I don’t know what the trends are. No facts here. Just my opinion. I’m interested – do you agree/disagree/take offence/think these are pointlessly general statements/etc? Please comment!
- Key markets for most publishers seem to be China, Mexico, Turkey and Brazil.
- In most cases, print still rules…
- … apart from in China, where everyone is obsessed with adapting coursebooks for a ‘virtual market’.
- Primary publishers don’t seem to fully trust a CLIL-based approach (to be highly profitable, I mean). They like to cater for more traditional (grammar/typical vocab) approaches in their range too, and the success of CLIL-based resources hinges on teacher training, which may mean more investment for publishers.
Wait. Just thinking more about that last point…
- The range of expected add-ons to the coursebook package (i.e. workbooks, teacher books, etc) continues to grow, especially in the primary market.
- (similar point) Primary publishers (and big institutions) are trying to get parents interacting more with their resources and engaging more with their child’s learning. Some primary coursebook add-ons reflect this…(?)
- Not all big publishers/teaching institutions feel that securing permission to use popular copyrighted videos is cost effective, or ‘worth it’ (e.g. as a selling point, pedagogical benefit, etc).
- No mention of ‘21st Century Skills’ = no book.
- Teen coursebooks seem to focus a bit more on young people as agents of change (I mean… more than when I started using teen coursebooks 10 years ago, so not a lot to go on there!). The go-to topic for this is environmental activism. (note: you have to say that ‘agents of change’ bit in The A-Team or The Lone Ranger style, or in Redd Pepper’s voice)
- Project-based learning and general exam skills are the remit for upper-teen courses. Grammar-based coursebooks are a dud for older teens. However, publishers still seem to think that no scope is comprehensive without shoehorning some grammar into the mix, which then tends to take over (somehow).
Hang on a second. That one is just a rant… scrap that!
- Everyone seems to love word clouds in vocabulary stages these days. You’ll be able to date a coursebook from this (general) era based on the inclusion of word clouds.
- Comprehension ‘tasks’ (e.g. things like notetaking and summarising) are taking the place of comprehension questions… a bit.
- There’s a lot more pronunciation ‘in’ coursebooks than it seems, it’s just rarely in the student-facing resources. The fact that it’s mostly supps does not reflect how much it’s valued, it’s more of a practical thing.
- Royalties for writers don’t sound that common or that great. A well-negotiated fixed fee sounds like a winner.
Would you add anything else?
Feature image: Gerd Altmann, pixabay.