• textbooks;
  • introductory language;
  • selection process;
  • language program director;
  • materials;
  • relevant to all languages

Abstract: This article examines the process by which college-level foreign language programs evaluate and select instructional materials for beginning level courses. A review of the relevant literature reveals an ambivalent relationship with textbooks, often the default curriculum for language courses. Despite textbooks' apparent key role in language programs, there is a surprising lack of cohesive recommendations from the field on evaluating and selecting textbooks. Results of an informal survey illustrate how the textbook selection process, individuals involved, and individuals' satisfaction with the selection process varied across programs. Respondents with established selection processes involving more stakeholders tended to be more content with process and selection. The authors conclude that there is a need for greater transparency and a broader professional discussion of this critical matter in language learning and teaching.