For those preparing course materials for students learning English as a second language, careful deliberation should be taken to understand the special circumstance of the students. There are many obstacles in learning a foreign language; especially to those who start it late. In my country Saudi Arabia for instance, students start learning English at intermediate school, so mostly it is not easy for them to cope; except with special effort. In addition to this, in secondary school, students are divided into two areas of studies: Arts and Science. I am going to look at suitability of the English Course being taught to these students and suggest how it could be redesign to make it fulfill it real purpose.
Problems of the Course Book
The division of students to Arts and Science is done based on their academic performance, consequently students with higher grades find themselves in science and those with lower grades go to arts. For the arts students their difficulty is apparent; as the course is not easy for them considering their low standard and also it is not meeting their special needs.
Moreover, science students have much serious problem as they will have to pursue medical or engineering course and the medium of teaching is English language. Since this English Course is not design to cater for their area of science, most of them often face problem of understanding in medical school.
Having studied the problem carefully, I am wondering if students are going to overcome it and make tremendous progress; there should be a redesigning of the English Course book to make it suitable to the needs of both the Arts and Science students. The reason for this is that at secondary level all other subjects are taught in Arabic and English language is taught only as a foreign language. So a newly designed course book might help students reach their learning goal. Do you have any other method to share with us that can assist student of EFL overcome their learning difficulties? Your ideas will be warmly welcome.