Klara (mummimamma) wrote in linguaphiles,

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About textbooks

This is not a post about languages per se, but about language textbooks. I teach Norwegian as a second language to students on university level, everything from beginners to professional language, so I am constantly on the lookout for new textbooks to use in class, especially on the beginners and intermediate level.

The thing is that it seems like the trend is to have several shorter texts in the book, from about six lines to about half a page (both for beginners and intermediate). When I teach I prefer longer texts (which also are easier to assign as homework). They do not necessarily have constantly give new information, I like when they say the same thing in two different ways, but I prefer texts somewhat longer, say a page, a page and a half.

Another reason for me preferring longer texts is that I can see that my students starts reading things like the newspapers, both the student newspaper and ordinary newspapers, even though they are just starting out on a course. Either their passive knowledge for written language seems to be way better than I give them credit for, or at least they attempt to explore longer and more complicated texts in their spare time. I have asked them, usually they do not understand much, but this does not deter them from reading about the financial crisis in Portugal - in Norwegian. So why does the textbook-writer put of their users with short texts, and leave them to seek out the challenges themselves?

So my question to you is whether you as a language learner prefer long texts or several shorter texts in language textbooks for beginners and intermediate students? (Am I just weird?) Do you prefer dialogues or narratives? What does your perfect textbook look like?

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