Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

A Comparative Study of Language Functions and Elements of Social Context in Four Corners Series, Top Notch Series, Interchange Series, and Ili Textbooks from a Pragmatic Point of View

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

A Comparative Study of Language Functions and Elements of Social Context in Four Corners Series, Top Notch Series, Interchange Series, and Ili Textbooks from a Pragmatic Point of View

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The selection of a textbook is certainly one of the most crucial responsibilities of a teacher who will have to shape the content and nature of teaching and learning. It entails matching the materials against the context in which it is going to be utilized, following the aims of the teaching program, as well as fitting the personal methodology of the teacher. In the EFL classroom, materials are an important aspect of the curriculum. For many professionals, ELT textbooks are basic elements in ELT teaching and are the most extensively used instructional materials in schools at present. Explaining the vital role of "textbooks" in ELT teaching, Benevento (1984) states that "whenever foreign language teachers meet each other, the first words after "How do you do?" are usually "What course-books do you use?". Dubin and Olshtain(1986) hold that "the tangible element that gives a language course face validity to many learners and teachers is the textbook" (P.167). Regarding the primary purpose of the ELT textbooks, Byrd (2001) states that ELT textbook embody two kinds of information, which are thematic/topic content (family, school, etc.) and linguistic content (grammar, vocabulary, skills). The users of ELT textbooks are engaged in the content of the document to obtain the linguistic knowledge needed so as to communicate in a foreign language.

Hutchinson and Torres (1994) argue that the textbook has a very important and positive part to play in teaching and learning of English. They state that textbooks p rovide the necessary input into classroom lessons through different activities, readings and explanations. Thus, they will always survive on the grounds that they meet certain needs. Textbooks can also give purpose to the learners; if no textbook exists, learners do not take their learning seriously. Textbook can be used as a syllabus. If there is no textbook in class, students will lose their focus and it becomes a kind of teacher - dependent class. Furthermore, textbooks can be used as a supporter and helper for new teachers.

The importance of the role of textbooks is clear in teaching and learning process from the teachers' and students' perspectives. All educational materials and especially Textbooks should meet certain standards and criteria. Materials should raise the learners' interest and attention in order to have an effect on their learning English language as a foreign language (Tomlinson, 2001). Tomlinson also states that the students can learn more if the materials and textbooks they use include lo ts of white space and different activities in them. He believes that the confidence of learners can be developed through these activities by engaging them in using the targeted language. Textbook selection in Iran is very important due to the vast applicants of English learners. Therefore, one of the teacher's tasks is selecting the textbook which is suitable for that specific context. Also because there are a lot of different textbooks available in the market, these books should be evaluated in order t o find out the best and most appropriate one. According to Riazi, teacher is considered the most important factor in language classroom and after the teacher, textbook plays a very crucial role in language teaching and learning. Textbook is a tool in the h ands of the teacher, and the teacher must know not only how to use it, but also how useful it can be.

2. Literature review

The relationship between textbooks and language teaching is not something which has only recently been commented on. It has a long history because the quality of teaching and learning has always been of interest to all people in general. Keeping this source up-to-date requires educational materials receive evaluation and revision time and again. Sheldon (1988) has offered several reas ons for textbook evaluation. He suggests that the selection of a language textbook often signals an important administrative and educational decision. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.