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A Study On Evaluating The Difficulty Levels Of ELT Coursebooks

Posted on:2013-07-22Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:Q X YeFull Text:PDF
GTID:2255330374467731Subject:English Language and Literature
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Owing to the importance of coursebooks for education practice, many studies on coursebook evaluation are conducted. However, usually these studies only describe or analyze the content and design of the coursebooks, without getting into the cognitive aspect of learning. Research investigating coursebook difficulty levels is almost a blank. In addition, most of the current frameworks for evaluating coursebooks are based on scholars’personal wisdom and theoretical study, instead of learners’and teachers’experience who are the daily consumers of the coursebooks. It is of great importance to elicit learners’and teachers’perception of and needs from coursebooks, for it can broaden existing understanding of coursebooks and actually promote coursebook development and evaluation.This paper, based on a comparative experiment, investigates learners’and teachers’perception of coursebook difficulty levels and their evaluation criteria. Seven instruments are designed for collecting data from learners and teachers. At first, they were asked to actually use two coursebooks in the classroom and rate every learning task. After that, they were given the questionnaire and were interviewed. Two tests were organized for learners to check their learning outcomes of the two different coursebooks. The author used both qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze all the data collected to find out learners’and teachers’perception of the difficulty levels of the two coursebooks and conclude their underlying criteria. Their perception of and criteria for coursebook difficulty levels were compared to Coursebook Difficulty Levels Evaluation Framework proposed by Professor Zou Weicheng from East China Normal University, on the basis of which this framework was tested and modified.At last, by data analyzing and with previous studies on task difficulty serving as triangulation, the author presents a two-dimensional framework for evaluating coursebook difficulty levels. According to this framework, the level of difficulty is decided by factors from two dimensions, i.e. language content load and organization of the content. The former contains "reading load","vocabulary load","grammar load" and "output load". The latter consists of "degree of structuralized combination of knowledge, skills and context","presentation of abstract knowledge and skills""induction within tasks" and "continuity between tasks"...
Keywords/Search Tags:coursebook evaluation, task difficulty, coursebook difficulty levels, evaluation descriptors
PDF Full Text Request
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