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I am enjoying the book VERY much, especially the information on Lem Vygotsky.
However, I am concerned that the authors are SO anti-textbook. One should NOT be a slave to the text. The textbook should
be kept in the background and used as a resource. But to throw the textbook totally out of the window leads to several problems that I have observed.
Most modern language textbooks offer some themes and framework along with helpful ancillaries such as video, audio, exercise books, text/quiz generators, transparencies.
Through the years, I have observed teachers who go "anti-textbook." They are fine for the first quarter, but then burn out trying to do everything required. The quality of their work falls.
Seriously, look at the textbook you are using. Use the good parts and the good ancillaries..... skip over the bad parts. Teacher's Handbook will help you decide and discriminate. Supplement with authentic materials and additional things that you can bring in. That cuts your work load down by at least 50%. Plus you won't find yourself going off on tangents and having large gaps in your students' learning and progression.
I've noticed several teachers going the IPA route (Integrated Presentational Assessment). The IPA is a culminating activity. Unfortunately, I see many of these teachers trying to achieve the goals of the foreign IPA in the form of teaching around "projects" and managing the class entirely in English. It looks like a social studies class with a small foreign language component in it. (Kinda like vacation bible school teaching.)
It also reminds me of "dialog day," where kids get up in front of the class do a dialog or skit in the FL, then sit down. No engagement with the audience. Chances are, too, that the kids don't know what they are saying to each other. It's all memorization and props.
I see group and pair work done in English. I don't see the kids actually communicating with each other in the foreign language. I see a patchwork of isolated curriculum where the patches do not relate or build upon each other.
But... it is a great book and I'll be using it in my graduate methods course with my students preparing to become FL teachers. Just watch the anti-textbook bias of the authors.
 

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