An English Language Textbook: A Friend or a Foe

  • Margarita A. Ariyan
  • Lyubov V. PavlovaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 907)


The article considers the basic issues of the foreign language textbook: characteristics and functions, areas of improvement, effective use and role in the students’ social development. Being a model of the actual educational system, an English language textbook acts as the syllabus for the course; gives students confidence and a sense of achievement; performs the main principles of language education. However, there are only a few possibilities to create favorable conditions for students’ comprehensive development, to make foreign language lessons motivating, learner-centered and with regard to the students’ different learning styles and attitudes, remaining within the limits of the textbook. Investigation shows that the following areas of English language textbooks, used in Russia, need improvement: language content, subject matter, methods, balance of skills, cultural and developing content, conformity with the educational goals and teaching/learning conditions; authenticity of texts and language material; variety of activities and exercises, availability of socially oriented situations, etc. Modern theory of language education focuses on learners’ comprehensive development (social, cultural, emotional, cognitive), which ensures their interaction with other people and successful socialization. Hence, the content of a foreign language textbook should provoke a variety of emotions, allow students to assimilate universal humanistic values, social norms and elements of foreign culture. Universal learning skills development is the other important task of a foreign language textbook. So, it is essential to bring the content and the methods of the textbook in line with the needs and interests of the students in the particular teaching and learning environment.


English language textbook Areas of improvement Social development 


  1. 1.
    Acklam, R., Burgess, S.: Advanced Gold Coursebook, 2nd edn. Longman, Harlow (2001)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bim, I.L.: Nekotoriye iskhodniye polozheniya teorii uchebnika inostrannogo yasyka [Some basic issues of the foreign language textbook]. Inostrannye yazyki v shkole 3, 5–12 (2002). (in Russian)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Harmer, J.: How to Teach English. Longman, Harlow (1998)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ur, P.: A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1996)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dudeney, G., Hockly, N.: How to Teach English with Technology, 3d edn. Longman, NY (2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ariyan, M.A.: Sotsial’no-emotsional’noye razvitiye obuchayushikhsya sredstvamy inostrannogo yazyka [Students’ social-emotional development by means of foreign language learning]. Yazyk i kultura 38, 138–152 (2017). (in Russian)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gorlova, N.A.: Otsenka kachestva y effektivnosty UMK po inostrannym yasykam [Appraisal of a FL textbook quality and effectiveness]. Inostrannye yazyki v shkole 8, 19–24 (2005). (in Russian)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Passov, E.I.: Uchebnik kak fenomen sfery inoyazychnogo obrazovaniya [Textbook as a phenomenon of foreign language education]. Inostrannye yazyki v shkole 4, 39–45 (2004). (in Russian)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pavlova, L.V.: Gumanitarno-razvivayushcheye obucheniye inostrannym yazykam v vysshey shkole: monografiya [Humanitarian and developing foreign language teaching in at university]. Nauka, Moscow, FLINTA (2015). (in Russian)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Vitlin, ZhL: Teoreticheskiye i metodicheskiye osnovy uchebnikov pervogo inostrannogo yasyka dlya vuzov [Theoretical and methodical fundamentals of the first FL textbooks for institutions of higher education]. Inostrannye yazyki v shkole 3, 45–51 (2007). (in Russian)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Yakushev, M.V.: Nauchno obosnovanniye kriterii analiza i otsenky uchebnika inostrannogo yasyka [Theoretically grounded criteria of the analysis and appraisal of a FL textbook]. Inostrannye yazyki v shkole 1, 19–22 (2000). (in Russian)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cunningsworth, A.: Choosing Your Coursebook. Heinemann, Oxford (1995)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Leont’yev, A.N.: Deyatelnost, soznaniye, lichnost [Activity, mind, personality]. Kniga po trebovaniyu, Moscow (2012). (in Russian)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Obdalova, O.A., Gural, S.K.: Kontseptualniye osnovy rasrabotki obrasovatelnoy sredy dlya obucheniya mezhkul’turnoy kommunikatsii [Conceptual foundations for educational environment development when teaching intercultural communication]. Yazyk i kultura 4(20), 83–96 (2012). (in Russian)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nyzhniy Novgorod State Linguistic UniversityNyzhniy NovgorodRussian Federation
  2. 2.Nosov Magnitogorsk State UniversityMagnitogorskRussian Federation

Personalised recommendations