Why Learners’ Perceptions of English Coursebooks is Important

By Kuang-yun Ting and Hsuan-Yau Tony Lai.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Publishing English language teaching tools is a growing and highly competitive industry. Some publications provide descriptive topics while other stick to specific language functions. A coursebook is important because it normally offers a lot of information and guidelines within an educational context; often, it contains suggestions for a variety of classroom activities and teaching techniques. However, the optimization of a coursebook depends greatly upon the criteria used in its selection, including learner-centered teaching and student needs. Teachers are not always the best judges of students’ needs and motivations. Therefore, this paper considers the design of three reading coursebooks for English reading courses and focuses on learners’ opinions of them, as their views can be valuable when choosing a coursebook. The data were obtained from questionnaires completed by 984 second year undergraduate students, who had used these coursebooks in 2009–2010. The study reveals that most students do not have a positive impression of certain aspects of the coursebook they use but their various general conceptions provide a valuable insight into the way a coursebook for their level of English should be chosen. Many coursebooks, in appearance, tend to be like one another, not only in terms of glossy design and layout but also in terms of content. This paper concludes with recommendations to help teachers select the most appropriate coursebook.

Keywords: English Coursebooks, Reading, Language Teaching Tools

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 293.256KB).

Dr. Kuang-yun Ting

Assistant Professor, Department of Applied English, St. John's University, Taipei City, Taipei, Taiwan

Assistant Professor at St. John’s University PhD in the University of Exeter, UK

Dr. Hsuan-Yau Tony Lai

Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Foreign Languages, National Taipei College of Business, Taipei City, Taiwan

Hsuan-Yau Tony Lai has an EdD (Doctor of Education) in English language teaching and applied linguistics from the University of Warwick, UK. His research interests include language learning motivation, English as an international language, language teaching methodology and cultural issues. He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Foreign Languages of National Taipei College of Business.

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