October 3, 2009

Materials adaptation means matching materials with the learner’s needs, the teacher’s demands and administration’s purpose. To adapt materials we have to consider five major factors:

(1) Addition: Addition is an adaptation procedure which involves supplementation of extra linguistic items and activities to make up  for the inadequacy/ insufficiency of materials. Addition of extra materials is necessary/applicable/appropriate when the following situations are faced:
  • Areas are not covered sufficiently.
  • Texts/pictures/tasks are not provided.
  • Texts/pictures/tasks are fewer than needed.
  • Tasks are limited in scope.
  • Tasks are of limited range.

(2) Deletion/omission: Deletion is an adaptation procedure which involves removal of some of the linguistic items and activities which are found to be extra and unnecessary. So, deletion is a process in which materials are taken out rather than added. Materials should be reduced through omission when the following situations are faced:
  • Learners are clear about a language point.
  • Learners are competent in a skill.
  • There are too many tasks on a particular area/point.
  • The item/area concerned is not a priority.
  • The item/task is not well designed.
  • The item/task is not well-suited to its aim(s).
  • The topic is not appropriate for learners.

(3) Modification/changing: Modification means changes in different aspects of materials, such as linguistic level, exercises, assessment system and so on. Modification of materials is applicable/ appropriate in the following situations:
  • Texts are of inappropriate length.
  • Materials are inappropriate to the aim.
  • Materials are inappropriate to the learners’ age/ experience.
  • Materials are unclear, confusing or misleading.
  • Tasks are badly designed.

(4) Simplification: This procedure is employed to make materials less complicated or easier to understand. If the language teaching material is found to be difficult or mechanical for the target learner, it (material) can be made suitable for the learner through the process of simplification.

(5) Rearrangement/re-ordering: Rearrangement is a procedure of materials adaptation through which different parts of a course book are arranged in a different order or sequence. Rearrangement of materials helps to make them comparatively more interesting and appropriate for the learner as well as the teacher. Learners may reorder materials by:
  • Matching their aims.
  • Using a practice task for lead-in and elicitation.
  • Revising an area earlier than the course book does.
  • Comparing and contrast areas.
  • Providing thematic unity.
  • Providing an appropriate follow-up.
Materials adaptation

Tanvir Shameem Tanvir Shameem is not the biggest fan of teaching, but he is doing his best to write on various topics of language and literature just to guide thousands of students and researchers across the globe. You can always find him experimenting with presentation, style and diction. He will contribute as long as time permits. You can find him on:


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