Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

General English University Coursebook Evaluation Based on Litz's Model and Professors' Perceptions on Such Books

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

General English University Coursebook Evaluation Based on Litz's Model and Professors' Perceptions on Such Books

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

ELT textbooks play a very important role in many language classrooms, but in recent years, there has been a lot of debate in the ELT profession on the actual role of materials in teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL). In the first chapter, for a better perception of this research, the overall research concepts are defined: statement of the problem, research objectives, and significant of the study. Research questions and hypotheses and the definition of key terms are the other parts explained in the hrst chapter.

2. Literature Review

For evaluating textbooks many checklists have been made by researchers (e.g., Litz, 2005; Eriksoussy,1993; Skierso, 1991; Sheldon, 1988; Tomlinson, 2001;Tucker,1975; Wilhams, 1983). Reviewing the related concepts of academic books, some of the most important related studies have been presented in this section. A review of research on textbook evaluation revealed that there was a lack of enough material evaluation studies addressing General Enghsh course books. In most evaluations, the researchers have used checklists in order to facilitate their evaluation and also precede their evaluation in a systematic way. However, the process of book evaluation is ultimately a subjective practice (Angeh, DuBravac, & Gongleweski, 2008; Sheldon, 1988).

A number of studies have also been done in Iran on the book evaluation.

Eslami Rasekh, Eslami, Esmae'h, Ghavamnia, and Rajabi (2010) have evaluate four ESL textbooks: Top Notch, Interchange, Headway, and On your mark at elementary-level in order to find out which one is a better option for an EFL class. Interchange third edition has also been evaluated according to Littlejohn's framework by Sahragard, Rahimi and Zaremoayyedi(2009) to find out the values of the newest version of Interchange and the strengths and weaknesses of the series. Riazi and Mosalanejad (2010) studied Enghsh textbooks instructed at three high schools and pre-university level to examine the learning objectives in them applying Bloom's taxonomy.

Also Amalsaleh (2004) examined the representation of social factors in three types of textbooks, including junior and senior high school textbooks, based on Van Leeuwen's model (1996). According to the results, generahy, textbooks demonstrated a deferential representation of social factors that tended to portray female as performers belonging to a home context and having limited job opportunities in society. In particular, high school textbooks tended to shape normative views of gender and class relations in which a middle-class urban male has been considered to be the norm.

Jahangard (2007) developed an evaluative checklist to evaluate four EFL textbooks which had been prescribed for use in Iranian high schools by the Ministry of Education. The merits and demerits of the textbooks are discussed in details with reference to thirteen common features extracted from different material evaluation checklists. These criteria were exphcit objectives, vocabulary explanation, educational approaches, review and test sections, visual materials, topics and tasks, clear instructions, layout, organized and graded content, authentic language, grammar presentation and practice, fluency practice in ah four skills, and developing learning strategies.

Pishghadam and Motakef (2008) analyzed two texts (taken from New Interchange series and high school Enghsh books). Their study was conducted with the aim of making a connection between, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), critical thinking, and, Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The results of their study, which focused on reading texts, exhibited that most of the texts were laden with hidden ideologies and power relations, and teachers were responsible for making students aware of these hidden ideas.

Azizifar, Koosha, and Lotfi (2010) carried out an evaluation of two series of ELT textbooks used for the teaching of Enghsh language in Iranian high schools from 1965 to the present. …

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