There are enough resources out there to confuse a language teacher but if he organizes himself as to the tasks he would like to perform, the type of class he wants to have, and the appropriateness of the material, he will succeed.
One should see how old the the text is relative to the course. If a text is not up-to date the student will find its irrelevant to his learning current news and the same can be said by obtaining books and materials referring to political unrest and foreign aggression. So an ESL text with references to actors who have long passed away or to world issues which are dated such as the American involvement militarily oversees should not be used. Then again a language text is unlikely to have controversial material which might offend a particular culture such as articles on foreign domination.
Similarly one wants to use books that have an assortment of language exercises as that will give the student a broader grammatical base. The assortment of grammar rules will be tied into the reading material and this is part of a good lay-out because that way the grammar is reviewed in real context. So a text having only historical facts may mean the book will centered only on reported speech and that is only one of many different ways of expressing written English.
The layout of a book is also important when presenting material. A book that is colourful will draw people to a text. Pictures just for the sake of introducing something visual will not have a clear purpose. They should be there to support a language exercise or to get the student to learn new vocabulary or situational English. Similarly drawing, legends and sketches also have to have a purpose. When there is an audio exercise that should be clear for the student and when there a reference to additional grammatical practice, usually at the end of the text, that too can be included with a small tab or note that guides the student to the back of the book.
Culturally relevant material has to be thought of not of not only when it comes to the text but also auxiliary material that the teacher brings to do activities on. Something, which steers away from sensitive issues, such as that dealing with sexual or political ones mentioned earlier, are important. One can remember a text, which dealt chiefly on a crime story might be intriguing because the reader is compelled to fining out the origin of the crime. Culture is not just a crime solving entity. There has to be a balance of subjects on a wider range of issues to keep the student interested. The text however could be used as an additional reader to test the students’ comprehension.
When choosing material, texts included one has to ask whether the information will favour one pedagogical approach and not another. So a text that has an inclusion of functional English texts will allow the teacher to initiate some TPR (total physical response) in the class. This comes across as miming and the student can try to guess what procedure is being conducted while another is using only his hands and body to express himself. Texts then that do not favour TPR may favour another approach that is more verbally communicative such as those that stimulate role plays.
The material one chooses should be age and work appropriate so for someone in the communication milieu, he will appreciate something that will help him improve his communicative skills. If those skills are arrowed than to a specific business, such as accounting, then it is wiser for the teacher to include text material that covers spending issues for example. Obviously text material at the high school level is going to be less specialized because the student has not yet narrowed down his academic choices to that fitting the work market. There are situations where the student has narrowed down his choices, as in the adult education market, but then again the student is more mature and his needs are likely different from those at a younger age.