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Saturday, 16 November 2013 14:25


Developing Materials for the 21st Century


Paper presented at: Humanities and Social Science for Development"
9th International Conference on Humanities and Social Science, Khon Kaen.
14-15 November 2013.


Paper published in 'Folio', the Journal of the Materials Development Association (MATSDA), Vol. 16, Issue 1, pages 28-34.

Access paper here.



It is the duty and responsibility of lecturers to keep up to date with all the latest innovations and technology that is available and apply this new knowledge to existing courses and classroom pedagogy. This paper details the background to the revision of the English for Communication in Multicultural Societies course, delivered at Khon Kaen University (KKU) by Khon Kaen University International College (KKUIC) and focuses on the mis-match between expected course book requirements from the Institute of Learning and Teaching Innovation (ILTI) at KKU and the needs as dictated by institutional guidelines and international expectations.

By using the existing curriculum and course design procedures, it is possible to detail a ‘difference in expectations’ between what is supposed by an organization that distributes grants for the production of textbooks and what is expected from a course that is delivered to international programs in a world recognized university. This variation of beliefs can best be described as the development of a culture of enquiry, where a course book does not set everything out for the student, they have to probe and scrutinise for the information themselves. This is an invaluable skill, which if mastered, results in the development of the individual as a person as well as achieving academic strength and accumulation of knowledge.

Specific comments put forward by the awarding body are addressed with a view to advancing the cause of the 21st century materials writer in order to deliver quality materials fit for the contemporary international student. These materials have to aid our students to compete in the workplace, by developing not just their knowledge, but also their soft skills, so that they can effectively take their place and contribute to our society in this globalised world. Finally, implications for the classroom and areas for future research are discussed.

Keywords: English for communication, materials development, soft skills.


For more content, access a longer version of the paper as a PDF here.

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