
‘…most teachers HAVE to use a book, although that is probably also true… in the real world, most teachers have no choice but to use a book. The system requires it’, Ken Wilson, 18th January 2010 in the British Council ELTons. Materials have many effects on providing permanent learning. Materials can help the teacher in the teaching process and help the learners to remember what they did and said, and less is forgotten. There are different types and formats of materials. First, there are printed materials, such as books, workbooks, and worksheets. Second, there are non-printed materials, like cassettes, DVDs, videos, and computer-based materials. Lastly, there are self-access materials and internet materials. Materials play an important role in making learning permanent and effective. In language practice in the classroom, for example, materials can increase students’ interest and motivation. Also, providing ideas on how to plan and teach can simplify the course and make it clear. In addition, materials play an important role in training novice teachers, to help them to explain complex subjects and to give them a chance to practise subjects.
The provision of materials is an important process, and the teacher (or institute) should prepare different types of teaching materials in order to help the learners to understand, and to deliver the content of the lesson. Teachers, for example, have to come up with a good and well-prepared lesson plan. Also, teachers should know how and when to use particular materials. In most cases, the more teachers use effective materials, the better learners concentrate on the lesson. Teachers are helped by the materials that back them up.
Teaching materials are designed to support learners’ learning and increase their success. This is the reason why materials should be tailored to the students and the teacher. Hutchinson and Waters (1987) said that ‘to ensure that materials fit the needs of learners. Learners’ needs and the learning context are important factors that should be considered while using materials, because the purpose of materials is to boost students’ achievement in their learning process. Jolly and Bolitho (1998) said that ‘you can design materials which fit with the learners’ learning and teaching traditions and conceptual world’. Materials can provide students with opportunities to practise new skills gained in class, and teachers know their own students’ needs. This process is part of the learning process to allow students to obtain their knowledge individually. Teaching materials have different shapes, uses, and sizes, but the most important thing is their ability to support students’ learning. Materials also can act as a guide for the teacher and students, by adding structure to lesson planning and the delivery of instructions.
The previous points show that the purpose of materials is to help learners to learn easily. This can be considered to be the basis of teaching and learning processes. It is important to provide students with effective teaching materials to motivate them and help them through the learning and teaching process. Some studies have shown that materials are having an important role in teaching activities. Materials are one way that is used by teachers to increase students’ interest and motivation in lessons. Also, one of the purposes of using materials is to enrich the course, and this can happen when teachers start using supportive materials. Using materials is important and crucial for learners’ learning processes. Materials can help teachers and students to have more time to understand and explain complex subjects easily.