Evaluating the content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten Textbook in the light of the Standards for Foreign language Learning, M Almazloum, A Qeshta

Tags: textbook, foreign language, foreign language learning, understanding, Palestine, culture, Grade Ten, Ministry of Education, language learning, target language, Foreign language instruction, Interpersonal Communications, Presentational Communications, communicative language teaching, study purposes, National standards, English Teaching Methods, Faculty of Education, relevant procedures, learning process, Needs analysis, spoken language
Content: The Islamic University of Gaza Faculty of Graduate studies Curriculum & English Teaching Methods Department Evaluating the Content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten Textbook in the Light of the Standards for Foreign language learning Thesis Submitted by Mohammed Z. R. Almazloum Supervised by Dr. Awad Qeshta Thesis Submitted to the Curriculum & English Teaching Methods Department Faculty of Education In partial fulfillment of the Requirement for the Master Degree of Education 2007 2007
Abstract The study aims at evaluating the content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook, which was decided on for the tenth basic grade students in Gaza Strip and the West Bank and has been taught since 2004-2005, in the light of the standards for foreign language learning. The main reason for carrying out this study is the need to find out if this newly implemented syllabus textbook, 2004-2005, matches requirements of the new and current trends of standards within the allowed period for developments and innovations agreed upon by the Ministry of Education and Macmillan Press as the first four publications are trial ones. The study purposes to identify the most current standards for foreign language learning and then to find out the extent to which the content of the textbook meets these standards. The researcher reviewed many books, previous studies, journals and related literature to benefit from and decide on the relevant procedures to follow while carrying out the study. It was realized that the National standards for Foreign Language learning were the best to be considered as a base for implementing the study. The researcher designed an analysis card that sought to collect data relevant to process the study. These data involved making a survey for the textbook so as to analyze the activities that matches the standards set by the study. The analysis card was shown to 12 experts for benefiting from their comments in regard to any potential modifications, deletions, and additions to achieve validity. Reliability was examined through the help of three colleague researchers who volunteered to make the survey and complete the analysis card along with the main researcher after they had been trained using suitable sheet materials in this regard. The findings show a variance in the frequencies of the standards. Communications standards scored the most and Comparisons standards came in the second rank to mark points of strength. While Communities, Cultures and Connections standards score weak frequencies in the mentioned order. There is also a variance in the frequencies of each standard in each unit of the textbook. The researcher points out that there should be more balance in the distribution of these standards among the units of the textbook since there are some relatively neglected standards. The findings also show good employment for topics in the textbook. Various topics are introduced throughout the twelve units. These topics are recycled in the same unit that may reinforce students motivation and learning. The study recommends establishing a follow-up research committee whose duty is to apply formative and summative evaluation researches to achieve more innovations and developments. Teachers are invited to attend workshops held by the Ministry of Education on new trends in area of curriculum and teaching and employ more effective methods such as groupwork, teamwork, and cooperative learning methods. I
2004-2005 . . . . II
Dedications To the soul of my martyr brother Ramy who sacrificed his life for freeing our home land. To my father who empowers my career of education. To my mother who waited my success. To my wife who preserved patiently to achieve my ambition. III
Acknowledgments I would like to thank Dr. Awad Queshta for his cooperation with me as a teacher and a supervisor. I am most grateful to all my teachers who contribute their time and effort to facilitate my learning and research. Special thanks to Dr. Mohammed Hamdan and Dr. Sana'a Abudaqqa who were extremely generous with their sincerity in the residency. I would like to thank Dr. Nasmi Almasri for his unique consultations in my research and effort during the three courses of MA study. Special applause to my colleagues Ashraf Badawi, Hosni Soboh and Yousof Hamdona who devoted their time and experience to cooperate with me during my thesis work. Many thanks are extended to all those who completed the study with me. Special thanks full of emotion and hope to my parents, brothers and sisters and wife for their encouragement. IV
Content Abstract Dedications Acknowledgement Table of contents List of tables List of figures List of appendices
Table of Contents
Chapter I
Introduction
Statement of the problem
Research questions
Purpose of the study
Significance of the study
Limitations to the study
Procedures of the study
Definitions of Terms
Abbreviations
Chapter II
Literature Review
Section I Theoretical Framework
Evaluation
Needs analysis
Content planning
Developing Materials
Textbook
Standards for foreign language learning (SFLL)
Section II Previous studies
Conclusion
V
Page I III IV V VII VII VII 4 4 4 5 5 6 6 8 10 10 21 25 36 38 46 59 75
Chapter III
The Methodology
Type of research design
Instrumentations
Objectives of the analysis card
The resources of the analysis card
Justifications for deciding on the standards
Description of the analysis card
Applying the analysis card
Validity of the analysis card
Reliability of the analysis card
Study sample
Statistical Analysis
Chapter IV Findings Examination of research questions The answer of the first question The answer of the second question Sample activities from the student's book Topic examination Conclusion
Chapter V Interpretations Conclusion Recommendations References Appendices
Discussion
VI
79 80 80 80 81 82 82 83 84 85 87 88 88 91 98 103 105 106 114 115 117 122
List of Tables
Table (1) Pearson correlation among researchers
84
Table (2) Result of frequencies and percentages of the standards
91
Table (3) Introduction of topic
100
List of Figures
Figure (1) Main Standards Score Through the Textbook
92
Figure (2) Main Standards Score Through 12 Units for the Same Standard 94
Figure (3) Main Standards Score Through 12 Units Activities
94
Figure (4) Standards Score Through the Textbook
95
Figure (5) Communications Standards Score Through the 12 Units
96
Figure (6) Cultures Standards Score Through the 12 Units
96
Figure (7) Connections Standards Score Through the 12 Units
97
Figure (8) Comparisons Standards Score Through the 12 Units
97
Figure (9) Communities Standards Score Through the 12 Units
98
List of Appendices
Appendix (I) Consultation Form of an Analysis Card
117
Appendix (II) An Analysis Card for the Content of English for Palestine,
Grade Ten in the Light of Standards for Foreign Language Learning
118
Appendix (III) A Request Form of Completing an Analysis Card
123
Appendix (IV)A List of Juries
124
Appendix (V) Determining the Standards Extent
125
VII
Chapter 1 Introduction Statement of the problem Research questions Purpose of the study Significance of the study Limitations to the study Procedures of the study Definitions of Terms Abbreviations
Chapter I Introduction It is a non deniable fact that language is a means of communication among people with different tongues, races and colors. The most prevalent language of these is English. English is credited as an international language that is used in formal talks such as political, economic, social, and sports conferences. The twentieth century witnessed an increasing jump for English as technology prospers with the English instructions labeled on most of the technological products. Accordingly, it is appealingly necessary to learn English as it is essential for communication and development. One way to do this is by the educational system that aims to acquaint people with the most recent innovations and developments in the area of teaching and learning English. The educational system is responsible for integrating English language in the people's everyday life through stepping from the elementary stages at schools to advanced levels at universities and institutes in an organized and systematic process. This can be achieved if there is a well designed curriculum that corresponds to the needs, thoughts and beliefs of a specific nation. Curriculum is the means that a community uses to achieve its aims and plans for a better future. It is the practical transfer for the philosophical, psychological, intellectual and social frame based on empirical and academic researches. Not only does the curriculum contain sets of facts and knowledge, it should present experiences, skills and new innovations as well. There must be integration and harmony between the components of the curriculum which are the goals, content, methods, instructional media and evaluation. These components must be derived from a contextual -1-
environment that leads to a strong relation between what is taught and what is aimed to be taught. All of these must be subject to continual modification, innovation and development in the light of the feedback resulted from the process of evaluation. Evaluation is considered an integral part aside with the process of planning and implementation. Without evaluating and justifying proposals, curriculum system will be vague as evaluation provides educationalists with weaknesses and strengths that occur during the stages of planning and implementation ( White, 1988:148). The evaluation process covers different fields of the curriculum; mostly the content represented by the textbook. Although the textbook is not the only tool for the teaching and learning process, it is still of a significant impact for achieving the language learning objectives. Since teachers find it difficult to develop their own classroom materials, have limited time and lie under external pressure that restricts their ability, it gives more emphasis on the use and utility of the textbook to compensate the loss of authentic materials (Ansary, and Babaii, 2002: 1, 2). However, the textbook must keep pace with the World Developments and the recent changes of this age which certifies acceleration of inventions. It is not supposed that the role of the textbook disappears with these recent technological and world changes. But it is essential to modify it to suit these changes and satisfy the needs of this age. Being considered a basic pillar of the teaching and learning process, the textbook development leads to the development and improvement of the curriculum as it is the backbone of education especially in the Arab countries including Palestine. It is a vital resource for knowledge designed in a systematic way that helps the students to learn and realize the links among these pieces of knowledge. -2-
It is a main reference for the students to depend on (increasing knowledge and experiences, studying and revising for examinations). Therefore, taking the textbook into consideration is of the most precedence that educationalists and curriculum designers should be aware of. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) realizes the importance of the textbook as a foundation of the curriculum and an indispensable medium of learning that meets the needs and aspirations of the Palestinian society. The MEHE has implemented the first Palestinian curriculum plan by developing textbooks for both the basic and secondary stages. There is a chance for annual revision through feedback from educators and teachers. The first four editions are trial ones. The first textbook was produced for the first basic primary grade one in 2000. Grade Ten was produced in 2004 and taught in the scholastic year 2004 ­ 2005. The researcher believes that the content of Grade Ten textbook needs a deep investigation because it has just been introduced. The main investigation is to find out if it matches the standards for foreign language learning preparing for the twentieth century by National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project. These standards represent a modern trend in the field of curriculum and teaching that may be a guide to inform our classroom instruction by which they measure classroom practice and performance. This study will adopt a critical analysis into the student's book as well as certain investigation through the teachers book in which it aims to find out ­ at least ­ points of weakness and strength so as to give real recommendations for improvements and innovations. -3-
Statement of the problem The scholastic year 2004-2005 was the first year to include the Palestinian English syllabus textbook English for Palestine, Grade Ten. Accordingly, it is essential to examine this new textbook, after it has been taught to find out points of weakness and strength. As a result of this, the major question of the study is: "To what extent does the content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook match the Standards for Foreign Language Learning?" Research questions The study sets two questions derived from the major question to be answered in order to achieve the purpose of the study: 1- What are the standards for foreign language learning that the content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook should match? 2- To what extent does the content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook match these standards? Purpose of the study The study aims to: 1- Identify the standards for foreign language leaning. 2- Find out how much the content material of English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook matches these standards. 3- Diagnose and highlight points of weakness and strength in this textbook conent. 4- Give a suggested perspective for improvement and innovation -4-
Significance of the study This study is significant because it: 1- Is an attempt to evaluate the most recent syllabus textbook 'Grade Ten. 2- Gives a standards framework for the evaluation of syllabus textbook. 3- Could be a guide for local syllabus designers and materials writers. It could help them find out points of weakness and strength in the Grade Ten textbook so as to avoid the points of weakness and reinforce the points of strength in the innovation stage. 4- Seeks to create enthusiastic encouragement among specialists in Curriculum Development and evaluation in order to contribute to help in the development and evaluation of the Palestinian Syllabuses. Limitations of the study The study is applied in accordance with these limitations: · The study applies the evaluation of the content of the Palestinian syllabus English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook Students' book in the light of the standards for foreign language learning prepared by the National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project. · The study applies the evaluation of this textbook which is in use in the governmental Secondary Schools in Gaza and West Bank Governorates in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. · The evaluation study takes place in the scholastic year 2005 - 2006. -5-
Procedures of the study The study adopts the following: - Previous studies and literature review help the researcher to benefit from their procedures, tools, results, and recommendations. - Theoretical framework includes relevant literature review that discusses the standards for foreign language learning and previous studies. - Creating the list of Standards for Foreign Language Learning by the National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project. - Creating an analysis card so as to collect data about the availability of these standards in the content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook. - Designing a percentage table to present the collected data. - Analyzing the collected data and giving interpretations. - Giving recommendations. Definitions of Terms Content reflects assumptions about the nature of language, language use and language learning, what the most essential elements or units of language are, and how these can be organized as an efficient basis for second language learning (Richards, 2001:148) Curriculum refers to the totality of the content to be taught and aims to be achieved within one school or educational system. In the USA, curriculum tends to be synonymous with Syllabus in the British sense. (White, 1988: 4). Curriculum evaluation is concerned with collecting information about different aspects of a language program in order to understand how the program works and how -6-
successfully it works enabling different kinds of decisions to be made about the program. (Richards, 2001: 286) English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook is designated for the final year in the Upper Primary stage for 15­16 aged students in the governmental schools in Gaza Strip and the West Bank The textbook consists of student's book, workbook, audio cassette and teacher's book. Goals and aims are terms "used interchangeably to refer to a description of the general purposes of a curriculum". They "refer to a statement of a general change a program seeks to bring about in learners". (Richards,2001:120) Methods are a set of techniques or procedures that follow a systematic scheme. A method needn't be tied to any particular theory about language or learning but may simply be claimed as successfully in practice.( Kailani and Muqattach, 1995: 291) Standards "are statements about what students should know and be able to do, what they might be asked to do to give evidence of learning, and how well they should be expected to know or do it.... Standards define what is to be learned at certain points in time, and from a broad perspective, what performances will be accepted as evidence that the learning has occurred". (Wisconsin department of public instruction 2001: 11) Syllabus [in Britain] refers, to the content or subject matter of an individual subject (White, 1988: 4). It is "the overall organization principle for what to be taught and -7-
learnt... it is a general statement as to the pedagogical arrangement of learning content". (McDonough and Shaw, 1993: 13) The study deals with 'syllabus' and 'curriculum' as synonymous concepts in the British sense of 'syllabus'. Abbreviations ELC stands for English Language Curriculum. ELT stands for English Language Teaching. NSFLL stands for National Standards for Foreign Language Learning. MEHE stands for the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. SFLL stands for Standards for Foreign Language Learning. -8-
Chapter II Literature Review Section 1 theoretical Framework Evaluation Needs analysis Content planning Developing Materials Textbook Standards for foreign language learning Section II Previous studies Conclusion
Chapter II Literature Review In this chapter, two sections are discussed. The first section is a theoretical framework of related literature that deals with necessary issues related to curriculum and textbook evaluation and the main review for the Standards for Foreign Language Learning. The discussion tackles the topics of evaluation (need, purposes, audience, evaluators, target, and methods of conducting evaluation), needs analysis (purposes, users and target population, and methods of conducting needs analysis), content planning (needs survey, rationale, choosing the content, syllabus type, scope and sequence, and unit organization) and developing materials, textbook (use of textbook, myths about textbook, textbook evaluation, methods of textbook evaluation and textbook adaptation) and Standards for Foreign Language Learning. The second section reviews some previous studies that former researchers have done in concern with textbooks evaluation. Brief details are given and suggestions as well as recommendations of their studies are drawn through the discussion. Then the researcher will give his comment in regard to these previous studies. -9-
Section I Theoretical Framework Evaluation Evaluation is "the systematic collection and analysis of all relevant information necessary to promote the improvement of a curriculum, and assesses its effectiveness and efficiency, as well as the participants' attitudes within the context of the particular institution involved". (Brown, 1989: 222) (in Richards, 2002: 77) "Evaluation can be carried out in a reasonably systematic way, following a sequence of stages" (White ,1988: 155). Evaluation and assessment are concepts often used interchangeably. But in fact they mean different things. Assessment refers to the set of processes by which we judge students learning that has come about as a result of a course instructions. In regard of curriculum framework, assessment refers to procedures for measuring the extent to which students have achieved the objectives of a course. (Nunan, 1988: 116). The need of evaluation Evaluation has a wider essence entailing assessment but including other processes as well. These additional processes help us to interpret and act on the result of our assessment (Nunan, 1988: 116). It involves an examination of the context in which the program occurs of goals, syllabus and structure of a course and how these can be planned and developed. The teaching and the learning process is considered as well. Curriculum evaluation is concerned with collecting information about different aspects of a language program. This assists to understand how the program works and what success it achieved. As a result, different kinds of decision can be made about the - 10 -
program, whether it responds to learner's need, whether further teacher training is required for teachers who work in the program or whether students are learning sufficiently from it (Richards, 2001: 286). Consequently, the data resulting from evaluation lead us to judge if the program needs to be modified or altered in any way so that objectives may be achieved more effectively. It is necessary to determine why learners are not achieving the goals and objectives set for program. The evaluation also involves deciding what measures might be taken to remedy any shortcomings. Accordingly, evaluation is not simply a process of obtaining information, but also a decision making process (Nunan, 1988: 116). What is new about evaluation nowadays is the incorporation of evaluation as feedback and as a formative process with a language curriculum development. It becomes an extension and elaboration of needs analysis, sharing with pre-planning the use of many of the same information gathering procedures and techniques (white, 1988: 148). Finney (in Richards, 2002: 77) asserts that evaluation must take place at all stages of curriculum planning and implementation and involve all participants. Hemings and Dudly ­ Evans (1996) (in Richards, 2001: 287) mention the move from just a concern with test results to the need to collect information and make judgment about all aspects of the curriculum from planning to implementation. It is (White, 1988: 149) an integral part of curriculum development at any stage. Making proposal for any aspect of the language curriculum (aims, content or method) can not be without carefully evaluating and justifying such proposal. - 11 -
The fit between goals set and the final performance of the learners that should be determined is called the recycling stage as Yalden (1987: 96) considered. Materials and teaching approaches are revised if there are discrepancies. The description of purpose is, in some cases, re-examined so as to decide if it should be altered or not in the light of the obtained results at the end of the program. This recycling stage leading to adjustment anywhere in the system is based on the feedback provided to the syllabus design. This makes the model flexible and dynamic. And any sort of change or assessment can't be responsive without it. And as evaluation is not concerned with assessing individual achievement but with making judgment about the curriculum, a wide variety of information is drawn including documentation and people involved in the program or outside it (Yalden, 1987: 96). The purpose of Evaluation There are two major purposes for language program evaluation: program accountability and program development. These are interrelated with formative evaluation and summative evaluation (in Richards, 2001: 288) 1- Accountability This refers to the extent to which those involved in a program are answerable for the quality of their work. It is concerned with the examination of the effects of a program or project at significant and point of an educational cycle. It is usually conducted for the benefit of an external audience or decision maker (Weir and Robert, 1999: 5) (in Richards, 2001: 298). The gathered information forms the basis of accountability to the client. This purpose is considered as a means of determining if the curriculum goals have been met based on an assessment of the participants in the program. The - 12 -
effectiveness of the curriculum should be determined and the language program itself should be evaluated focusing on the teachers, the methodology and the material. (Finny) (in Richards, 2002: 77) 2- Program development This is designed to improve the quality of a program as it is being implemented. Involved or non-involved staff in the program may be engaged in the evaluation process. A teacher-development focus may be involved as well (Richards, 2001: 288). Program development had been stressed by Cronback (1963: 403) " Evaluation, used to improve the course while it is still fluid, contributes more to improvement of education than evaluation used to appraise a product already placed on the market". (in White, 1988: 148). Types of Evaluation The discussion below is about the three types of evaluation that are interrelated with the program accountability and development. A- Formative evaluation Graves (2000: 215) asks " why to evaluate the course?" she sets two purposed types of evaluation, one is formative evaluation and the other is summative evaluation. "the purposes of formative evaluation are to evaluate what is effective and to change what isn't so that the course effectively meets students needs, to give students a voice in their learning, to provide information for the redesign of the course". This happens to help to gauge students affective needs, learning needs and language needs while the course is in progress so that the course can be modified, as appropriate, to promote learning. - 13 -
Richards (2001: 288) thinks that formative evaluation may be carried out as part of the process program development since it focuses on ongoing development and improvement of the program . It aims to find out what is working well and what is not. The collected data are used to address problems to improve the delivering of the program. Formative evaluation seeks to find details about the time spent on particular objective, result of placement test, methodology, difficulties facing teachers or students, students' enjoyment for the program, sufficient practice work for students, and adequate material pacing. B-Summative evaluation Summative evaluation seeks to make decisions about the worth or value of different aspects of the curriculum. It is concerned with determining the effectiveness, efficiency with its acceptability, (Richards, 2001: 292), whether the course should continue or not. It assesses the achievement of the course to provide information when the course is redesigned (Graves, 2000: 215). This kind of evaluation is placed after the program has been implemented. It seeks information about effective achievement of the course aims, what students learned, material works, adequacy of objectives, adequacy of placement and achievement tests, amount of time for each unit, appropriacy of teaching methods and problems met during the course. There are some measures for effectiveness need to be identified so as to serve different purposes. These measures are as follows: Mastery of objectives Each objective in the course is examined and criteria for successful achievement of each objective are chosen. The students mastery for the objectives can be addressed by the teachers observation for his/her students during group discussion. - 14 -
Performance on tests The commonest measures used are formal tests. Some might be unit test, class tests or quizzes devised by teachers and administrated at various stages throughout the course or could be formal exit tests designed to measure to which objectives have been achieved. Measures of acceptability It refers to the satisfaction that teachers or students receive the course with. Is the course acceptable or not? Some factors can play an important role in determining the acceptability of a course: time-tabling, class size, choice of materials or teachers' teaching style. Retention rate or reenrollment rate It refers to the extent to which students continue in the course throughout its duration and percentage of students who reenroll for another course at the end. Efficiency of the course Is the course to develop and implement in a straightforward way? Richards (2001: 292-331): C- Illuminative evaluation Another type of evaluation is described as illuminative evaluation. The purpose of this type is not to change the course necessarily but to find out the work of different aspects of the program and how they are implemented. It is concerned with establishing a - 15 -
deeper understanding of the processes of teaching and learning that occur in the program. (Richards, 2001: 289) The audience for evaluation Different kinds of audiences for evaluation can occur due to the many different levels of involvement in the language teaching program. The first step which is planning the evaluation process; the need is a appealing to identity the different audiences and the kinds of information they are most interested in. (Elley, 1989) (in Richards, 2001: 294). Richards (2001: 294) sees that the audiences are assigned in the regard by which they are concerned with. As an example, officers in a ministry might be primarily interested in the way money provided for the project is spent and if all the components of the project such as student books, teachers guides and workbook are available in school by a specific date when this is the case when developing a new textbook series for public schools funded by the ministry of education. The audience who is concerned that the book provides sufficient materials for all classes on the school timetable is the teachers teaching the materials. Others could be outside consultants who are interested in the design of the materials and the kind of classroom interaction and language practice they provide. And vocational training could be interested in the quality of those school leavers to join vocational program. Accordingly, evaluation has to cover all interested audiences. Here are some of these audiences and the target data they are concerned with: Students inquire about the amount and quality of their learning, estimate rate for the course, prospective support for future, and if they need another course. - 16 -
Teachers are interested in the quality of their teaching, what their students learn, students satisfaction with the course, the usefulness of the material and course work, the effectiveness of the course organization. Who evaluates? A question can be raised, "who evaluates?" A number of candidates emerges depending on the size and scope of the evaluation. All or some of these may play a part (Nunan, 1988: 123). In fact two types of participants are involved in evaluation as Richards (2001: 296) classifies them: 1- The insider evaluators This refers to teachers, students, and anyone who is closely involved in the development and improvement of the program. In formative evaluation it is the teacher who can monitor the course as it develops to check its way of work, difficulties encountered, effectiveness of the materials, and any potential modification would ensure the smooth running of the program. Graves (2000: 214) adds the students as participants in formative evaluation, but Richards (2000: 296) considers the students as key participants in the summative evaluation of the program providing evidence of their gains in language proficiency and completing on the way the program was taught with relevance to what they have learned to their needs. Involving the key insiders in the process of designing and carrying out the evaluation is an important factor as they will have a greater commitment to acting on its results. - 17 -
2-Outsider evaluators Richards (2001: 296) sees that the outsiders are those who are not involved in the program. They may be asked to give their objective view of aspects of the program. Those outsiders participants may be consultants, inspectors, or administrators whose job is to provide teachers' perception of what happened in a course with independent observation and opinion. Graves (2000: 214) stated "in summative evaluation, in addition to the teacher and students, the institution may have an official means of evaluating the effectiveness of a course". Nunan (1988: 123) points that authorities such as government bodies or funding agencies may play a role. Outside experts, observers or interested parties may be involved as well as any teacher-colleague who observers a lesson or parts of lessons. What to evaluate? Graves (2000: 214) and Nunan (1988: 123) set different elements to be evaluated: 1- The planning process needs analysis This identifies if the needs analysis procedures are effective and provide useful information for course planning. Do they provide data on subjective and objective needs? (Nunan, 1988: 119) and (Graves, 2000: 122) 2- The goals and objectives This seeks if the goals and objectives are realistic, appropriate, and achieved and if they should be changed (Graves, 2000: 214) - 18 -
3- The content Is the content derived from the needs analysis to serve the students at specific and right level, comprehensive enough and focused enough? (Graves, 2000: 214) and (Nunan, 1988: 122) 4- The materials and methods The focus is on the appropriacy of the materials in relation to methods, materials, and activities that allow students to be engaged and have opportunities to learn at the right level in correspondence with the pre-specified objectives (Graves, 2000: 214) and (Nunan, 1988: 122). 5- Organization of the course This deals with the flow from unit to unit and within units, students perception of a sensible progression. The balance that the content is woven together with and the recycling of the materials are important issue in organizing the course content (Craves, 2000: 214). 6- Resources Are they adequate and appropriate? (Nunan, 1988: 122) 7- Teachers and learners This is related to if the teachers' classroom management skills are adequate or not. How the learners' attendance in the course is inquired in relation to sufficient learning strategies, enjoyment, involvement, types of learning, times of class, personal problem and arrangement suitability (Nunan, 1988: 122). - 19 -
8- Assessment and evaluation plan This is concerned with opportunities for appropriate evaluation plan that helps students understand how they will be assessed and why assessment activities have to assess what has been learned and helps student diagnose needs, measure progress or achievement. This must be timed as well. (Craves, 2000: 214) The assessment procedures have to be appropriate to the pre-specified objectives, give opportunities for learners to evaluate aspects of the course, and give opportunities for selfevaluation by the teacher (Nunan, 1988: 122). Methods of conducting evaluation White believes that there is no one best method although some methods are better for some kinds of data than others (Nunan, 1988: 155). There are many different methods that Richards (2001: 299, 303) Nunan, (1988:123), Graves (2000: 215), and White (1988: 155) review: systematic observation, feedback, questionnaire, dialogue, journals, ranking activities, tests, diaries, interview, peer appraisal, Richards adds more: student log, case study, students evaluations and audio, video-recording (2000: 299-303) as one method may be better than another in specific situation. White (1988: 155) classifies the mentioned methods into three types based on their need. For example, in evaluating method and classroom procedures, these methods are suggested: observation, diaries, interviews, peer appraisal, questionnaires, ranking and rating scales. To evaluate content, others are suggested: questionnaires, interviews, document analysis, tests, ranking and rating scales. Tests and assignment are suggested for evaluating learning achievement. However, (Nunan, 1988: 123) "The most important thing is that the tool selected should be appropriate to the task" taking into - 20 -
consideration the advantages and disadvantages of each method (Richards, 2001: 300303). Needs analysis Needs analysis is a systematic and ongoing process of gathering information about students' needs and preferences interpreting information and then making course decisions based on the interpretation in order to meet the needs (Graves, 2000: 98). Needs analysis is considered as the starting point and one of the basic assumptions of curriculum development that allows to collect various types of data about the learner (Finny) (in Richards, 2002: 77), (Nunan, 1988: 112) and (Richards, 2001: 54). These may include current proficiency level, age, educational background, previous language courses, nationality, martial status, the length of time spent in the target culture and previous, current and intended occupation (Nunan, 1988: 42). In general, the term needs refer to wants, desires, demands, expectations, motivation, lacks, constrains and requirements (Richards, 2000: 54). The term needs analysis made its appearance during the 1970s when the Council of Europe assembled in 1971 to study certain linguistic problems confronting the European nations at the time of the creation of the Common Market. The Council of Europe adopted documents and clarified the needs analysis is used as the initial process for the specification of behavioral objectives (Nunan, 1988: 43) and (Yalden, 1987: 89). The resulting needs analysis specifies what needs the learner hopes to achieve. (White, 1988: 84). It covers two kinds, objective needs analysis that results in content specification of the target communication situation in which learners are likely to find them-selves. Therefore, they can be carried out in the absence of the learners to find information about their - 21 -
language of proficiency and patterns of language use. Subjective needs are derived from the learners them-selves such as their wants, desires, and expectations. Their needs can not be diagnosed easily (Nunan, 1988: 42-44). The purposes of needs analysis Richards (2001: 34) suggests that needs analysis may take place at three stages: before, during and after a language program. Each of them represents an important purpose. The first (before) represents the means of obtaining wider input into the concept, design and implementation of a language program. This assumes adequate time and resource to devote to needs analysis when planning, collecting and analyzing relevant information. The second (during) aims at developing goals, objectives and content that are shaped by information collected during the teaching of the course. Graves (2000: 98) believes that needs analysis helps the learners reflect on their learning, identify needs and gain a sense of ownership and control of their learning when it is used as an ongoing part of teaching. "In the integrated approach, needs analysis takes place not only at the pre-course planning stage, but also during the course, contributing to the development of teacher-learner negotiated learning objectives (Finny) (in Richards, 2002: 77). The third (after) purposes to provide data for reviewing and evaluating an existing program. The information may be collected after the course is finished and then it is analyzed in order to obtain a more comprehensive view on the learners as a basis for evaluating and revising the program (Richards, 2001: 54). The learner should be included in the needs analysis where there is a greater likelihood to perceive it as relevant to their needs and can take an active role in course evaluation. (Finny) (in Richards, 2002: 77). - 22 -
The users and target population of needs analysis Richards (2001: 55-56) assumes that needs analysis may be conducted for a variety of different users: curriculum officers in the ministry of education, teachers, learners, writers of materials, testing personnel and staff of tertiary institutions. The target population of needs analysis refers to those who information will be collected about. In the first stand those represent the language learners or potential language learners as well as others who are involved but depending on the usefulness of information they can provide to meet the purpose of the needs analysis. This target population might include: policy makers, ministry of education officials, teachers, students, academics, employers, vocational training specialists, parents, influential individual and pressure groups, academic specialists and community agencies. Not all of members of this population should be included but subcategories of respondents might he needed to provide different perspectives on needs. Area of needs analysis As Trim (1981) (in Yalden, 1987: 90) mentions the extension and enrichment of the concept needs analysis, it not only includes the identification of communication, requirements, personal needs, motivation, relevant characteristics and resources of the learner but also includes investigating those of his partners for learning. Graves (2000: 103, 104) classifies the information that can be gathered into two types: 1) information about the present this includes: · who the learners are. · The learners' level of intercultural competency . - 23 -
· The learners' level of language proficiency. · Their interest. · Their learning preferences · Their attitudes 2) information about what the learners need to learn, want to change, this includes: · The learners' goals and expectations. · The target context, roles, situations, topics and content. · Types of communicative skills they need and tasks they will perform. · Language modality they will use. (Graves, 2000: 103, 104) Conducting needs analysis Richards (2001: 59) suggests a triangular approach for obtaining informationcollecting information from two or more sources. Many different sources of information should be sought such as: · Sample of student writing. · Test data on students performance. · Reports by teachers on typical problems students face. · Opinions of experts. · Information from students via interviews and questionnaires. · Analysis of textbooks teaching academic writing. · Survey or related literature. · Examples of Writing Programs from other institutions. · Examples of writing assignments given to first-year university students. - 24 -
This kind of information can be collected through different procedures. Richards (2001: 60) and Graves (2000: 111-120) agree on some common procedures, but Graves adds and classifies them into two types: 1- Activities that can be used once or on a regular basis. · Questionnaires · Ongoing needs activities · Interviews · Grids, charts, or lists · Writing activities · Group discussion · Ranking activities 2- Ongoing needs assessment activities · Regular feedback sessions · Dialogue journals · Learning logs or learning diaries · Portfolios · Participatory process Content planning Many different levels of planning and development are involved in development process based on the goals and objectives that have been established (Richards, 2001: 145). These overall goals are usually derived from an analysis of the reason why a group of learners in a particular environment needs to learn English. Therefore, goals - 25 -
and objectives in addition to past experience, students' needs, beliefs and understanding, the method or text and the contexts are factors that content planning depends on (Graves, 2000: 127). The goals may be stated in general, educational, or very specific terms and may be set out in a large-scale categories of a national language policy or may be to address a particular learning need. (McDonough and Shaw, 1993: 4) . The development process takes place at different levels but not necessarily occurs in a linear order. (Richards, 2001: 145). The needs survey Yalden (1987: 101) suggests that the needs survey followed by the production of a description of purpose are necessary initial steps. A great deal of information is gathered regarding communication requirements, personal, needs, motivations and relevant characteristics of learners. This is done for the reason of understanding as much about the learners as possible in order to establish realistic and acceptable objectives. More information is mentioned earlier in the needs analysis. Rationale The rationale is a brief written description of the reasons for the course and the nature of it. It seeks to state the target group, the content of the course and the kinds of teaching and learning will take place in the course stating that needs describe the beliefs, values and goals (Richards, 2001: 145). Yalden views this as the description of purposes and considers it as the foundation for the decision facing the designers in the selection of syllabus types: - 26 -
"Differences lie in varying conceptions first, of what the objectives of a language-teaching program should be, and how they should be stated, and second, of the methodology that should be employed. But these differences can not be desired as neatly as were the contrasts among methods, since a syllabus can be any thing from a real blue-print for turning out teaching units or materials to a set of rather broad guidelines " (Yalden, 1987: 105). The rationale is developed by those who are involved in planning and teaching a course and what serves to provide justification for the type of teaching and learning taking place in the course. Statement of the course philosophy is provided for those who need such information including students, teachers, and potential clients. A good rationale requires the planners to give a careful consideration to the goals of the course, the kind of teaching and learning, the role of teachers and learners in the course and the beliefs and principles the course will reflect. (Richards, 2001: 146). Proficiency Level: entry and exit When planning a language course, it is necessary to identify the level which the program will start at as well as the learner that is expected to reach at the end of the course. Detailed description about the learners proficiency level should be given and investigated before they enter or after they have finished the course. It is not enough to set levels such as elementary, intermediate and advanced levels taking place in commercial material because this distinction is too broad (Richards, 2001: 146). "Teachers will wish to know this [level of proficiency in English] even where their classes are based on a 'mixed proficiency' principle rather than streamed according to level" (McDonough,1993: 7). Learners entry level may be available from their results on international proficiency tests such as TOEFL or IELTS or designed tests (Richards, 2001: 146). - 27 -
Choosing the content "...Content should be derived through a process of consultation and negotiation with the learners.... Many teachers have found that a useful means of generating integrated and relevant content is by using as a starting point the data derived from learners at the initial planning stage." (Nunan, 1988:67, 58) Richards (2001:148) gives inquiries about some specifications that need to cover a given set of objectives and a content shape such as the nature of language, language use, and language learning, the most essential elements or units of language and the organization of these. Some factors play an important role in determining the choice of a particular approach to content selection: subject-matter knowledge, the learners' proficiency level, current views, on second language learning and teaching, conventional wisdom, and convenience. When organizing a course a list of possible topics, units, skills is generated through sequence of initial ideas and further by groups brainstorming. Different steps are suggested by Nunan (1988: 65, 66) to be adopted when specifying the content: 1- Examining the learners data and extracting information relating to the purposes for which learners are attending the course and which can be translated into communicative goals. 2- Specifying the communicative tasks and enabling skills which learners will need to be able to perform for achieving their language goals. 3- Contextualizing the tasks by deciding on topics, setting, interlocutors and so on. 4- Deciding on linguistics elements which will be needed for the learners to learn to be able to operationalise the pre-specified skills. - 28 -
Syllabus type Garves (2000: 140-141) considers that the content of the unit is based on the way you have conceptualized the course content and the goals and objectives for the course. This depends on what you know about your context and your students' needs. Richards (2001: 152) sees that some of the preliminary planning will have occurred while the idea for course content was being generated. McDonough and Shaw (1993: 13) define the syllabus: " ...it is a general statement as to the pedagogical arrangement of learning content". It is a "summary of the content to which learners will be exposed" (Yalden, 1987: 87) (in Rabbini, 2002: 1). After setting out the goals, the next step is to select a type of syllabus which is relevant to the learners for whom it is intended, appropriate to the situation that fulfills the aims. There is a range of different types of syllabus that are based on the choice made for specific situation. The course will be based on or a combination of these principles of organization taking into account the diversity of teaching contexts. Richards (2001: 152-153) uses the term 'selecting a syllabus framework' to refer to the process in which a course structure is planned. He mentions some factors that planners are influenced with: - Knowledge and belief about the subject area. - Research and theory. - Common practice. - Trends. The different approaches available in developing communicative courses result in having many different syllabus frameworks that make a claim to be versions of a communicative syllabus. Many writers such as White (1988), Yalden (1987), Richards - 29 -
(2001), and others mention some different syllabus types in their books. However, in Richards (2001) it is clearly illustrated mentioning advantages and disadvantages. Grammatical syllabus This types of syllabus is organized around grammatical items and has been used as the basis for planning general course. It is organized according to list of grammatical structures. It can be organized by most English teachers. This syllabus has been criticized for representing only partial dimension of language proficiency, not reflecting acquisition sequences, focusing on sentence rather than meaning, focusing on sentence rather than longer units of discourse, and not addressing communicative skills. Yet it still remains a core component of many language courses for presenting a familiar approach to teaching for many people, providing a convenient framework for a course, and representing a core component of language proficiency. Lexical syllabus It is a syllabus that identities a target vocabulary to be taught and normally arranged according to levels of vocabulary numbers. The consequences in English language teaching are held concerning targets for vocabulary teaching at different levels and there is conformity to target vocabulary bands when textbooks are written and by material writers Functional syllabus It is based on the communicative and interpersonal uses and functions such as requesting, complaining, suggesting, agreeing and so on. It highlights what people do through language. Functional syllabus was a serious alternative to a grammatical - 30 -
syllabus as a basis for general-purpose course design. It was very popular for reflecting a more comprehensive view of language than grammatical syllabus, and providing a convenient framework for the design of teaching materials. However, it was criticized for the lack of a clear criteria for selecting or grading functions, representing a simplistic view of Communicative competence without addressing the process of communication, representing assumption that language ability can be broken down into discrete components that can be taught separately including gaps in the grammatical competence for students. Situational syllabus It identifies different situations in which the language is needed for the learner to use in these situations, such as at the airport, or at a hotel. This is a situation in which particular communicative acts are needed. The situational syllabus has been advantageous for presenting language in context and teaching language of immediate practice use. Still it is criticized for the little which is known about the language used in different situations resulting in the intuition that selecting the teaching items is based on, improbability of transferring the language used in specific situation to other situations, leading to phrase-book approach, and the gap occurring in the student's grammatical knowledge due to the incident use of grammar in the situational syllabus. Topical or content-based syllabus It is organized around themes, topics, or other units of content. The starting point in the topical syllabus is the content rather than grammar, function, or situations. It is characterized with the content providing the sole criterion for organizing the syllabus or a framework that links a variety of different syllabus strands together. Its content - 31 -
provides the vehicle for the presentation of the language rather than the other way round. It has many advantages as it facilities comprehension, its content makes linguistic form more meaningful, serves as the best basis for teaching the skill area, addresses students' needs, motivates learners, allows integrations of the four skills, and allows for use of authentic materials. Competency-based syllabus It is based on a specification of the competence learners are expected to master in relation to specific situations and activities. Essential skills, knowledge, and attitudes are competences required for effective performance of particular tasks and activities. This syllabus is used in social survival and work-oriented language programs. . Skills-based syllabus It is based on the different abilities that use the language for purposes like reading, writing, listening, or speaking. It is concerned with what learners do as readers, listeners, writers, and speakers. It has the advantage of focusing on performance in relation to specific tasks to provide a particular framework for designing courses and teaching materials. It has been criticized for the lack of serious basis for determing skills, and focusing on discrete aspects of performance rather than on developing more global and integrated communicative abilities. Task-based syllabus It focuses on tasks that students will complete in the target language. Different activities that are done using language such as finding a solution to a puzzle, reading a map, and giving directions are known as tasks. Tasks have been proposed as a basis for - 32 -
syllabus planning because of some claims made for task-based syllabus: they drive the second language acquisition process, grammar is acquired as a by-product of carrying out tasks and it is not centrally taught, and learners are motivated and engaged in meaningful communication through these tasks. However, this syllabus is not widely implemented in language teaching because of the broad definition of task and because the design and selection of tasks is unclear and the focus on the development of fluency is encouraged at the expense of accuracy. Text-based syllabus It is organized around texts and can be regarded as a type of situational approach as the starting point in the planning is analysis of the contexts which learners will use the language in. It is also a type of integrated syllabus that combines elements of different types of syllabus. The advantages of this syllabus is the explicit teaching about the structures and grammatical features of spoken and written texts, the link between spoken and written texts to the social and cultural contexts of their use, allowing for design units of work focus on developing skills, and providing students with guided practice for meaningful communication through texts. The disadvantages of this syllabus is: focusing on specific skills rather than else, and its impracticality in many situations. An Integrated Syllabus After mentioning these types of syllabus with their advantages and disadvantages, the idea of having a syllabus that combines different aspects of syllabus is appealing. However, White (1988:109) stated: - 33 -
"The choice and definition of a syllabus will be influenced by policy rather than principles, a point which curriculum developers ignore at their peril. Decisions about syllabus will, therefore, be subject to the values and aims of the learning system itself. Such influences are less to do with what has been demonstrated by theory and associated research than with what based on custom, belief and convenience... to focus on content is too restricted and that the language educator needs to draw on the principles and procedures of curriculum studies and to apply principles of effective management ." Graves (2000 :141) suggests deriving the unit content from the way of conceptualized content and articulating goals and objectives based on the knowledge of the context and student's need regardless of what the organization principles. Discoveries made during organizing the course and drawing up the syllabus require modification and refining the goals and objectives. Richards (2001: 164) points out: "decisions about a suitable syllabus framework for a course reflect different properties in teaching rather than absolute choices" In arriving at the decision about which approach to syllabus planning to take, the course planners need to decide between macrolevel and microlevel planning units in the course. "It is wise to take an eclectic approach, taking what is useful from each theory and trusting also in the evidence of your own experience as a teacher" (Rabbini, 2002: 5). Scope and Sequence "Scope is concerned with the breadth and depth of coverage of items in the course as it sets the range of content to be covered and the extent that each topic should be studied". Sequence refers to the order in which the content is needed early in the course and which provides as a basis for things that will be learned later (Richards, 2001: 149). This involves deciding two levels: which unit to be set first and the order within each unit as Graves (2000:136) and Richards (2001: 150) clarify. They set different criteria for sequencing: - 34 -
1- Simple to Complex 2- Chronology 3- Need 4- Prerequisite Learning 5- Whole to part or part to whole 6- Spiral Sequencing The decision of sequencing the content in a specific way needs to be justified. (Richards, 2001: 151, 152) and (Graves, 2000: 136) Unit Organization This refers to the way in which the modules or the units are organized in the course. 'Modules' refers to the self-contained and independent learning sequence with its own objectives with more care needed to be taken to ensure that the course does not appear fragmented and unstructured. 'Units' is the commonest way of organizing the course and teaching materials that consists of group of lessons planned around a single instructional focus. It seeks to establish a structured sequence of activities leading to learning outcomes. (Richards, 2001: 165-166). Graves (2000: 141) mentions three complementary ways to organize the modules or units in the course. 1- Cycle It refers to the prediction sequence in which some elements occur in. This involves starting the start again when the sequence is completed. - 35 -
2- Matrix It means the elements are selected from certain categories of content but not in a predictable order. The matrix is drawn from how the teacher conceptualizes the content of the course that may include skills, tasks, functions, grammatical items drawn from each unit. 3- Combination This combines the other two sequences, cycle and matrix, that refers to following a predictable sequence of learning activities and some learning activities drawn from a matrix. There are different factors that affect the decision of organizing the course: - Teachers' beliefs - The specific context in which the course takes place. (time, class meeting, resources) - Teachers' conceptualization of the content and determination of goals and objectives. Developing Materials The concept of developing materials (Graves, 2000:149-150) refers to the planning process by which a teacher creates units and lessons within those units to carry out the goals and objectives of the course. It involves creating, choosing, adapting and organizing materials and activities so that student can achieve the objectives that will help them reach the goals of the course. There are two choices that the teacher will meet, either to be given a textbook and a timetable in which to cover it, or to be required for developing all the materials he uses in class from scratch. Neither of these is desirable. Instead the teacher should be involved in materials development from the - 36 -
beginning of picking up a textbook so as to be able to make decision on certain aspects of a textbook, innovations, modifications, and so on. He / she exercises responsibility. Decisions about developing materials are strongly based on beliefs, understanding and experience. Goals and objectives, the way of conceptualizing the content of the course, the way of organizing and sequencing the course and understanding of the students' needs are also essential in the process of material development. Materials could be in the form of: a) Printed materials b) Non-printed materials c) Materials complies as both printed materials and non-printed materials (Richards, 2001: 251) These materials could be of two situations. The first, the teacher is exposed to the 'open­market' and may have a quite a large amount of choices in the materials he chooses (McDonough,1995: 63,64). So a fortunate teacher is free to choose the textbook he uses himself (Lamie, 1999). The second case, a ministry of education produces materials which are subsequently passed on to the teacher for classroom use. So in different situations the teacher has a very limited choice or perhaps no choice at all and has to cope as best as he can within this framework. In this case the teacher is needed to understand why the materials have been written in such a way and how he can make effective use of them in the classroom (McDonough and Shaw, 1993: 63, 64). One of the inevitable issues in developing materials is the textbook as a source of teaching and learning. - 37 -
Textbook Matos (2000) reviewed the definition of the textbook in his article as Harries and Hodges (1995) stated "Textbook ­ a book used for instructional purposes, especially in school and collages". "Book used by students for particular branches of study can be characterized by another important feature: their intrinsically challenging nature". ( Matos, 2000). In a short dialogue between Graves and Lanzano (An editorial Oxford University Press in New York), about the possibility of co-authorizing a textbook series, Graves said "I don't use textbooks in my teaching. Why would I want to write one?". Lanzano responded that "Many teachers are required to use textbooks, a majority of teachers do not have time or resources to prepare their own materials, and so textbooks are a necessity" (Graves, 2000:173). This necessity depends on the teacher's own teaching style, the resources available to them, the accepted standards of teaching in every language school. (Ansary and Babaii, 2002: 1). The textbook plays a vital role in language classrooms in the different educational institutions such as state schools, colleges, language school or else all over the world. (Lamie, 1999). As a fact, the first textbook, Orbis Sensualium Pictus (the Visible World) was published by Jan Amos Komensky in 1658. The first written word of "Textbook" in English seems to have been from 1770-1780 as Matos (2000 ) transfers from Random House Webster's College Dictionary. - 38 -
The use of textbook Sheldon (1988) mentions three main reasons for using the textbook: 1- It is difficult for the teacher to develop their own classroom materials. 2- The time available for the teacher is limited while developing new material takes a great amount of time. 3- The outside restriction of pressure affects the teacher. The textbook can serve different purposes for both teachers and learners. For teachers, it is a core recourse of supplemental materials, inspiration for classroom activities or the curriculum.(in Garinger,2001) knowledge designed in a systematic way that helps the students to learn and realize the links among these pieces of knowledge. It is a main reference for the learners to depend on (increasing knowledge and experiences, studying and revising for examinations.(Hamdan, 1997: 4, 5) Richards (2002: 254, 255), Graves (2000: 174, 175), Ansary and Babaii (2002: 1, 2), and Litz (2001: 5,6) review the many advantages of textbooks as they : - provide structure and a syllabus for a program. - provide a variety of learning resources such as, visuals, activities, reading and so on. - provide security for the students as they know what to expect and what is expected of them. - provide teachers with a basis for assessing students' learning due to tests or evaluation tools available. - provide consistency within a program across a given level. - maintain quality if the textbook is well-developed. - 39 -
- are efficient since they save time. - provide training to teachers as they provide a teacher's manual. In spite of being in use in thousands, textbooks may occur with some disadvantages while being in use: - They may not reflect the learner's needs. - They may deskill teachers and inhibit their creativity. - They may be socially and culturally bias. - They may not provide comprehensive aspects of language - They are expensive (Richards, 2001: 254, 255), (Graves, 2000: 174, 175), (Ansary, and Babail, 2002: 1, 2), and (Litz, 2001: 5, 6) Myths about textbook Dow (2004) points out some Myths that could be of misunderstanding of the textbook: - The textbook is the course while it is only one of several recourses used. A course content is often developed by using an eclectic approach pulling the most useful ideas and activities from a variety of resources. - The textbook should be taught in its entirety with nothing added or deleted. - The title reflects what communicative content textbook contains as a matter of trusting it. - 40 -
Textbook evaluation No textbook is perfect. No textbook can fit each teaching situation or a language program. (Richards, 2001: 257), (Lamie, 1999), and (Ansary and Babaii, 2002: 1). Therefore, the option of making modification, adaptation or assigning supplementary materials is needed. For example, a textbook may be suitable in one situation as it matches the situation needs, but in a different situation it seems to be unsuitable due to the unsuitability of the situation. The situation specifications may play an important role in determing the textbook selection. Some of these specifications are: § The role of the textbook in the program. § The teachers in the program. § The learners in the program. (Richards,2001: 256) McDonough (1993) presents two kinds of evaluation: External evaluation This kind of evaluation involves examining the organization of the materials as stated explicitly by the author/publisher when you look at: § The blurb or the claims made on the cover of the teacher or student book. § The introduction and table of content. These two components are expected to show: § The intended audience who the materials are targeted at. § The proficiency level that materials should be addressed to. § The context which the materials are to be used. It could be for teaching generals learners or teaching English for specific purposes. - 41 -
§ How the language has been presented and organized into teachable units or lessons. § The author's view on language and methodology and the relationship between the language, the learning process and the learner. Other factors could be essentially taken into account at the external evaluation stage: § Are the materials to be used as the main 'core' course or to be supplementary to it? § Is a teacher's book in print and locally available? § Is a vocabulary list/index included? § What visual materials does the book contain? § Is the layout and presentation clear or cluttered? § Is the material too culturally biased or specific? § Do the materials represent minority groups? Internal evaluation This refers to the in-depth investigation into the materials. It is to analyze the extent to which the factors in the external evaluation stage actually match up with the internal consistency and organization of the materials, as stated by the author or publisher. The investigation should include these factors: § The presentation of the skills in the materials. § The grading and sequencing of the materials. § Are the materials suitable for different learning styles? § Are the materials a sufficient transport to motivate both students and teachers. - 42 -
Methods of textbook evaluation Many researchers tackled this area of evaluation with a variety of criteria or methods. Most of them agreed on creating a checklist of criteria for textbook evaluation such as the correspondence of the textbook to learner's needs, the reflection that learners will make, facilitating the learners' learning process, and the clear and well defined goals (Griffiths, 1995), (Garinger, 2001), (Garinger, 2001) and (Richards, 2001: 258). However, Sheldon (1988: 241, 242) has his own view: "I would like to present what I think is a 'bell-jar' summary of common-core factors that reviewers, administrators, teachers, learners, educational advisors most frequently use in deciding whether or not a textbook is chosen. A major caveat is necessary, however: no one is really certain what criteria and constraints are actually operative in ELT contexts worldwide, and textbook criteria are emphatically local. Not all the criteria described would be deployed simultaneously, nor is the list definitive... The pint is, of course, that any culturally restricted, global list of criteria can never really apply in most local environments, without considerable modification. We can be committed only to checklists or scoring systems that we have had a hand in developing and which have evolved from specific selection priorities. So we need some points around which our thoughts can crystallize. Many researchers adopted the idea of checklists for textbook evaluation. Consequently Ansary and Babaii (2002: 5, 6) identify a select set of common consensus reached characteristics of EFL/ESL textbooks. This is what they think is a set of universal features of EFL/ESL textbooks: 1- Approach reflects the dimension of a vision, theory or approach about the nature of the language, the nature of learning and how the theory can be put to applied use. 2- Content presentation includes: a- Stating purposes and objectives for the total course and individual units. - 43 -
b- Selection and its rationale through coverage, grading, organization and sequencing. c- Satisfaction of the syllabus to the teacher by providing a guide book, giving advice on the methodology and supplementary material available and to the student through piecemeal, unit-by-unit instruction, graphics, periodic revisions, workbook, exercises and activities, periodic test sections and accompanying audio-visual aids. 3- Physical make-up relates to the appropriate size and weight, attractive layout, durability, high quality of editing and publishing and appropriate title. 4- Administrative concerns macro-state policies, appropriate for local situation (culture, religion, gender) and appropriate price. Garinger (2001) did similar work when he called for creating one's own personal checklist to evaluate textbooks. He stated, These evaluation lists may or may not include the issues for elements that reflect the concerns of teachers choosing textbooks. Therefore, selecting particular items to create a personal evaluation index is the best method for ensuring that the realities of each individual situation are addressed. Previously published lists need to be examined considering the most salient features. Areas of commonality between these lists should be reflected in the new list (Garinger, 2001). Textbook adaptation There is clearly a direct relationship between evaluation and adaptation. This relation is derived from the decision about whether a particular course book should be used in a specific teaching situation resulting from a number of evaluating criteria. "It is more realistic to assume that, however careful the design of the materials and the evaluation process, some changes will have to be made at level in most teaching context." - 44 -
(McDonough, 1993: 82). Adaptation involves bringing together the `external' factors (overt claims made about materials, the characteristics of particular teaching situations) and `internal' factors (content, organization and consistency) under each heading, or combination of them in order to match each other closely as possible. Adaptation can be quite transitory and does not necessarily need to be written down or made permanent. The reasons for which teachers need to adapt depend on the whole rang of variables operating in the teaching situation and the teachers own proprieties that may differ from those of another. The reasons for adaptation deals with the modification of content (exercises and activities, texts, instructions, tests and so on) with which the environments may necessitate a number of changes that will lead to greater appropriacy expressed in terms of need to personalize, individualize or localize. The content personalization refers to increasing the relevance of content to learners' interest and academic, educational or professional needs. Individualization addresses the learning styles. Localization refers to taking into account the international geography of English language teaching. Adaptation takes many aspects and techniques: - modifying content refers to the change in the content due to unsuitability to learners' age, gender, social class and so on. - Adding or deleting content because of too much or too little amount in the textbook. - Reorganizing content decides the arrangement of units or activities in units in a more suitable order. - Addressing omission requires the teacher to add more activities to unit as the teacher feels the text omits. - 45 -
- Modifying tasks is needed when the teacher feels a change can give additional focus to tasks. - Extending tasks requires adding more practices as the exercises may contain insufficient practices. (Richards, 2001: 260) and (McDonough, 1993: 89-95) - Simplifying refers to a `re-writing' activity. Many elements of language can be simplified including the instructions and explanations that accompany exercises and activities. (McDonough, 1993: 93) and (Echevarria et al, 2004: 27, 28) Standards for foreign language learning (SFLL) "Success in meeting the social, political, and economic challenges in our linguistically and culturally diverse communities depends on large part on the ability of teachers to prepare students studying other languages to meet the communicative demands of these challenges." (Hall, 1999: 15). Phillips and Robert (1999: 1) points out that standards are used to assess product quality and there are criteria that assess conformity rest on upon which independent judges will universally agree. Performance quality needs standards to be assessed in which competency may reflect variables that include artistry, functionality, audience or user response and individuality. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (2001: 11) defines: Standards are statements about what students should know and be able to do, what they might be asked to do to give evidence of learning, and how well they should be expected to know or do it...Standards define what is to be learned at certain points in time, and from a broad perspective, what performances will be accepted as evidence that the learning has occurred. Content standards lie at the heart of education reforms. The design of content standards requires judging what students should know and be able to do as a result of their study - 46 -
of the world languages. These standards should be in the regard of what students should have in the classroom as well as the pedagogical approaches their teachers employ. so as to necessarily become the basis for the new assessment that will judge students competences in terms of quality and progress toward high and challenging performance standards.(Phillips, 1999:2). Estimating the value of these standards concern, the National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project Standards for Foreign Language Learning preparing for the 21 century was officially released during a special ceremony on November 18,1995 at the annual meeting of ACTEL (the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language, in Anaheim, California. An eleven- member task force- the American Association of Teachers of French, the American Association of Teachers of German, the American Association of Italian, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese, the American Classical League, the American Council of Teachers of Russian, the American Council on the teaching of Foreign Languages, the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools & Chinese Language Teachers Associations, the National Council of Secondary Teachers of Japanese & Associations of Teachers of Japanese- representing a variety of languages, levels of instructions, program models, and geographic regions was given the charge to undertake the task of defining content standards that students should know and be able to do in foreign language education (Lafayette, 1996:1-2) and (SFLL, 1996). These standards reflect the instructional practice, but not what is attained by the majority of foreign language students nor describe specific course content. They are not a curriculum guide or description of a sequence of study. However, they determine the - 47 -
best approaches and reasonable expectation for the students whose purposes and uses of foreign languages are variant. As a result, the standards task force identified five goals areas that encompass all of these reasons. They are: communications, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities. (SFLL, 1996). Here is a brief related review on the five goal areas and standards. Communication Below is the main summary that Hall (1999: 15-50) gives related to communication goal area. "Communication is at the heart of all social life. It is in our communication with others that use develop, articulate, and manage our individual identities, our interpersonal relationships, and our memberships in our communities." (Hall, 1999: 16). Our communicative activities are organized around particular goals that are socioculturally defined in addition to being fundamentally pragmatic. Within communication goals there are three macro domains that frame the purposes for learning to communicate in another language: 1. The interpersonal domain makes the communicative activities accomplished through direct interaction with others, leading at the end to create and maintain interpersonal relationships or to accomplish particular task. 2. The interpretive domain is concerned with activities that involves understanding spoken and written texts for the purposes of developing new meanings, new ideas, new feeling, and new experiences. 3. The presentational domain shapes the communicative activities primarily purposing to present or express ideas, information, feelings, and experiences through both the spoken and written word. These three domains require the - 48 -
development of communicative competence to give effective participation in any of the activities. Communicative competence This concept refers to the link between the use of language effectively and the knowledge of such social conditions as the setting, the participants, and the goals or purposes for which language is being used. Different models were given to develop a theoretical framework of communicative competence. A first model contains four components: grammatical competence, sociolinguistic competence, discourse competence and strategic competence. Another model contains two primary components: 1- Language competence that is divided into two areas, organizational knowledge and pragmatic knowledge and 2- Strategic competence that is broken into three: 1- assessment. 2- planning. 3execution. A third model was the most comprehensive as it takes into consideration the most recent researches on communicative competence. This model gives five interrelated areas of knowledge: discourse competence, linguistic competence, sociocultural competence, actional competence and strategic competence. In the field of foreign learning there has been a growth in shaping instructional goals approaches based on the development of communicative competence rather than including just linguistic knowledge. - 49 -
Communicative development This is the relevance that engagement in communicative activities with more expert communicators represents the source of children's communicative development. Children learning depends on their experiences in goal-directed communicative activities with the help from more competent participants. Both the form and the direction of individual growth depend on the communicative environment they are involved in. Classroom discourse Classroom discourse is the oral interaction taking place between teachers and students. Students developing communicative competence is a way to be successful at learning, instructing them how to listen and at appropriate times, how to bid for a turn at speaking, how to locate the cues used by the teacher in his/her talk to find the right answer, and how to display their knowledge. The teacher has an important role in initiating classroom discourse. One pattern is the typical pattern of classroom discourse that includes three parts of sequence: teacher initiation, student response and teacher evaluation. Another pattern is the instructional conversations that is rich of teacher-student interaction purposing to assist students' understanding of and ability to communicate about concepts and ideas that are central to their learning. This can be facilitated through several communicative actions: modeling, feeding back, contingency meaning, directing, questioning, explaining, and task structuring. Classroom organization for communication Foreign language curriculum should be organized around meaningful, motivating, and cognitively challenging activities. Learning to communicate doesn't mean having - 50 -
accumulation of set of context-free, structurally based linguistic units and vocabulary lists in the target language but should involve developing an understanding of and ability to use symbolic tools and resources associated with meaningful and goal- directed communicative activities in the target language. Consideration should be taken when designing a pedagogy around communication to the three domains of the communication goals: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational domains that encompass social, academic, civic, and business-related activities. (1999: 15-50) Below is the standards of communication as they appear in the executive form of SFLL (1996) Communication Standards Communicate in Languages Other Than English 1.1 Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions. This standard focuses on interpersonal communication, that is, direct oral or written communication between individuals who are in personal contact. In most modern languages, students can quite quickly learn a number of phrases that will permit them to interact with each other. In the course of their study, they will grow in their ability to converse in a culturally appropriate manner. 1.2 Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics. Standard 1.2 involves one-way listening and reading in which the learner works with a variety of print and non-print materials. The context in which the language is experienced and the ability to control what they hear and read may impact students' development of comprehension. As a result, the ability to read may develop before the ability to comprehend rapid spoken language. In addition, content knowledge will often affect successful comprehension, for students understand more easily materials that reflect their interests or for which they have some background. 1.3 Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics. This standard focuses on the formal presentation of information, concepts, and ideas in spoken and written form and is concerned, in most cases, with one-way speaking and writing. Students with little or - 51 -
no previous language experience are likely to produce written and spoken language that will contain a variety of learned patterns or will look like English with words in the other language. This is a natural process and, over time, they begin to acquire authentic patterns and to use appropriate styles. By contrast, home-background students will write in ways that closely resemble the spoken language. Moreover, they will control informal oral styles. Over time these learners will develop the ability to write and speak using more formal styles. (SFLL, 1996) Culture From the 1950s to the current moment has the inclusion of culture as an element in the language learning curriculum in instructional practice and in assessment of learning. This led to providing lists of cultural themes in the teaching of language that consists of different headings in which hundreds of themes are classified. Culture was significantly included in the foreign language classroom through developing principles for the coherence of language and culture in instruction, integrating the linguistic, the cultural, the communicative and the language learning to be learned as one, and developing objective in the generation of a language learning curriculum. However, culture still remains a superficial aspect of language learning programs and without significant justification for its inclusion in the curriculum or program. Accordingly, culture must be included in accordance with a plan and taught in an active manner. To include culture is not only the important issue, but there is a need to a serious discussion, debate and resolution of how to teach it. There is agreement on the interrelationship of language and culture in language learning programs. Therefore, a different kind of learning should be required when culture is integrated into language learning and when understanding of culture is an overall goal. And there is an optimism towards giving attention to new standards of culture place, emphasis on performance instead of coverage, new approaches to assessment and potential new directions for research in culture learning (Lange,1999: 57-67) - 52 -
Culture Standards Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures 2.1 Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied. This standard focuses on the practices that are derived from the traditional ideas and attitudes (perspectives) of a culture. Cultural practices refer to patterns of behavior accepted by a society and deal with aspects of culture such as rites of passage, the use of forms of discourse, the social "pecking order," and the use of space. In short, they represent the knowledge of "what to do, when and where." 2.2 Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied. This standard focuses on the products of the culture studied and on how they reflect the perspectives of the culture. Products may be tangible (e.g., a painting, a piece of literature, a pair of chopsticks) or intangible (e.g., an oral tale, a dance, a sacred ritual, a system of education). Whatever the form of the product, its presence within the culture is required or justified by the underlying beliefs and values (perspectives) of that culture, and the cultural practices involve the use of that product (SFLL, 1996). Connection Met (1999: 137-156) gives a brief review about connection in foreign language learning. Foreign language learning not only makes students benefit from learning it but it should make them have opportunities to see how language use is rooted in and linked to most of what is learnt. So it is an integral part of their schooling. Recently there has been an increasing growth of the notions of integrated curriculum and interdisciplinary instructions that teachers plan whether independently or collaboratively. This helps students use knowledge, understandings and skills required from many areas to carry out the demands of their personal lives, their jobs and their civic responsibilities, as problems are rarely solved by drawing on knowledge or skills from only one domain. It will be a tool for students to acquire information or carry out tasks in the real world - 53 -
beyond the classroom. This idea is based on the constructivist theory which points that learners construct their own understanding by giving meaning to information and experience, linking new knowledge to what they already know. This makes learning deeper and more powerful when they can see the relationships among the parts of learning and whole, the broader contexts of their knowledge and experience. As a result there is a consistency between the constructivist approach and the communicative perspective in language learning and teaching in which the purpose of learning a language is to use it in authentic spoken or written interactions that involves real-life meanings exchanged for real-life purposes. And using the language to learn content represents real purposes and it involves real meanings. Connection has two arguments to be made in regard to content. The first is constructivist theory that suggests that learning is strengthened when students see the connection among what they learn in the various disciplines of the curriculum. The second is the interdisciplinary connections that makes links between what is being learned currently in one class or subject and what is learned in another. This approach of connection doesn't burden the teacher in teaching new concepts in other subjects as the language classroom can provide concepts from other disciplines to be reinforced and practiced. Language instruction can provide review of important information, skills, and concepts taught in a recent unit. How to integrate language learning and subject content is an important issue that teachers may find it helpful when they use language curriculum as a criterion for making connections leading to enabling students to become more proficient in the - 54 -
target language using information and skills from this or that subject matter. There are some examples of connections with other disciplines such as connecting with mathematics and science, with social studies and with arts. Many of these disciplines concepts can be applied and can fit well with the topics of the language classroom. Connections enables students to acquire information and insights uniquely accessed through the language. And as student can be significant decision makers in determining what kinds of information to pursue, when and how, they don't have to make the same connection or acquire the same information. Their choice reflect their personal interests whether academic or nonacademic that could be beyond teachers' expertise. This allows for variation in the language outcomes that results from independent students work (Met,1999: 137-156). Connections Standards Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information. 3.1 Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language. Learning today is no longer restricted to a specific discipline; it has become interdisciplinary. Just as reading cannot be limited to a particular segment of the school day, so too can foreign language build upon the knowledge that students acquire in other subject areas. In addition, students can relate the information studied in other subjects to their learning of the foreign language and culture. foreign language instruction thus becomes a means to expand and deepen students' understanding of, and exposure to, other areas of knowledge. The new information and concepts presented in one class become the basis of continued learning in the foreign language classroom. 3.2 Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures. As a consequence of learning another language and gaining access to its unique means of communication, students are able to broaden the sources of information available to them. They have a "new window on the world." At the early levels of language learning, students can begin to examine a variety of sources intended for native speakers, and - 55 -
extract specific information. As they become more proficient users of the foreign language, they can seek out materials of interest to them, analyze the content, compare it to information available in their own language, and assess the linguistic and cultural differences (SFLL, 1996). Comparisons Fantini (1999: 165-195)tackles the salient points about comparisons. Comparisons, in this context is one of five goals of the national standards for foreign language learning. It can lead to potentially powerful and exciting implications that contribute to the education and development of every learner when they "benefit from language learning by discovering different patterns among language systems and cultures. Through the study of a new language system and the way such system expresses meaning in culturally appropriate ways, students gain insights into the nature of language, linguistic and grammatical concepts, and the communicative functions of language in society as well as the complexity of the interaction between language and culture." (SFLL, 1996: 53) (in Fantini,1999: 166). Within comparisons there is a focus on the effect that learning a new language has on the learner's ability to develop hypotheses about how language works and the role that language plays in one's life. In this case there is an inference that learners go beneath the surface structure exploring how language expression carries meaning, how meaning is constructed in language, and how different languages construct meaning differently. Comparisons also suggests that students explore both similarities and differences inherent in perspectives, practices, and products of the native and foreign language through the language learning process. Students go beyond the surface to find out how language affects and reflects culture, and how they are interrelated and how they together influence one's view of the world. " language provides a sort of road maps as - 56 -
to how one perceives, interprets, thinks about, and expresses one's view of the world...language reflects and reinforces the particular view we hold of the world" (177). Acquiring language influences the way one constructs his / her model of the world. And other languages convey different visions of that same world (Fantini, 1999: 165-195) Comparisons Standards Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture 4.1 Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own. This standard focuses on the impact that learning the linguistic elements in the new language has on students' ability to examine English and to develop hypotheses about the structure and use of languages. From the earliest language learning experiences, students can compare and contrast the two languages as different elements are presented. Activities can be systematically integrated into instruction that will assist students in gaining understanding and in developing their abilities to think critically about how languages work. 4.2 Students recognize that cultures use different patterns of interaction and can apply this knowledge to their own culture. As students expand their knowledge of cultures through language learning, they continually discover perspectives, practices, and products that are similar and different from their own culture, and they develop the ability to hypothesize about cultural systems in general. Some students may make these comparisons naturally, others may not. This standard helps focus this reflective process for all students by encouraging integration of this process into instruction from the earliest levels of learning (SFLL, 1996). Communities Standards Participate in Multilingual Communities at Home & Around the World 5.1 Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting. This standard focuses on language as a tool for communication with speakers of the language throughout one's life: in schools, in the - 57 -
community, and abroad. In schools, students share their knowledge of language and culture with classmates and with younger students who may be learning the language. Applying what has been learned in the language program as defined by the other standards, students come to realize the advantages inherent in being able to communicate in more than one language and develop an understanding of the power of language. 5.2 Students show evidence of becoming lifelong learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment. Each day millions of Americans spend leisure time reading, listening to music, viewing films and television programs, and interacting with each other. By developing a certain level of comfort with their new language, students can use these skills to access information as they continue to learn throughout their lives. Students who study a language can use their skills to further enrich their personal lives by accessing various entertainment and information sources available to speakers of the language. Some students may have the opportunity to travel to communities and countries where the language is used extensively and, through this experience, further develop their language skills and understanding of the culture (SFLL, 1996). Leloup et al (1998) comment on the importance and use of these standards. They state: Clearly, the standards have much to say to us as a profession. They were drafted as a guide to inform classroom instruction. They are also a yardstick by which to measure classroom practice and performance. The standards were generated from the basic premise that language and culture are the foundations of communication in the world of today and the 21st century. They are an in-house product in the sense that hundreds of FL teachers were involved in developing and testing them to ensure that Standards is a workable and practical document that will meet the needs of the classroom teacher. As we move forward as a profession, the standards can be the unifying thread that connects our curricula, our teaching, and our students' learning. By aligning our instruction with the standards and by sharing our ideas, activities, and learning scenarios with other colleagues, we will strengthen the position of FLs in the national educational agenda, and we will empower our language students to be lifelong learners and users. - 58 -
Section II An Overview of Previous studies Hassan's study (2004) The study aimed at setting up some criteria for choosing ESP text, finding out if the ESP textbook used at the faculties at AlAzhar University meet those criteria. Hassan (2004) mentioned that there was inadequacy and limitation in the ESP textbook because of the absence of stating criteria for choosing ESP course at AlAzhar University. These criteria should meet the students' educational needs and the vocational needs. It should not focus on the content of the course only (how much has been tackled) but on the language skills that should be acquired by the students. The researcher suggested that the ESP course should be stemmed from the students' needs to help them use English as a means of communication to develop their capacity for communications in a specialized context. The researcher conducted a pilot study during the first term of the academic year 2003 ­ 2004 in the form of an open interview applied on a randomly chosen group of forty non-specialized students from different departments at the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Theology and Islam Call in Mansoura as well as nine teachers of English. The participants stated that they faced problems while teaching and learning ESP course. The study recommended setting up and designing ESP Centre at AlAzhar University to serve all specializations in the faculties and to train ESP teachers. English specialists of instruction and curriculum development could run this ESP Centre. - 59 -
Nakatsuhara Study (2004) This study discussed issues that ELT teachers may need to take into consideration when they teach the present perfect with classroom textbooks. The researcher discussed an analysis of how the present perfect was dealt with in intermediate classrooms textbooks for adult/ young - Adult Learners. The examination dealt with " New Headway English course (upper-intermediate)" and " Language in Use ( intermediate) ". The analysis was based on: how the present perfect was presented and whether the four meanings of the present perfect ( state-up-to-the-present/Indefinite Past/Habit-ina-period-leading-up-to-the present/Resultive Past) are covered and finally whether the importance of adverbial phrases and the discourse function to provide new information/recent event were emphasized. The examination highlighted potential problems that language teachers might need to identify when they decided to teach the present perfect. In the conclusion the researcher indicated that in spite of the relation of the present perfect with a later event or time, the meanings were highly complicated. Grammaticalzing and presenting it in the textbook seemed difficult. Teachers should conceptualize all the meanings and functions and estimate the best properties needed to be focused on at a particular stage while they adopted their teaching style to the classrooms situation. Teachers seemed to recognize themselves as playing a significant role in the teaching process. Vellenga's Study (2004) The researcher stated that the textbook rarely provides enough information for learners to successfully acquire pragmatic competence though it is the center of the curriculum and syllabus in most classrooms. The paper reports on a qualitative and quantitative study of English as a second language (ESL) and English as a foreign language (EFL) textbook. The purpose was to determine the amount and quality of pragmatic - 60 -
information in the textbooks. The researcher made detailed analysis that focused especially on the use of metalanguage explicit treatment of speech act, and metapragmatic information. The analysis included discussion of register illocutionary force, politeness, appropriacy and usage. The study findings showed that the textbooks included a paucity of explicit metapragmatic information and a rarely adequate supplement of the teachers' manuals. Teachers survey showed a seldom interest in bringing in outside materials relating to pragmatics. Therefore, the textbook is highly suitable for learning pragmatics. It was suggested that textbooks developers could include authentic examples of speech acts and sufficient metapragmatic explanations to facilitate acquisition of pragmatic competence. The study admitted that in spite of the small samples of textbooks used in this, it was recommended carrying out more investigation into the use of the textbook in the classrooms needs for acquisition of pragmatic competence. Dominguez's study (2003) This study aimed to discus gender in the New Interchange Intro textbook (student book) that is written by Jack C. Richards, ( Cambridge University press,2000). It discussed how men and women were represented. This was a series of three books from New Interchange Intro to Interchange Intro III . This series was recommended to be adopted in Canada for its uniqueness and diversity of the student attending ESL classroom. The textbooks were valuable due to the special nature of their ESL programs. They were appropriate and sensitive to the multicultural population. The study discussed three points: 1-sexism in EFL/ESL textbooks, 2- an analysis of linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of New Interchange Intro and its treatment of sexism, 3- the method used to analyze the textbook. - 61 -
The results indicated that New Interchange Intro presented men and women in a balanced way. Each sex was assigned positive role models and was given equal space in society. The author of this textbook did not appear to present any sexist bias throughout the book. Based on the analysis the balance covered: 1. male and female characters. 2. occupational roles. 3. amount of male and female in illustrations. The researcher concluded that this textbook was a valuable resource either for the experienced or newly appointed teachers. It was intended for the multicultural and multiracial environment of any ESL/EFL textbook that helped to increase learner's motivation towards learning. It avoided linguistics and visual bias. The researcher recommended continuing further research on the subject by involving institutions, publishers, authors and educators in analyzing gender bias. Organizing in-service workshops for ESL/EFL professional on how to detect gender bias in textbook, newspapers and magazines would be interesting. Kumaki's study (2003) The study attempted to discover the intonational features taught and treated in the context of TEFL at high school in Japan. It examined related literature on overall intonational approaches and clarified the strengths of discourse intonation. Three surveys were conducted to collect pertinent data on intonation. Firstly, thirty two authorized English textbooks of Aural/Oral Communication for high school were investigated. Secondly, a short questionnaire survey was carried out on how close the - 62 -
teachers' view was to the intonational treatment given by authorized textbooks. Thirdly, a survey with lesson plans and observation of demonstration lesson was conducted. The findings suggested that intonation teaching at upper secondary schools has still confined to the grammatical approach and remained little changed. It was also found that the teachers' view on intonation was almost in line with that of the authorized textbooks, though they are rarely taught intonation in lessons. The study finally suggested conducting the same type of survey on intonation after each publication of new textbooks so as to gain up-to date results and maintain their validity. Ansary, and Esmat's study (2002) The study sought to outline the common-core characteristics of standard EFL/ESL textbooks . It was the result of the researchers attempt to find out consensus among what makes a good standard EFL/ESL textbook. The study purposed to look for some theory-neutral, universal, and broad consensus-reached characteristics of EFL/ESL textbook and to draw up some guidelines for the generation and systematic evaluation of EFL/ESL textbooks that might lead to the appearance of a universal textbookevaluation schemes. The researchers used ten EFL/ESL textBook Reviews and ten EFL/ESL textbook evaluation checklists as an attempt to jot down points for and against a particular textbook. The researchers followed the same procedure to identify the important criteria elements by which teachers may evaluate and select an appropriate teaching text. The result of the study showed what a set of universal features of EFL/ESL textbooks can be made: Approach, Content, Presentation, Physical make-up and Administrative concerns. The researchers thought that "perhaps, no neat formula or system may ever - 63 -
provide a definite way to judge a textbook. However, at the very least, probably the application of a set of universal characteristics of EFL/ESL textbook may well help make textbook evaluation a coherent, systematic and thoughtful activity". Ranalli's study (2002) The study aimed at evaluating the New Headway Upper-Intermediate which is one of the course books used at the Foreign Language Institute of Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. The evaluative framework to be employed was described then comment was drawn on the particulars of the researcher's working situation and the country and cultural contexts. The researcher carried out the evaluation of the book according to Cunningsworth 's four guidelines with particular emphasis on the syllabus and methodology used. The findings of the study showed that the New Headway Upper-Intermediate is a well designed and well written book. It offered a good balance of work on accuracy and fluency. Overall emphasis is clearly on oral communication. It included useful and relevant language input that provided the learners with numerous opportunities to be engaged in learning. Overall, the study showed satisfaction concerning the book in relation to the purpose of Korea. On the other hand, methodology was one disadvantage where it was restrictive and rested on some arguably shaky theoretical foundations. The researcher questioned if there was enough speaking practice of a useful type. Outweighed faults in the book were noticed but they could be overcome. - 64 -
Atkin's study(2001) The researcher sought to decide on a model of course book evaluation to be used and applied to provide detailed evaluation of Passport ( Buckingham and Whiteny 1995) which he was familiar in that own context. He clarified the importance of textbook evaluation and its necessity for teachers in any context and not only an exercise that is carried out before a book is used. A detailed literature was reviewed so as to show: models for course book, external analysis and internal analysis given by different writers. The researcher reviewed an outline for an evaluation sheet that Sheldon (1988 : 242) suggested. Then he completed Sheldon's evaluation sheet to provide a visual and more accessible assessment. The evaluation results indicated that in the light of the second language acquisition research, this course book is still based on the presentation practice and production (ppp) and there was no attempt by the authors to incorporate consciousness-raising (C ­R) activities. The book had many weaknesses but it could be adapted and edited to provide a usable coursebook that could provide a valuable learning experience for the students. Some units were not very relevant for high school students but they could be simply omitted. The rigid nature of the book might be an important tool for managing the students activities in classes of over forty and largely unmotivated students. Litz's study(2001) This study discussed and described the intricate and complex evaluation process that was undertaken at Sung Kyun Kwan University in Suwon, South Korea in 2000-2001 for English Firsthand 2 textbook. This was used in the learning environment mentioned earlier. The research project aimed to determine the overall pedagogical value and - 65 -
suitability of English Firsthand 2 which was in use in that specific program mentioned above. The results showed worthwhile characteristics towards English Firsthand 2. the entire textbook package was well conceived. It contained a wide variety of useful supplementary materials. The book was attractive and organized in a clear, logical and coherent manner. Its organization reflects a topic- based structural- function syllabus that was designed with the goal of facilitating communicative competence as well as reflecting a multi-skills syllabus with integration for the four language skills without neglecting other aspects of other materials such as Vocabulary Development. The book covered different skills and techniques that were consistent with many fundamental principles of the second language acquisition. Regarding the treatment of grammatical structures and functions, the book utilized the somewhat constable but successful and long-standing presentation practice and production approach. The tasks and activities were basically communicative and seemed to consistently promote a balance of activities approach. Yet, some shortcomings existed in this book. Many of the activities failed to encourage truly meaningful practice, promote realistic discourse or lead to the internalization of language. Many were repetitive. The researcher indicated that this textbook demonstrated positive attributes for out-weighed the negative characteristics. The teachers felt that the textbook was suitable, learner stimulating and compatible with the university's language ­ learning aims despite a few reservations and shortcomings that could be eradicated or alleviated through supplementing, modifying and adapting problematic aspects of the book. Overall, English Firsthand 2 could be neither whole- - 66 -
heartedly recommended nor unreservedly utilized in the particular teaching and learning situation. It could be effective in the hands of a good teacher and instructors with the appropriate learner audience. Yakhontova's study (2001) The study discussed a recent pedagogical experience of using the US-based English for academic purposes textbook Academic Writing for Graduate Student. This textbook was written by Suales and Feak (1994) and used in Ukrain University classroom. The study focused mainly on the intellectual and emotional reactions of the student towards a quite new kind of textbook and corresponding course. The study showed that the experimental pedagogical experiences confirmed that the ways learners perceive new material are strongly influenced by the educational beliefs and values they had acquired in their native environment. Some certain factors of local intellectual content had left obvious imprints on the learners' responses to the textbook. The results also showed a clear indication that a textbook designed out of US classroom experience has some limitation when used in a Ukrainian University setting. The study suggested that, an alternative version designed for non-native speakers, educated within different intellectual traditions and willing to master academic English for the purposes of international scientific communication, is needed. There is a requirement for a strong language focus not only on particular lexis, expressions or separate grammar points. These alternative or modified materials should include some instances of comparison of English and language one genre exemplars in order to stimulate analytical contemplation of culture-specific differences in English and native academic discourse. - 67 -
Murdoch's study (2000) The study aimed at evaluating, in details, the coursebooks used in the Chungbuk Provincial Board of Education Secondary School Teacher's Training Sessions­ South Korea. Two training sessions were offered for secondary teachers involving 60 hours of lectures by a native speaker of English. Springboard 1 and 2 were chosen and taught successively with freedom of choice. The study began by introducing background information and then followed McDonough and Shaw's two-stage evaluation: 1- the external evaluation that is accomplished by looking at the blurb and the introduction and the table of contents and 2- the internal evaluation that analyzed the extent to which the external evaluation factors actually match up with the internal consistency and organization of the materials. The researcher investigated skill presentation, material grading and sequencing ,material language element inclusion, the relationship of tests exercises to materials and learning styles. These two-stage evaluation process represented the basic method of the coursebooks evaluation in the study. The study showed an overwhelming praise from the learners for the books that provided evidence of their effectiveness. The focus on listening and speaking skills and material content that were relevant and authentic seemed to reflect the learners' and the course teacher's goals. Their adaptability of the book was praised by the secondary school teachers. The book enabled the learners to reproduce material or speech again in their own teaching environment. It seemed to meet the course teacher intuitions made during the course selection. It also overcame many weaknesses that traditional and current textbooks, taught to Korean secondary school English teachers, may contain. The study findings pleased the Chungbuk Provincial Board of Education for the praise received from the secondary school teachers. - 68 -
Lamie's study (1999) The study sought to find out ways in which traditional, grammar-focused textbooks, operating on a grade-quota system, can be adopted and supplemented. The study is applied on English teaching in junior and senior high schools in Japan. Yet, as the researcher indicated, it is relevant to all teachers of all of English world-wide. The researcher discussed and pointed out certain areas of making the textbook more communicative: textbook approval and adoption, textbook application and adaptation, additional activities, organizational changes, and supplementary materials. The researcher discussed these points briefly to give the gist about the importance of each point. The conclusion gave general outcomes that in spite of textbook effectiveness, it would never be perfect for every teaching situation. However, it needs adapting, modifying or supplementing so as to suit that specific teaching situation. Hemsley's study (1997) The study sought to develop a model for Teacher's Guide evaluation. It began with a discussion of the functions of the teacher's guide (stating purposes, encouraging the development of teaching skills, providing guidance and assisting teachers to understand the course). Then it reviewed an examination of various issues in the design of teacher's guide evaluations, and introduced existing checklists of criteria for the teacher's guide and ELT materials evaluation. Finally the researcher formed an outline (making boundaries, impressionistic formal evaluation, piloting and final selection) for the teacher's guide evaluation and saw it as a pragmatic compromise based on his own very - 69 -
personal experience of what actually possible in practice in the private language school context. The researcher concluded "If a suitable TG , textbook, workbook and tape set can be found through a systematic evaluation procedure of this kind, the benefits are likely to be several: the training budgets reduction, more comfort with trade tool due to active involvement in the process of evaluation and selection, feeling of value in adapting course material Surur's study (1990) The study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of Textbook 1 which was in use at the time of the study in all intermediate schools for boys in Saudi Arabia. The textbook is part of a series written and published by Macmillan Press Limited for all levels of the public schools in the country. The study aimed at serving two primary purposes: 1- to provide feedback to educators in general and teachers, teachers trainees and administrators in particular, 2- to increase the awareness and involvements of teachers, curriculum designers and whoever is concerned with school activities. The target analysis and criticism were the publisher's claim included in the introduction of the Teacher's Book and the content of the Pupils' Book such as vocabulary, expressions and subject matter as a whole. The researcher adopted theoretical, empirical and practical findings set by many specialists in the field of TEFL as criteria for analysis. The study showed the importance of controlling the curriculum in general and FL content in particular by native Arab in order to avoid faults committed by foreign agents due to cultural differences. - 70 -
Van Schaik's study (1978) The study attempted to evaluate the English as a Second Language(ESL) Composition Textbook through a national survey of U.S universities. The researcher conducted a detailed content analysis of nine ESL and eight English composition texts. Universities were selected to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire was designed so that the staff of the faculty answer textbook related questions. Data were obtained concerning course goals, instructors, and students. The study's results indicated the importance of the textbooks in teaching composition. The content of the textbook closely reflected the goals of the course in over half of 66 courses used in this study. Texts were used in virtually the 66 courses. There was a difference between the content of ESL text and English text in the amount and type of communication instruction offered. However, ESL and English instructors reported that they worked toward the same writing goals. The study suggested re-evaluating ESL courses and textbooks due to the apparent discrepancy between expressed ESL composition goals and actual practice that determined the efficiency of composition instructions which was necessary for the students to survive in American universities. The study suggested a number of techniques to improve ESL composition textbooks to better meet the writing needs of university ESL students. - 71 -
Bowyer's study ( 1972) The study sought to answer the four research questions: 1- Can the textbook content for freshman English be determined from statement of leaders in two-year college English curriculum? 2Do current textbooks reflect the content suggested by their leaders? 3- Are textbooks specially designed for two-year college students? 4- How can publishers and teachers better cooperate? The researcher compared the analysis of the publisher statement and textbooks to content criteria from "Guidelines for Junior College English teacher training programs". The findings of the study revealed that : 1- the guidelines showed that the two-years college freshman English course was an interdisciplinary communications course. 2- the editors' intent was in harmony with the guidelines criteria rather than the textbook content. 3-the textbooks were not especially designed for these students. 4- publisher-teacher cooperation called for leadership from professional groups, participation from teachers, and financial risk from publishers. Duncan's study (1969) The study explored some of the ways in which notions of grammaticality reflected in secondary English language textbook series affect students' acquisition of standard English and their attitudes towards language. The researcher compared statements which authors of widely-used textbooks made about standard English and why it is taught in schools with comments on the same subject by those knowledgeable in education and linguistics. Then he analyzed grammatical information according to conformity to the known structure of English, conformity to empirically established norms, consistency from one text to another, and intelligibility. - 72 -
The textbook analysis revealed that the treatment of the subjunctive and three aspects of the genitive misrepresent the standards and violate the structure of the language, conflict with one another, and are frequently unintelligible. There was no principled basis provided for determining the grammaticality of an utterance. The textbook demonstrated a lack of knowledge and misrepresentation of the facts of the language in matters of pronunciation. The current textbook proved to hinder the acquisition of standard English by nonstandard dialect speakers as the study suggested. O'Connell's study (1967) The study aimed to analyze the teaching of grammar nationally in grades three through eight. It adopted a qualitative analysis of the textbook. A questionnaire survey of actual teaching practices, policies and procedures was applied. The analysis of the textbooks focused on the approaches to sentences, parts of speech and words usage. The focus was also on the page allotments to several factors of language teaching of the textbook and their basic philosophies. A random selected sample of teachers was set to receive the questionnaire. Only 67% of those teachers. The findings showed that there were more similarities than differences in the texts. There was more concentration on the inductive method of teaching grammar than the deductive method. The sentence diagramming was placed at seventh grade level or above. The results also indicated a similarity with regard to academic-professional background, time spent, on grammar instruction, emphasis on written language over oral and consensus on dealing with individual differences among the participants. On the other hand there was a notable dissimilarity in the use of sentence diagramming. - 73 -
The researcher concluded that grammar plays a significant role in the English language teaching, both text and teachers treat grammar in functional situations and parochial teachers consider sentence diagramming more important in comparison to what public schools teachers do. - 74 -
Conclusion This chapter included two main sections. The first section discussed main issues in curriculum development and evaluation that are essentially for those who are interested in developing better teaching situations through deep investigation into modern innovations. These issues constitute great importance not only for curriculum and textbook evaluation but also for educationalists and teachers working in the field of teaching. The overall and integration of the skills mentioned in this chapter should be put together and in mind when decisions are to be made in concern with curriculum or teaching situations. No successful development and evaluation could be done without thorough understanding and implementation for the essence of curriculum and textbook evaluation bases. The second section reviewed eighteen previous studies that were very close to the topic the researcher is carrying out. It pointed out different aspects of analysis and evaluation that were investigated through the eighteen studies reviewed. The researcher chose eight recent studies (over 2000) to show different targets intended by the researchers. For example, Hassan's (2004) aimed to set up criteria for choosing ESP textbook. Vallenga (2004) purposed to determine the amount of quality of pragmatic information in the textbook. Dominguez (2003) discussed the availability of equality of sexism (women and men) in the New Interchange Intro textbook as well as the methods used to analyze the textbook. Kumaki (2003) attempted to discover the intonational features taught and treated in the context of TEFL at high schools in Japan. Ranalli (2002) evaluated the New Headway Upper-Intermediate coursebook used in the foreign language Institute of Yonsei University in Seout, Korea. Atkin (2001) sought a model of course book evaluation to be used and applied on the Passport coursebook. Litz - 75 -
(2001) discussed the evaluation process undertaken to determine the overall pedagogical value and suitability of English Firsthand 2 at Sung kyun Kwan University in Suwon, South Korea. Yakhontova (2001) discussed a recent pedagogical experience of using the Academic Writing for Graduate student book. The other studies were less recent with similar targets of textbook evaluation, Lamie (1999), Surur (1990), and Nakatsuhara (2004). The least recent study was O'Connell's (1967) that aimed to analyze the teaching of grammar nationally through adopting a qualitative analysis of textbook. The researchers used the descriptive analytical method for carrying out their studies. The tools used ranged around using open interviews (Hassan, 2004), detailed analysis (Vellenga, 2004), Dominguez (2003) and Kumaki (2003) and applying questionnaires (Kumaki, 2003) to collect, describe and analyze data. Some of these studies, Vellenga (2004), Dominguez (2003), Kumaki (2003) and Van Schaik (1978) recommended carrying out further or the same investigation to reach better benefits. The researcher considered these studies as a rich resource for benefiting and conducting potential studies since they present various interests and targets needed in the specific situation for each researcher's society. The researcher reviewing these studies opened a further area of interest that represents a recent and unique point of contact. These studies helped the researcher form the core idea of his study. Focusing on content analysis, these studies gave a manipulation of inspirations towards determining the main strategies to be followed. Stepping into a new path does not mean that you can do without the experience of others. The researcher was illuminated by the others' achievements (academic research) through deep investigation into the main problems of - 76 -
the studies, purposes, procedures of study, and findings analysis. These studies represent accumulation of knowledge and experience in the field of syllabus evaluation. The most important issue that the researcher benefited from is the variant results and findings that the studies gave. It is clear that some studies gave negative findings such as Hassan's study (2004) which found some difficulties and problems facing the teachers and students at Alazhar University due to absence of stating criteria for choosing ESP course at Alazhar University. Kumaki's study (2003) indicated that intonation teaching at upper secondary schools has still confined to the grammatical approach. Ranalli's study (2002) has disadvantages in the methodology used in teaching. On the other hand there were positive results that these studies proved such as Dominguez's study (2003) that proved the equality employment for sexism (men and women) in the textbook in addition to being a valuable resource either to the experienced or newly appointed teachers. Moreover, It could be intended for the multicultural and multiracial environment. Another benefit is the recommendations that these studies came out with. Most of the studies recommended carrying out more researches into the textbooks so as to ensure more quality and correspondence between the learners' needs, interests and level of proficiency on one side and the specifications of knowledge, facts, and skills included in the public or private teaching institutes, schools, and universities. - 77 -
The researcher's study can add more to these studies as the study topic is in light of new and modern trends that have just occurring (the Standards for Foreign Language Learning). The researcher considered his study of great importace because it is based on comprehensive learning standards that can serve a lot of languages but only English language. Unlike these studies, the researcher carried out a detailed analysis for the content of the students book textbook. - 78 -
Chapter III The Methodology Type of research design Instrumentations Objectives of the analysis card The resources of the analysis card Justifications for deciding on the standards Description of the analysis card Applying the analysis card Validity of the analysis card Reliability of the analysis card Study sample Statistical Analysis
Chapter III The Methodology This chapter discusses the practical aspect of the study including the various techniques of collecting and describing the data through employing the suitable tools to achieve the purposes of the study. In this chapter there will be illustration for the method decided to be used, the tools of the study that involve constructing an analysis card, examining its validity and reliability and the techniques it is going to be implemented. 1- Type of research design The researcher used the descriptive analytical method of research to carry out the study. Determining the adoption of this method is due to its relevance and suitability for carrying out the study as the descriptive research " is designed to obtain pertinent and precise information concerning the current status of phenomena and, whenever possible, to draw valid general conclusions from facts discovered". (in Abou Shaaban, 2003: 84) and the analytical research " draws general conclusions from facts and basic evidence. ... must analyze information-record, the facts, comment on them, and come to conclusions about meaning, causes, consequences, and relationships". (in Abou Shaaban, 2003:84) . This helps with dealing with the different aspects of collecting and describing data on the correspondence of the content of Grade Ten textbook with the standards included in the analysis card. It also serves the process of analyzing these data in accordance with the numeric data collected through the analysis card. This method is concerned with giving qualitative judgments about the findings that result through processing the data as well. - 79 -
2- Instrumentations The researcher believes that the most suitable tool for achieving the purposes of the study is conducting an analysis card for collecting, describing and analyzing data regarding the correspondence of the content of Grade Ten with the standards credited in the analysis card. A- Objectives of the analysis card The analysis card is based on the idea of employing certain standards as a means of assessment and evaluation for finding out points of weakness and strength in a product to decide on its quality (Phillips, 1999: 1). The analysis card is designed to survey the various activities included in English for Palestine, Grade Ten students book. Frequency technique is the best used one for surveying these activities as a means of collecting and describing the data. The researcher investigated the extent of correspondence between the standards and the activities in the textbook B- The resources of constructing the list Reviewing different books, previous studies, journals and magazines, the researcher's decision fell on the standards for foreign language learning preparing for the 21st century content standards which were designed by the National Standards in Foreign Language Education, a collaboration project of an eleven ­ member task force (the American Association of Teachers of French, the American Association of Teachers of German, the American Association of Italian, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese, the American Classical League, the American Council of Teachers of Russian, the American Council on the teaching of Foreign Languages, the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools & Chinese Language - 80 -
Teachers Associations, the National Council of Secondary Teachers of Japanese & Associations of Teachers of Japanese). These standards released by this collaborative project include five goals areas that encompass communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities. C- Justifications for deciding on the standards The researcher reviewed various checklists and standards lists for content standards, but realized that SFFLL content standards checklist was the most comprehensive that includes most of the standards else where in a way or another. They represent a general and comprehensive framework content standard for the many foreign languages learning. The collaboration of the eleven-member task force representing a variety of languages, levels of instructions, program model, and geographic regions that shared its work with broader profession and public at large represents a strong consensus among educators, business leaders, government, and the community on the definition and role of foreign language instruction. These standards were adopted by many boards and departments of education, schools of foreign languages teaching, and associations of teachers and teaching (Virginia Public schools, Education World, Association of Teachers of Japanese, Glastonbury Foreign Language, South Carolina Department of Education, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Delaware Department of Education, Utica Community Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, Illinois Early Learning Project, and others). There is an increasing number of such establishments to adopt and employ them because of the claim that they play an important role in providing challenging educational part to prepare the students to compete in an expanding global society. They enable students to acquire knowledge and skills in their foreign language classes that will support their learning in other subjects, enable them - 81 -
to interact effectively with others and give them increased access to information across the world. They also help teachers and students develop rigorous local curricula and valid and reliable assessments. They give emphasizing cues where there is a need to improve teaching and learning. The chance to obtain educational excellence, clear statements about what students should know and be able to do is available through the adoption of these standards. D- Description of the analysis card The analysis card contains a column of the eleven standards classified under the categories, Communications, three standards; Cultures, two standards; Connections, two standards; Comparisons, two standards and Communities, two standards under the overall title Standards for Foreign Language Learning. Through the survey process for the activities in the content of the English for Palestine, Grade Ten, frequencies of the activities that match any of these standards are marked in a column cell ' activity no.', and if applicable, the topic of these activities are noted in the 'topic' column. For example, family, schools, technology and sports.... The percentage of the surveyed activities is given in the 'per' column to show comparisons among the activities in relation to the maximum number of frequencies. Each unit is dealt in the same technique illustrated above. The total number and percentage is given in the last column to give the final result for each standard among the whole frequencies. E- Applying the analysis card The researcher made a survey for the whole activities of the textbook, marking the frequencies that any activities match certain standards finding percentage, and noting - 82 -
down topics that cover these activities. One activity may match two or more standards as they are interrelation between the standards. The researcher held four workshops to train three other colleague researchers so as to conduct the survey through the analysis card. The researcher provided the researchers with relevant materials on the standards for foreign language learning to be discussed in the first meeting. For the second meeting, the researchers were asked to complete the analysis card for Unit One in the textbook and to be discussed together to check understanding of the colleague researchers. There was relative approximation among the researchers' collected data in the second meeting. For the third meeting, another two units were given to the researchers to be completed and the chance was available for extra inquiries if required. Although there was better approximation, there were some inquiries raised by the colleague researchers that the researcher clarified. After making sure about the researchers' improvement they were asked to complete the analysis card for the whole textbook for the fourth meeting and it involved discussing any misunderstanding or inquiries might occur. F- Validity of the analysis card The analysis card was shown to twelve experts from different institutes in the field of education. (curriculum, methodology, TESOL). Seven of these referees were from the Islamic University ­Gaza, three of them were from the Ministry of Education - Gaza: the head of Practice Training Department, the head of supervision department, the head of Public Education Department. One teaching supervisor from the Education Directorate ­ Gaza was consulted as well. The aim of showing the analysis card to those experts is to benefit from their comments and suggestions that may include - 83 -
modification, addition, or deletion. There were not any objections against the use of the standards mentioned in the analysis card except a little modification that relate to our specific environment. All of the referees agreed on modifying the first and fifth goal areas 'Communication' and 'Communities' For example, the first original goal area was 'Communicate in languages other than English' it was modified to 'Communicate in different situations using English'. the second modification in 'Communities' was 'Participate in the community at home and around the world' while the original was ' Participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world'. After considering the comments and suggestions of the referees the researcher credited the final form and content of the analysis card to be applied. G- Reliability of the analysis card To examine the reliability of the analysis card, the researcher asked for the cooperation of three colleague researchers. At first the researcher applied the analysis card by completing it through investigative survey to the whole activities in the textbook. Then a colleague researcher did the same process separately. The third and fourth colleague researchers did the same. The aim is to find out the correlation between the four results of the surveys for reliability. Pearson correlation was calculated for each of the eleven standards and then the researcher calculated the mean of the four researchers data. The correlation between the main researcher and the colleague researchers was as follows in table (1) - 84 -
Table (1) Coefficient Correlation Among Researchers
Standards Communications1.1 Communications1.2 Communications1.3 Cultures2.1 Cultures2.2 Connection3.1s Connections3.2 Comparisons4.1 Comparisons4.2 Communities5.1 Communities5.2 Total
Res. 1 / 2 .84 .718 .907 .585 .757 .903 .692 .657 .838 .782 .76 .7647
Res. 1 / 3 .571 .787 .931 .746 .53 .593 .736 .854 .922 .842 .608 .7709
Res.1 / 4 .943 .936 .851 .909 .85 .988 .826 .785 .971 .84 .576 .8613
The results mentioned in this table shows a strong correlation that enables the researcher to process the data collected. 3- Study Sample The study specifies the content of English For Palestine, Grade Ten textbook that represents the whole activities set in the students' book to be examined in the Light of the Standards for Foreign Language Learning. Here is a brief background about the structure of the textbook: - 85 -
English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook is designated for the final year in the Upper Primary stage for 15­16 aged students. The textbook consists of student's book, workbook, audio cassette and teacher's book. The student's book contains the teaching materials for classroom use. Twelve units are available with eight lessons for each unit. Each lesson is specified for certain activities and skills throughout the textbook. Lesson 1 and 2 are 'reading' where students are encountered with the unit topic through a text and focus on reading skills. Grammar and vocabulary are introduced through the text. Lesson 3 is 'development' where students use vocabulary from the reading text to complete sentences, tables, diagrams with preliminary exercises involving searching the text and collecting words in groups such as synonyms, opposites or thematic groups. Lesson 4 is 'language 1' and lesson 7 is 'language 2' where grammar is presented and practiced. 'Learn' boxes present new language and then to be practiced while 'remember' boxes present language for revision. Functions, notions and lexico-grammatical developments are also drilled mainly in lesson 7 'Language 2'. The two lessons provide students with exercises that are intended to give students an opportunity to see if they can use grammar or other language forms correctly. 'Writing' is given in unit 5 to focus on writing skills such as punctuation and the use of connectors. Students are helped and guided to write a paragraph in correct English through a variety of methods used. Lesson 6 is 'listening and speaking'. The students listen to materials in natural spoken English to do different comprehension exercises. They also pick out functional language and useful phrases to practice in pairs. They practice role-play through creating similar real life situations to give them opportunity to practice using spoken English. Pronunciation is also provided in lesson 6 with focus on aspects of pronunciation patterns. Lesson 8 is 'integrated - 86 -
skills' where students use the four skills to gather information and use it in productive writing and speaking exercises. (Vallance, 2004: 4-11) 4- Statistical Analysis The researcher used these statistical processes: - Percentage, frequencies of data related to correspondence of standards and activities. - Pearson correlation was used to calculate the reliability of the findings resulted from the analysis card among the four researchers. - Means were calculated to find the final data collected through the analysis card - 87 -
Chapter IV Findings Examination of research questions The answer of the first question The answer of the second question Sample activities from the student's book Topic examination Conclusion
Chapter IV Findings This chapter tackles the findings and results of the study in regard with the research questions. The researcher used different statistic forms such as means of frequencies and percentage to show the final collected data results. Tables and bar charts were also used to clarify and present these data. Through these, it will be clear to find out points of strength and weakness. Examination of research questions 1- The answer of the first question One of the purposes of the study is to find out and set the standards for foreign language learning as it is stated in the first research question, "What are the standards for foreign language learning that the content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook should match?" The researcher reviewed different resources (previous studies, related literature, books, journals, and institute's publications) to set these standards. Virginia Public Schools (2000) adopted Foreign Language Standards of Learning to represent a major development to emphasize the importance of foreign language instruction in commonwealth. These standards are: 1- effective communication 2- enhanced cultural understanding 3- expanded access to information 4- increased global perspective. Illinois State Board of Education used standards for foreign language learning to establish the academic, business, personal, reactional and practical benefits of studying - 88 -
foreign languages. These standards are as follows: 1- problem solving 2communicating 3- using technology 4- working on teams 5- making connections. Michigan Department of Education (1998) has the standards: 1- using a non-English language 2- using strategies 3- written discourse 4- expression and inquiry 5constructing meaning 6- linking language and culture 7- acquiring knowledge 8global community 9- diversity 10- learning as lifelong process. It became certain for the researcher that the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning Preparing for the 21st Century Content Standards are the best to be adopted with little modification that relates to the Palestinian environment. These standards are organized around five goal areas: Communications, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons and Communities. Eleven standards in total are distributed among these goal categories. They are also called the five Cs. The researcher, setting these standards, believes they can be as a guide to inform our classroom instruction by which they measure classroom practice and performance. These standards reinforce the premise that language and culture are the foundations of communication in today world. Moreover, they can be the unifying thread that connects our curricula, our teaching , and our students' learning. Teachers will empower their language students to be lifelong learners and users to English by aligning instruction with these standards. Another essential issue is that the specific organization of the standards can help teachers and those who are concerned better analyze the curriculum by looking at what they are doing to see to what extent they are already implementing the standards in their classes. The students are enabled to know how to retrieve information from a variety of authentic sources (Internet, target language textbooks, - 89 -
magazines, newspapers, keypals, films). In addition to that, these standards are used to make connections among school subjects and is accustomed to interdisciplinary ways of thinking and have a more integrative view of language (as opposed to the more traditional separations among language components such as grammar, vocabulary, communicative functions). Communications contains three standards entitled 'Communicate in Different Situations Using English Language': Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions. Standard 1.2: Student understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics. Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics. Cultures contain two standards entitled ' Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures': Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied. Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied. Connections contain two standards entitled' Connect with Other disciplines and Acquire Information': Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language. - 90 -
Standard 3.2: Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures. Comparisons contain two standards entitled 'Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Cultures': Standard 4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own. Standard 4.2: Students demonstrate understanding of the concepts of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own. Communities contains two standards entitled ' Participate in the Community at Home and Around the World': Standard 5.1: Students use the language beyond the school setting. Standard 5.2: Students show evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment. 2- The answer of the second question After setting these standards, the researcher designed an analysis card to collect the relevant data concerning the second research question "To what extent does the content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook match these standards?". Descriptions of this analysis card, aiming to survey the activities in the students book, was given in chapter three . - 91 -
The findings in figure 1 shows that Communications standards get the highest score 45.1%, 261 frequencies. The next is Comparisons standards as they score 23.9%, 146 frequencies. Communities standards are in the third position with 11.3%, 69 frequencies. The fourth is Cultures standards that get 10.7%, 66 frequencies. The lowest Standards score is Connections with only 08.4%, 52 frequencies.
Average
0.113 Communities
Figure 1
0.239
0.084
0.107
Comparisons Connections
Cultures
0.451
0.6
0.4
0.2
0 Communications
Main Standards Score Through the Textbook
The researcher set a scale for considering the points of strength and weakness in this regard. He considered 15% is an acceptable degree to be scored for the goal area. Less than 15% is weak. The other 25% is a range for all the standards to score good or more. (See appendix 5). Accordingly, Communications and Comparisons standards are points of strength as they score over 15%. Even Communications get triple score to add to its strength. Yet, Communities, Cultures and Connections standards are considered points of weakness as they get less than 15%. See also table (2)
- 92 -
Table (2) Frequencies and percentage of each standard throughout the textbook
Standards Unit1
Unit2
Unit3
Unit4
Unit5
Unit6
Unit7
Unit8
Unit9 Unit10 Unit11 Unit12
Total
Fre Per Fre Per Fre Per Fre Per Fre Per Fre Per Fre Per Fre Per Fre Per Fre Per Fre Per Fre Per Fre Per
Standard 1.1
0.13 0.17 0.15 0.17 0.15 0.07 0.06 0.14 0.07 0.12 0.1 0.12
73.5
0.12
Standard 1.2
0.2 0.21 0.2 0.14 0.12 0.19 0.23 0.16 0.24 0.17 0.26 0.22 118.25
0.194
Standard 1.3 0.11 0.17 0.13 0.07 0.08 0.18 0.15 0.12 0.19 0.18 0.12 0.14 83.75
0.137
Standard 2.1 0.12 0.06 0.08 0.07 0.1 0.05 0.13 0.04 0.05 0.05 0.08 0.04 43.75
0.071
Standard 2.2 0.02 . 0.01 0.02 0.06 0.08 0.03 0.05 0.05 0.04 . 0.01 0.03 0.03 22.25
0.036
Standard 3.1 0.05 0.04 0.12 0.06 0.07 0.12 . 0.01 0.07 0.04 0.12 0.02 0.02 38.75
0.063
Standard 3.2 0.03 . 0.01 0.03 0.04 0.02 0.05 . 0.01 0.02 0.02 . 0.01 . 0.01 . 0.01 13.25
0.021
Standard 4.1
0.19 0.19 0.19 0.15 0.14 0.18 0.19 0.21 0.22 0.22 0.25 0.22
120
0.196
Standard 4.2 0.05 . 0.01 . 0.02 0.08 0.14 0.04 0.05 0.05 0.02 0.03 .
0
0.03 26.25
0.043
Standard 5.1 0.05 0.07 0.06 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.07 0.09 0.04 0.03 0.1 0.12 41.25
0.067
Standard 5.2
0.05 0.04 . 0.01 0.08 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.06 0.05 0.06 0.02 0.04
28.5
0.046
- 93 -
Figure two presents the percentage of frequencies for each goal area out of the total percentage of frequencies for the same goal area throughout the twelve units in the textbook. It is clear that there is a different range of frequencies throughout the units. For example, Connections goal area get 38%, 9 frequencies in unit six while it get only 5% in units seven, and twelve.
Average
Figure2
Communications
0.4
Cultures
0.3
Connections
0.2
Comparisons
0.1
Communities
0
12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
standsrds - standards
Main Standards Score Through 12 Units for the Same Standard
However, figure three shows the percentage of frequencies for each goal area out of the total percentage of frequencies for the five goal areas throughout the twelve units in the textbook. It is clear that there is more balance in the distribution of the five goal areas throughout the units than in figure two.
Average
Figure3 0.6
Communications
0.5
Cultures
0.4
Connections
0.3
Comparisons
0.2
Communities
0.1
0
12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Units 1 - 12 activities
Main Standards Score Through 12 Units Activities
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To show the score of each standard separately look at figure four. It is remarkable that Comparisons standard 4.1 get the highest score with 19.6%, 120 frequencies. The following is Communications standard 1.2 that score 19.4%, 118 frequencies; standard 1.3 that score 13.7%, 83 frequencies and standard 1.1 that scored 12%. 73 frequencies. These four standards are credited as strong points due to their score. Cultures standard 2.1 scored 7.1%, 43 frequencies to be fairly acceptable. The other standards 5.1, 3.1, 5.2, 4.2, 2.2,and 3.2 are noted to be weak because of their low score 6.7%, 6.3%, 4.6%, 4.3%, 3.6% and 2.1%
Averag e
0.196
Figure4
0.25 0.194 0.2
0.137
0.12 0.15
0.067
0.046
0.043
0.063
0.071
0.021
0.036
0.1 0.05
0
comu5.2
comu5. comp4.2comp4.1
con3.2 con3.1 cul2.2 cul2.1 The eleven standards
com1.3
com1.2
com1.1
Standards Score Through the Textbook
For more details, the researcher presented the results of each standard throughout the twelve units. He showed the standards of each goal area through a bar diagram and a table. Table (2) and figure five describes the data of Communications standards. The table shows that standard 1.2 is the most frequent standard among the three standards as it was dominant in units1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12. Standard 1.3 comes the second with more frequencies in units 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12 than standard 1.1 that scored the lowest.
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Average
Figure5 0.3 0.25 0.2 communications1 0.15 communications2 0.1 communications3 0.05 0 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Com m unica tions Communications Standards Score Through the 12 Units
Table (2) and figure six describes Cultures standards. It is clear that standard 2.1 gets the highest frequencies except in unit eight. It is remarkable that standard 2.2 gets weak score in comparison with standard 2.1 and very weak in comparison with Communications standards.
Average
Figure 6
0.15
Cultures 1 Cultures 2
0.1 0.05
0 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Culture s
Cultures Standards Score Through the 12 Units
In table (2) and figure seven Connections standards are presented with absolute domination for standard 3.1 that ranged from 01% to 12%. Standard 3.2 is very weak .02%,13 frequencies and the weakest throughout the unit. They are both weak in comparison with the other previously mentioned standards.
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Average
Figure 7 0.14
0.12
0.1
Connectins1
0.08
Connections2
0.06
0.04
0.02
0
12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Conne ctions
Connections Standards Score Through the 12 Units
Comparisons standards are also shown with absolute domination for standard 4.1 ranging from 14%, 7 frequencies to 25%, 13 frequencies and with the highest score throughout the textbook as it get 19.6% 120 frequencies. Standard 4.2 is very weak in comparisons with the other standards scoring only 4.3%, 26 frequencies. See table (2) and figure eight.
Average
Figure 8 0.3
0.25
Comparisons1 Comparisons2
0.2 0.15 0.1
0.05
0
12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Cmparisons
Comparisons Standards Score Through the 12 Units
The last two standards, Communities, are presented in table one and figure nine with more score for standard 5.1 than standard 5.2 except in units 6, 9 and 10. It ranged from 3% to 12%. They are both marked weak degree.
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Average
Figure 9 0.14
0.12
0.1
Communities1
0.08
Communities2
0.06
0.04
0.02
0 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Commun itie s
Communities Standards Score Through the 12 Units
Sample activities from the student's book Here are some examples that clarify the correspondence of the activities to the standards for foreign language learning. The researcher extracts some activities from different units in the student's book (Macfarlane, 2004) Example 1, unit 2, lesson 8 exercise 3 Activity "Work with a partner. Take turns as reporter and interviewee- e.g. a high school student, a teacher, an office worker or a nurse". Activity description: Students work in pairs to take the role of a reporter and interviewee benefiting from exercise 2. This activity matches standards 1.1 ' Interpersonal Communications' where students engage in conversations.... This is a direct oral communication between individuals who are in personal contact.
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Example 2, unit 1, lesson 5 exercise 3 Activity "Read the notes to find out more about two of the people". Activity description: Some notes of descriptions and a picture are given about some people and students need to read them and find out more about two of them. This activity embodies standard 1.2 'Interpretive Communication' in which students involve in working with a variety of materials. The activity focuses on understanding the note as well as the picture given and then to find out about these two people Example 3, unit 3, lesson 5 exercise 3 Activity "Follow the steps below to produce Hannan Hussein's life story" Activity description: Three pictures are shown as well as notes about Hannan, Students are required to follow some steps given so as to produce her life story. This activity emphasizes standard 1.3 'Presentational Communications' where students present information, concepts, and ideas in written form. Example 4, unit 4, lesson 6 exercise 6 Activity "Develop a role play. Work with a partner and take turns as the manager and the new member". Activity description: Some instructions are given to the two students to produce a dialogue between a manager and a new member. Functional expressions should be used in relation with cultural and social behaviors. - 99 -
Students work in accordance with standard 2.1 'Practice of Cultures'. They demonstrate greeting and leave-taking behaviors linked to different expressions and make polite requests. This activity embodies standard 1.1 as mentioned previously in interpersonal communications and standard 5.1 as well. Example 5, unit 5, lesson 1 exercise 1 Activity "Read and match the recommendations and the descriptions" Activity description: Some pictures of foreign food are presented with recommendations for each one. Students need to read and match the pictures with recommendations. Standard 2.2 'Products of Cultures' is clear through this activity where students are encountered with some types of food from different countries. They have to identify this tangible product. Example 6, unit 10, lesson 1 exercise 3 Activity "From the photo, the map and the title of the text on page 79, guess what has happened". Activity description: On page 79 there is a text titled 'the Sea that Died', a photo and a map. Students need to guess what has happened to the sea. Some geographical features are introduced through this activity to highlight standard 3.1 'Furthering Connections' where students are exposed to other disciplines as a means of expansion and enhancement of other areas of knowledge. - 100 -
Example 7, unit 3, lesson 8 exercise 5 Activity "Find out about one of the many charities in Palestine." Activity description: Students read about Oxfam Committee for famine relief in exercise 1 and practiced some activities. In this exercise they need to acquire information about other charities. This activity employed standard 3.2 'Acquiring Connection' where students gain access to the original sources of information and unique ,means of communication whether through traditional print or media sources or through the use of new technology such as the internet. Example 8, unit 7, lesson 4 exercise 3 Activity "Put the sentence parts together to form type 0,1, or 2 conditionals. Add if to the correct part." Activity description: Students had revised the structure and use of the conditionals 0, 1 and 2. In this exercise they are required to form conditional sentences using the sentence parts given in the exercise. This standard is 4.1 'Language Comparisons' that consolidates the impact of learning the linguistic elements in English on the student's ability to examine his own language (Arabic) and to develop hypotheses about the structure and use of language. Example 9, unit 5, lesson 6 exercise 1 and 5 Activity An American Uncle is visiting your family. Ask and answer his questions about your way of life. Start with the ideas below. - 101 -
Activity description: Students have some ideas outlined in a table about different cultural and social practices. They are required to work in pairs to make questions and answers about one's way of life after they had listened to a dialogue between Carrie and Uncle about life in America. This activity employs standard 4.2 ' Cultures Comparisons' where students expand their knowledge of cultures to discover perspectives, practices and products that could be similar or different from theirs. Example 10, unit 8, lesson 6 exercise 5 Activity "Take turns as a visitor outside the bus station and as a local person. Ask for and give directions to the following:" Activity description: Students are required to practice role-play activity as if they were in a real life situation asking for and giving directions. They have some keys to work on. Standard 5.1 ''School and Community' is embodied through this activity in which students work as if they were in a real life situation. They apply what they had learned in English to use it as a means of communication with speakers of other languages. This activity can be fitted to standard 1.1 and 2.1 as well. Example 11, unit 12, lesson 8 exercise 3 Activity "Work in small groups. Decide what you are going to do in London and in What order". Activity description: Students had seen some photos for sightseeing and matched them to relevant statements. Now they are required to decide, in groups, what things they are going to do in London. - 102 -
This activity reflects standard 5.2 'Long-Life Communities' in which students use their skills to further enrich their personal lives accessing various entertainments. This activity also reflects standard 1.1. Topics examination Examining the textbook, the researcher pointed out that there were various topics introduced throughout the textbook. Since the textbook consists of twelve units and each unit introduces a topic, this means that there are at least twelve main topics. These topics are reflected by the titles of each unit. They are introduced through a text that contains salient aspects of cultures, grammar, vocabulary, and functions. Some of these topics are age-specific topics and are directly interrelated with the students as they interest them and influence their future, careers and lives. For example, the title of unit 1 is "Making Contacts".. This unit discusses recent technological means of communication by giving five e-mails to be discussed by the students employing different skills activities provided in the unit. A post card is given as a means of contact as well. The researcher thinks this influences the students by acquainting them with new technological media such as e-mails in the world of acceleration. Unit 7 entitled 'Which Way Now' reflects the most important future changing points because it highlights the future route that students should take after finishing grade ten. Vocational or academic routes are a decisive choice to be made up by students. The unit also provides students with some self-analysis forms that reflect the way they can assess their abilities at school subjects, interests and careers that eventually lead to 'Which Way Now'. Unit 11 'TV and Other Media' gives hints about how young children - 103 -
use television well and budget students' time between house/home work and free time activities. The other units introduce topics that connect students with different disciplines, cultural practices and products, communities, and other relevant domains. Table (3) shows the titles and topics as they are introduced in the units of the textbook. Table (3) Topics Survey Throughout the Textbook
Units Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5 Unit 6
The Title of The Unit Making Contacts Emergency Working for a Better World Free Time Activities Healthy Eating / Healthy Body Dangerous weather
Unit 7 Unit 8 Unit 9 Unit 10 Unit 11 Unit 12
Which Way Now Palestine: Holy Land Living With Technology What If...? TV and Other Media Home and away
Related Topics e-mailing, people description, giving directions fire, cable/car, bike, natural disasters famous characters, famous establishments sports, special personal interests, advising, suggesting meals, drinks, food pyramid, balance diet storms, flood, hurricane, tornado, mud slip, weather prediction future career: academic or vocational route, questionnaires personal letters, getting and following directions Computer inventions, information technology, School net, robots, craftsmanship Geographical features (sea, weather environment) Advertising, entertainment Visits, interviews, sightseeing
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Conclusion The findings of the study shows variance in presenting the standards of foreign language learning. There is not a lot of balance in distributing these standards in the textbook. It is clear that Communications standards are highly dominant in contrast with Communities, Connections and Cultures standards. The variance is also clear in the distribution of the standards throughout the units as the same standard could, out of the total number of frequencies for the same standard, highly appear in one unit like standard 3.1 in unit 6 or hardly appear like in unit 7. The frequencies of each separate standard ranged from 2.1 %, standard 3.2 to 19.6%, standard 1.2, out of the total number of frequencies of the activities, that gives a big gap between the distribution of each standard in the textbook. There is a variety of topics introduced in the textbook connecting the students with the world around them and acquainting them with general disciplines information. Students' interests and points of focus were fulfilled in some units that may make it attractive for the students to be engaged in the activities of the textbook. - 105 -
Chapter V Discussion Interpretations Conclusion Recommendations References Appendixes
Chapter V Discussion This chapter discusses the findings in relation to giving interpretations and analyzing these findings in the light of recent trends in the field of ELT concern. The researcher then comes out with overall suggestions and recommendations depending on the study findings, interpretations and analysis. Since the standards for foreign language learning are still of recent innovations in foreign language learning, it is essential to analyze the findings of this study in the light of new trends and others. The researcher based his study on these standards because he found out they touch the students' appealing needs to be fulfilled and goals to be achieved. The first point to be discussed is why Communications standards are most dominantly frequent standards throughout the textbook. Undoubtedly, there was an increasing jump for the teaching of English as a second or foreign language after the World War II. The need for English became very essential for international trade and commerce. Due to these activities, communicative language teaching (CLT) emerged as a new direction for language teaching to seek for reexamination of basic assumptions about the goals, nature, and process of language teaching. CLT focused on communication as the organizing principles for teaching and a move to reinforcing the use of the language by speakers in different concepts of communication. The communicative competence was emphasized as it refers to the capacity of using the language appropriately based on the setting, the roles of the participants and the nature of transaction (Richards, 2001:2336). Communication then gained more emphasis as it "is at the heart of all social life" that one can develop, articulate and manage individual identities. setting goals, - 106 -
negotiating means to reach and reconceptualize them takes place through communication process (Hall) (in Phillips,1999: 15). It was also credited that "... communications are at the heart of the human experience" (SFLL, 1996). For promising futures, individuals will need to be able to communicate with others skillfully, appropriately and effectively to realize their personal, social and long-learn career goal (ELC, 1999:7) Communication is reflected on most of the goal areas standards. If someone is introduced to others' cultural aspects, practices and products, communication is attendant through these cultural appreciations. If someone is connected with other discipline subjects to further or acquire knowledge, communication is attendant through the different subjects, texts and facts. Someone can not participate in his/her community whether at home or abroad without employing communication. Thus, communication is the main principle that teaching materials should be organized around. Communications skills exist in almost all of the lessons in the textbook. For example, the last exercise in lesson 2 (Reading) usually reflects an Interpersonal Communications skill. Lesson 3 (Development)and lesson 5 (Writing) reflect Presentational Communications. Lesson 6 (Listening and Speaking) and 8 (Integrated Skills) mainly encompass the three standards of communications. This brief reinforces the idea of considering communications first. The researcher believes that the material writers of English for Palestine, Grade Ten realized the importance of communication and tried to fulfill its requirements that led to the - 107 -
prevalence of the employment of communicative activities. Accordingly, the prevalence of Communications standards is not a negative point for its domination but this will reflect negatively against other goal areas standards, especially Cultural standards. Although culture was one of the most important issues that ELC for public schools emphasized, it poorly appeared in this textbook. Culture was credited as a need to acquaint students with and enhance their understanding of the Palestinian and other cultural history and heritage. Many objectives were formed to be as the basis for the domain of cultural awareness of the Palestinian EFL curriculum (ELC, 1999:18). The researcher thinks, despite the above mentioned brief, that Cultural standards were badly affected by Communications standards that reflected negatively against them. Cultures features (cultures practices and products) occurred in different lessons in the textbook. They could exist in lesson 2 (Reading) where a reading text introduces cultural features. Lesson 5 (Writing) and lesson 8 (Integrated Skills) mainly present cultural aspects to be discussed either orally or in written forms. Language lessons could include some aspects to be drilled through language presentation and practice. Connections standards got the lowest score of the five goal areas standards. Yet, "integrating content from across disciplines helps students see the connections among all they are learning in all aspects of the curriculum. (Met) (in Phillips, 1999: 138). Many benefits can be gained when learning schools parallel the demands of authentic, real-life tasks to sole problems that are rarely to be so through only one domain. Students will need to use knowledge, understanding, and skills from different areas to - 108 -
get along with their personal lives, their jobs, and their civic responsibilities. Similarly foreign language (English) will be a tool for students to do so The Palestinian curriculum in general does not apply the integrated curriculum or interdisciplinary instruction. Teachers have to work independently on their specified subject plan provided by the Ministry of Education. As a result, the researcher estimates the main reason for Connections standards weakness is the lack of employing the integrated curriculum as each subject stands separately from another. Another reason could be the gap in ELC that did not explicitly refer to connections areas. Connections standards appear mainly in lesson 2 (Reading) where it presents some interdisciplinary subjects texts that connect students with science, geography, history and others. Lessons 5 (Writing), 6 (Listening and Speaking) and 8 (Integrated skills) could be possible space for connections to occur in. Examining Comparisons standards, the researcher points out that they got the second rank of score after Communications standards. However, standards 4.1 'Comparison of Language' strengthens this goal area as it got 19.6% while standard 4.2 'Comparisons of Culture' got very weak score, 4.3%. Chomsky (in Fromkin et al,1993:1) wrote "When we study human language, we are approaching what some might call the 'human essence', the distinctive qualities of mind that are, so far as we know, unique to man". - 109 -
"Language is not an abstract constriction of the learned, or of dictionary-makers, but is something arising out of the work, need, ties, joys, affections, tastes of long generations of humanity, and has its bases broad and low, close to the ground." (Whitman) (in Fromkin et al,1993:1). These two statements form the base that any curriculum designers, developers, and experts or educationalists and teachers start from when they decide to teach a language. The researcher believes this is a strong foundation for 'Comparison of Language' to get high score as it is one of the most essential elements to be taught and learnt. Despite the disappearance of the structural syllabus that focused mainly on grammatical rules, grammar is still an essential base in the modern syllabi such as the integrated syllabus that makes balance between different aspects of language, functions, notions, skills, tasks, texts, vocabulary and others. More emphasis was drawn in ELC (1999: 46-65) on language awareness that help students be acquainted with cognates, homophones, word order, gender, tenses and other related topics. As a result, the textbook comes with a correspondence to language bases (functional, notional, lexical, and structural) set by ELC. Language aspects exist in different lessons in each unit, mainly in lesson4 (Language 1) and lesson 7 (Language 2). Two boxes introduce language in these two lessons. 'Remember!' box introduces language revision and 'Learn! Box drills new language. Other lessons could introduce other aspects of language such as lesson 3 (Development) that emphasized the use of vocabulary. 'Comparisons of Cultures' standards proved to be poorly existent in the textbook despite their essential part in helping students better understand their own culture and appreciate it when they are encountered with other cultures. Moreover, cross-cultural - 110 -
competence and cultural connections are argued to be achieved only with a good understanding for other cultures. It is better for any material writers or syllabus designers to examine the cultural aspects of students' own culture and target cultures so as to place a satisfactory portion of this inevitable component into the students' minds and emotions through developing teaching materials that encompass various cultural features. This helps students improve and develop their own insight about their own and target cultures. The modern trends in language teaching emphasized the idea of the ability to use the language and what learners can do with the language rather than what learners should know about the language. Foreign language should be used as a tool for communication with speakers of the language whether at home or abroad. Students using their language competence can excel in their life expanding employments opportunities, following their own interests, and reinforcing self-establishment in the community. Communities hints were emphasized throughout ELC (1999) as inevitable goals to be achieved by students who will be living in and contributing to an increasing interdependent community of nations in the twenty-first century. Communities goal area was set as general goals and specific objectives that teachers should work hard to make students match these life requirements. Unfortunately, the findings of the study showed weak score for Communities standards reflected in the textbook. This shortage may negatively affect students' abilities to communicate and share effectively in an interrelated life community at home and abroad. - 111 -
The teaching materials existed in the classroom textbook can provide students with good experience opportunities to learn, practice and simulate so as to be prepared for life-long community participation. The researcher thinks that there should be reassessment for these standards that were relatively neglected. More Focus and emphasis should be drawn on the importance of these standards through more presentation and reflection for activities embodying Communities standards. Topics One of the areas that experts of syllabus designers development discussed is 'topic' inside the syllabus. The value of topics lie at the provision of meaningful and reliant content to stimulate motivation and lead to opportunities for meaningful discussion (White,1988: 68). The value of topics in English for Palestine, Grade Ten is reflected through the various topics included in this textbook. As mentioned in chapter four, there are, at least, twelve main topics distributed among the twelve units of the textbook. The structure of the units is formed by what is called 'recycling' i.e. all of the eight lessons of each unit are ranging around the main topic contained in the title of the unit. As a base for producing English for Palestine, Grade Ten, ELC (1999:4145) emphasized the value topics and decided on possible topics to be included in the textbook. These suggested topics should: - cover aspects of the national and global cultural heritage. - be about the immediate environment of the students as well as the global environment. - include current affairs and issues of general interest. - Not only be informative and interesting but should also motivate the students to seek further information from sources accessible to them. - 112 -
Some of these suggested topics are as follows: cultural heritage, science and technology, health and welfare, food and nutrition, work, games and sports, and other topics. The researcher found out correspondence to including some suggested topics as it was recommended in ELC (1999). For example, unit 4 includes 'Free-Time Activities'. In the textbook, that presents and discusses 'Games and Sports', in ELC. Unit 5, in the textbook, whose topic is 'Healthy Eating ­ Healthy Body' encountered 'Food and Nutrition', in ELC. Unit 6 tackles the topic of "Weather and Seasons', in ELC, as the title is 'Dangerous Weather', in the textbook. These examples and others reinforce the idea of employing topics effectively in this textbook. Recycling the topic in each lesson of the unit guarantees well understanding, stimulation and reinforcement as students are exposed to the topic from different aspects and in different lessons through various lessons activities. - 113 -
Conclusion This chapter gives interpretations and analysis for the findings of the study. The main discussion touches the variance occurred in the distribution of the eleven standards of foreign language learning in the textbook and why some standards scored high while others got very weak degree of score. The five goal areas attained this in-order-rank: Communications 45.1%, Comparisons 23.9%, Communities 11.3%, Cultures 10.7% and Connections 8.4%.. The chapter also discusses the importance of introducing different topics distributed among the twelve units in the textbook. Recommendations were given at the end of this chapter to be taken into consideration when trying to make any innovations or modifications. - 114 -
Recommendations The researcher, after presenting, describing and analyzing the data collected through this study, gives his recommendation about what he sees to be implemented so as to reach suitable modifications in the textbook and good achievements for it. - The researcher recommends making some modifications in regard with the distribution of the five goal areas on a balanced scale that insures the employments of all these standards in the activities of the textbook in accordance with the final findings of the study. - Carrying out other related-topic researches on this textbook and other grade textbooks should be of the first priorities that deepen our insights into the new syllabus textbooks for the sake of benefiting from the period of trial publications given by Macmillan Press for more innovations and modifications. Contact between Macmillan Press and the concerned division in the Ministry of Education should be continuant throughout the days of the scholastic years to make follow-up for any prospective development. - The researcher recommends establishing a follow-up research committee in the curriculum department at the Ministry of Education. This committee could be divided into branch divisions. Each division should be specified with a specific grade textbook in order to carry out more researches on the effectiveness of these textbooks particularly in the allowed-modification period and see if these textbooks meet the recent requirements of our students in this world of acceleration. This can be done by applying continuant formative and summative evaluation and giving recommendations to be sent to those who are in charge. - 115 -
- Workshops should be held on the most current trends in the area of ELT curriculum and teaching in order to acquaint the teachers and other concerned staff with the most update effective innovations in curriculum and teaching material and methods in teaching English. - More emphasis should be drawn on group work method because it represents an essential part in processing the new standards in foreign language learning. Cooperative learning is not a less important part as well. Teachers should be trained how to encourage and motivate students learning through team work that takes into consideration the different individual differences that occur among the students. - Teachers are invited to clarify for the students what they are going to do and learn before they start their lessons i.e. learning objectives should be stated clearly and simply orally and in writing, and students should be informed of them. - 116 -
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Nakatsuhara, F. (2004) What May Teachers Need to Take into Consideration, When Teaching The Present Perfect with Coursebook? [online]. Available: www.essex.ac.uk/linguistics/pgr/egspll/volume6. Nunan, D. (1988) Syllabus Design. Oxford: Oxford University Press. O'connel, (1967) " An Analysis of Methods and of Textbooks in Teaching Grammar in Elementary school". [online]. Eric ed 031474. Available: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/Home.portal?_nfpb=true&ERICExtSearch_S earchValue_0=ed031474&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=kw&_pageLabel=ERICSe archResult&newSearch=true&rnd=1132005420100&searchtype=basic Phillips, J. and Robert T. (eds) (1999) Foreign Language Standards: Linking Research, Theories, and Practices. Chicago. Lincolnwood: National Textbook. Rabbini, R. (2002) "An Introduction to Syllabus Design and Evaluation" [online].TESL Journal8/5. Available: http://iteslj.org/Articles/Rabbini-Syllabus.html Ranalli, J. M. (2002) An Evaluation of New Headway Upper-Intermediate. [online]. University of Birmingham. Available: http://www.cels.bham.ac.uk/resources/essays/Ranalli3.pdf Richards, J. C. (2001). Curriculum Development in Language Teaching. New York: Cambridge University Press. Sheldon, L.E. (1988). "Evaluating ELT Textbooks and Materials". [online]. English Language Teaching Journal 42/4. 237-246. Retrieved: http://mail.skku.edu/my/tnelson/USERHOME/page30.pdf SFLL (1996). Yonkers New York: Standards for Foreign Language learning Project. Surur, R. (1990) "A Critical Analysis of the International First year English Pupil's Book in Saudia Arabia". King Saud Univ Educ 2/1 9-34 Tylee, P. (1998) A Brief Critical Analysis of the NSW English K-6 Syllabus. [online], South Wales. Available: http://www.tylee.net/ptylee/English.htm Vallance, D. (2004) English for Palestine 10, Teacher's Book. Oxford. Macmillan Publishers Limited. Van Schaik, J. D (1978) "A comparison of ESL and English Composition Textbooks at the University Level". [online]. Eric ed 172513. Available: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/Home.portal?_nfpb=true&ERICExtSearch_S earchValue_0=ED172513&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&_pageLabel=Record Details&objectId=0900000b8011bc5c [Accessed 10th November, 2005] - 120 -
Vellenga, H. (2004) "Learning Pragmatics From ESL& EFL Textbooks: How Likely? [online]. TESL-E. 8/2. Available: http://www-writing.berkeley.edu/TESL-EJ/ej30/a3.html learning pragmatics White, R. (1988). The ELT Curriculum. Oxford, Blackwell. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (2001) "Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for foreign Langauages". Milwaukee. Yakhontova, T. (2001) Textbooks, Contexts, and Learners. [online] Ivan Franko L'viv National University. Available: www.irex.org/programs/completed/chss/yakhontova/article Yalden, J. (1987) The Communicative Syllabus: Evaluation, Design and Implementation. London: Prentice-Hall International. - 121 -
Appendix I Consultation Form of an Analysis Card Dear Mr./ Mrs. ..................................................... The researcher Mohammed Z. R, Almazloum is carrying out an M.ED dissertation entitled "Evaluating the Content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten in the light of the Standards for Foreign language Learning" preparing for the twentieth century by National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project. You are kindly invited to examine and check this analysis card which is designed to survey and collect data on the content of English for Palestine, Grade ten in the light of standards for foreign language learning. It seeks to find out if the content of this textbook meets these standards through a survey for the activities of each unit in the student's book by marking the number of frequencies each activity can match a standard as well as writing down the related topic in the student's book. I would be so grateful if you provided me with your comments related to the relevance, and techniques used in this analysis card suitable to our environment. Any of them, modifications, additions, or omissions will be taken into consideration when processing this analysis card. Yours, Mohammed Almazloum Comments:: ........................................................................................................ ......................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................... Jury's name, ..................... ... Signature - 122 -
Appendix II An Analysis Card for the Content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten in the Light of Standards for Foreign Language Learning
Standards for Foreign Language Learning Communication Communicate in Different Situations Using English Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions. Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics. Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics. Cultures Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied. Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied.
Unit 1 topic fre per
Unit 2 topic fre per
Unit 3 topic fre per
Unit 4 topic fre per
Unit 5 topic fre per
Unit 6 topic fre per
Unit 7 topic fre per
- 123 -
Standards for Foreign Language Learning Communication
Unit 8
Unit 9
Unit 10
Unit 11
Unit 12
top ic
fre
per
top ic
fre
per
top ic
fre
per
top ic
fre
per
top ic
fre
per
Communicate in Different Situations Using English
Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics.
Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.
Cultures
Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures
Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied.
Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied.
Total fre per
- 124 -
Standards for Foreign Language Learning Connections
Unit 1
topic fre
per
Unit 2
topic fre
per
Unit 3
topic fre
per
Unit 4
topic fre
per
Unit 5
topic fre
per
Unit 6
topic fre
per
Unit 7 topic fre per
Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information
Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language.
Standard 3.2: Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures.
Comparisons
Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture
Standard 4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own.
Standard 4.2: Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.
- 125 -
Standards for Foreign Language Learning Connections
Unit 8
topic fre
per
Unit 9
topic fre
per
Unit 10
topic fre
per
Unit 11
topic fre
per
Unit 12
topic fre
per
Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information
Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language.
Standard 3.2: Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures.
Comparisons
Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture
Standard 4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own.
Standard 4.2: Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.
Total
fre
per
- 126 -
Standards for Foreign Language learning communities
Unit 1
topic fre
per
Unit 2
topic fre
per
Unit 3
topic fre
per
Unit 4
topic fre
per
Unit 5
topic fre
per
Unit 6
topic fre
per
Unit 7 topic fre per
Participate in the Community at Home and Around the World
Standard 5.1: Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
Standard 5.2: Students show evidence of becoming lifelong learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment.
Standards for Foreign Language Learning Communities
Unit 8
topic fre
per
Unit 9
topic fre
per
Unit 10
topic fre
per
Unit 11
topic fre
per
Unit 12
topic fre
per
Participate in the Community at Home and Around the World
Standard 5.1: Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
Standard 5.2: Students show evidence of becoming lifelong learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment.
Total
fre
per
- 127 -
Appendix III A Request Form of Completing an Analysis Card Dear Mr./ Mrs. ..................................................... The researcher Mohammed Z. R, Almazloum is carrying out an M.ED dissertation entitled "Evaluating the Content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten in the light of the Standards for Foreign language Learning" preparing for the twentieth century by National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project. You are kindly invited to assist carrying out this study by completing this analysis card. You are going to have a mini-training workshop to complete this card by discussing some prerequisite materials related to this domain. I would be grateful of you accept that. Yours, Mohammed Almazloum 128
Appendix IV A List of Experts
Dr. Nsmi Almasri Dr. Kamal Murtaja Sadiq Ferwana Abdelfattah Ea'leian Ahmed Salman Suhail Murtaja Jamal Alsahabani Dr. Mohammed Zaqout Dr. Abdelmoti Alagha Dr. E'zzo Afana Dr. Mohammed Alagha Dr.Hamdan alsoufi
TESOL ­ IUG TESOL ­ IUG MA of English ­ IUG MA of English (Head of Supervision Department MEHE) MA of English (Head of Training Department MEHE) MA of English (Head of Public Education MEHE) Supervisor of English ­ Gaza Directorate of Education Doctor of curriculum studies ­ IUG Doctor of curriculum studies ­ IUG Doctor of curriculum studies ­ IUG Doctor of Education Fundamentals ­ IUG Doctor of Education Fundamentals ­ IUG
129
Appendix V Determining the Standards Extent The researcher looked for a scale (in books literature review, previous studies, and journals) that determines the extent to which each goal area and standard should exist in accordance with, but could not find such a scale. Therefore, he sought to find a scale so as to determine the least extent to which each goal area and standard should exist throughout the textbook. The researcher designed a form (see page 126) which was delivered to 40 participants in the filed of teaching English including curriculum experts, supervisors and teachers of English. They were asked to give the least percentage in which they thought the goal areas should exist. The researcher received back 36 forms and examined the data given in these forms. Five forms were excluded because of extreme data, then he calculated the mean of the 31 forms. The result showed that the mean percentage was %14.8. The researcher approximated the percentage and decided that %15 is the least approximate percentage that each goal area should get. 130
Form of Determining the Standards Extent Dear Mr./ Mrs. ..................................................... The researcher Mohammed Z. R, Almazloum is carrying out an MA dissertation entitled "Evaluating the Content of English for Palestine, Grade Ten textbook in the light of the Standards for Foreign language Learning" preparing for the twentieth century by National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project. The researcher employs what is called the "five Cs" standards to be used as the main criteria of evaluation. These "five Cs" standards are split into eleven standards as shown below. You are kindly invited to give the percentage in which you think these standards should at least exist in the textbook.. 131
Standards for Foreign Language Learning Communications -- Communicate in Different Situations Using English Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions. Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics. Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics. Cultures -- Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied. Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied. Connections -- Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language. Standard 3.2: Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures. Comparisons -- Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture Standard 4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own. Standard 4.2: Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own. Communities -- Participate in the Community at Home and Around the World Standard 5.1: Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting. Standard 5.2: Students show evidence of becoming lifelong learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment. The least percentage you think suitable is %_______ 132

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