What do Teachers and Students Want from a Foreign Language Textbook?
Committee ChairDupuy, Beatrice
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractTextbooks are essential to Foreign Language (FL) curricula. They contribute to the homogenization of instruction between multiple-language courses; they provide learners with an advance organizer; they help train novice teachers, and they supply both novice and experienced instructors with a variety of resources (Allen, in press). In a context where the textbook appears to be the pillar of FL instruction, we find numerous studies about teachers' beliefs concerning FL textbooks (Ariew, 1982; Apple, 1986; Menke, 1994; Graden, 1996; Richards & Mahoney, 1996; Masuhara, 1998; Bancheri, 2006); however, there are very few studies on students' self-perceived needs (Jan & Glenn, 1984), and equally few on both teachers' and students' perspectives on language teaching materials (Donovan, 1998). Thus, the goal of this study is to examine both students' and teachers' views of FL textbooks in light of current Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory. In so doing, this project addresses three research questions: 1) what role should authenticity of the L2, target culture, and tasks play in language teaching materials?, 2) what place should grammar take in FL textbooks?, and 3) what part should technology play in language teaching materials? 48 French teachers and 1023 learners from four major North-American universities were surveyed using an online questionnaire containing not only closed-response questions rated on a four point Likert-type scale but also open-ended questions. This mixed-design methodology allowed the researcher to draw tentative conclusions on how to reconcile language teaching materials design with SLA research, teachers' beliefs and students' self-perceived needs. Practical implications for language teacher training programs and FL textbook development are offered.
Degree ProgramSecond Language Acquisition & Teaching