This book concerns itself with what we could do in order to improve the quality of materials which are used for the teaching and learning of second languages. I would like to start the book by considering some of the steps which I think we could take and at the same time introducing issues which are dealt with in the various chapters of the book. I should stress that although the contributors to this book are basically likeminded in their approach to the development of L2 materials, many of the issues raised are controversial and some of the stances taken in the book are inevitably contradictory. In such cases we hope you will be informed, stimulated and able to make up your own mind by relating the authors’ stances to your own experience. I am going to argue that what those of us involved in materials development should do is to:
1. Clarify the terms and concepts commonly used in discussing materials development.
2. Carry out systematic evaluations of materials currently in use in order to find out to what degree, how and why they facilitate language learning.
3. Consider the potential applications for materials development of current research into second language acquisition and into language use.
4. Consider the potential applications of what both teachers and learners believe is valuable in the teaching and learning of a second or foreign language.
5. Pool our resources and bring together researchers, writers, teachers, learners and publishers in joint endeavours to develop quality materials.