CRITERIA TO ANALYZE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ENGLISH TEXTBOOKS FOR THE I CYCLE OF THE PUBLIC-ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN COSTA RICA

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Bienvenidos a nuestro sitio virtual de la UNIVERSIDAD MAGISTER en Slide Share donde podrá encontrar los resultados de importantes trabajos de investigación prácticos producidos por nuestros profesionales. Esperamos que estos Mares Azules que les ponemos a su disposición sirvan de base para otras investigaciones y juntos cooperemos en el Desarrollo Económico y Social de Costa Rica y otras latitudes.

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Rectoría, Universidad Magister. – 2014.

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  • 1. CRITERIA TO ANALYZE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ENGLISH TEXTBOOKS FOR THE I CYCLE OF THE PUBLIC-ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN COSTA RICA. Bach. Shirley Peraza Corella September, 2012
  • 2. BACKGOUND OF THE PROBLEM • Since 1994, EFL is taught at the public-elementary level. • To use English for communicative purposes. • In 1999, a series of textbooks was created by the Costa Rican Foreign Language Office. • Later, many books were published. • Nowadays, there is a proliferation of textbooks.
  • 3. JUSTIFICATION • Textbooks play an essential role in the teaching process. • It is very important to evaluate materials to make good choices when selecting textbooks. • Evaluating textbooks is crucial since it makes educators concern about the books used to teach EFL learners. • To ensure textbooks can effectively facilitate the success of the teaching objectives.
  • 4. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM • In the Costa Rican public-educational system teachers are expected to develop the communicative competence of learners. • Teachers try to achieve that objective by using English textbooks as a main resource.
  • 5. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM • The questions are: – Are those textbooks to teach EFL learners of the I cycle of public-elementary schools in Costa Rica effective enough to acquire successfully communicative competence? – What are the characteristics those textbooks should have to enhance communicative competence in Costa Rican children?
  • 6. GENERAL OBJECTIVE • To evaluate the effectiveness of English textbooks used in the I cycle of public-elementary schools in Costa Rica.
  • 7. RESEARCH QUESTIONS • What would be an efficient and theoretically way to evaluate the effectiveness of English textbooks used in the I cycle of the publicelementary schools in Costa Rica? • What are the relevant theoretical considerations to evaluate English textbooks used in the I cycle of public-elementary schools? • How can this be applied to the development of a coherent evaluation procedure for Costa Rican English textbooks for the I cycle of publicelementary schools?
  • 8. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES • To define important criteria that should be taken into account when evaluating textbooks. • To elaborate a checklist of items to measure the quality of a textbook. • To identify possible physical features to be evaluated in a textbook.
  • 9. CATEGORIES OF ANALYSIS • Textbook • Teacher’s manual • Context • Accessibility
  • 10. COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE • Hymes (1972), cited on (Gómez, 2010), defines communicative competence “as the ability to convey and interpret messages and to negotiate meaning with other speakers in specific contexts” (p.329). • The notion of communicative competence centers primarily on the negotiation of meaning in real situational contexts. • Based on this definition, the research focused on determining whether or not instructional materials offer learners solid communicative activities to reinforce their opportunities to become communicatively competent.
  • 11. COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE • The criteria to analyze textbooks concentrated on three types of language practice (mechanical, meaningful, and communicative) proposed by Richards (2005). • Mechanical practice is defined as a controlled practice activity in where the students can work without necessarily understanding the language they are using. • Meaningful practice is an activity where language control is still required, but where students are asked to make meaningful choices when practicing.
  • 12. COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE • Communicative practice is those activities where the focus is on practicing in using language within a real communicative context.
  • 13. THE ROLE OF TEXTBOOKS IN THE EFL CLASSROOM • Richards (2006), states that textbooks are key elements in most language programs. • Language input. • Provide content for the lesson. • Practice for the skills taught. • Save teachers' time. • Provide a guide with ideas on how to plan and teach lessons. • Support those teachers whose first language is not English.
  • 14. ENGLISH TEXTBOOKS TO DEVELOP COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE • Gómez (2010) states that “Communicative texts are educational materials for language learning that focus on the genuine use of a language for communicative purposes in a variety of meaningful contexts”(p. 327). • These texts offer opportunities to communicate, interact and negotiate meaning. • Therefore, communicative textbooks should be designed to provide the means to enhance communicative language competence. • They should incorporate the three types of language practice (mechanical, meaningful, and communicative) proposed Richards (2005).
  • 15. DEVELOPING CRITERIA FOR TEXTBOOK EVALUATION • The previous aspects are considered the major features that communicative textbooks must possess. • There are many other characteristics that a good textbook should have.
  • 16. ISSUES RELATED TO THE TEXTBOOK • CONTENT • EXERCISES AND ACTIVITIES • ATTRACTIVENESS OF THE TEXTBOOK AND PHYSICAL MAKEUP
  • 17. TEACHER’S MANUAL • GENERAL FEATURES • METHODOLOGICAL GUIDANCE • SUPPLEMENTARY EXERCISES AND MATERIALS
  • 18. CONTEXT • APPROPRIATENESS • ACCESSIBILITY
  • 19. IMPORTANCE OF TEXTBOOK EVALUATION • There is a proliferation of textbooks so making the right choice is a difficult task. • Textbook evaluation is a very important process to follow.
  • 20. TYPE OF INVESTIGATION • This is a documentary research. • It is an exploratory research. • Methodology: Qualitative research. • Technique: Content analysis
  • 21. SAMPLES • Three EFL textbooks. • The names of the textbooks will not be revealed. They were labeled with the letters A, B, and C.
  • 22. DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENT • A four-point checklist developed by the researcher was used. • Rating scales and their numerical responses are: – Excellent = 4 – Good = 3 – Adequate = 2, – Poor = 1 – Totally lacking = 0
  • 23. CATEGORIES OF ANALYSIS • TEXTBOOK: – Conceptual Definition: The material that teachers and students use to teach and learn; respectively, a foreign language and that includes elements such as content, exercises and activities, attractiveness and physical make-up. – Operational Definition: This category will be used to evaluate the quality of the information, activities and exercises, as well as the physical make-up of the textbook. – Instrumental Definition: It will be instrumented within the checklist in section I, parts A, B, and C.
  • 24. CATEGORIES OF ANALYSIS • TEACHER’S MANUAL – Conceptual Definition: It is a support for the teacher. It is the material that addresses issues including aims and objectives, suggested alternative materials and learners’ activities, alternative teaching strategies and methodology of the textbook, instructions, assessment, an answer key, among others. – Operational Definition: This category will be used to evaluate to what extent this can benefit the quality of the book. – Instrumental Definition: It will be instrumented within the checklist in section II, parts A, B, and C.
  • 25. CATEGORIES OF ANALYSIS • CONTEXT – Conceptual Definition: It is the background, the environment, the framework, the setting, or the situation that surrounds the textbook. – Operational Definition: This category will be used to evaluate if the textbook matches the context where it is going to be used. – Instrumental Definition: It will be instrumented within the checklist in section III, part A.
  • 26. CATEGORIES OF ANALYSIS • ACCESIBILITY – Conceptual Definition: Accessibility refers to the extent to which the learner or the user can obtain the textbook at the time it is needed and at a reasonable price. – Operational Definition: This category will be used to evaluate how easy it is to get the textbook. – Instrumental Definition: It will be instrumented within the checklist in section IV, part A.
  • 27. GRAPH #1: CONTENT OF THE TEXTBOOK 4 4 4 4 Totally Lacking 3 3 3 2 3 2 2 2 Poor Adequate Content coincides with syllabus. The subject matter is organized. Real-lif e applications are given. Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Good Directions are clearly explained. Excellent
  • 28. GRAPH #2: EXERCISES AND ACTIVITIES OF THE TEXTBOOK 4 4 4 4 4 Totally Lacking 3 Poor 2 1 1 2 2 2 Adequate 1 1 Examples to learn vocabulary Pair and group work Mechanical practice Meaningf ul practice Textbook C Excellent Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A 0 Good Communicative practice
  • 29. GRAPH #3: ATTRACTIVENESS AND PHYSICAL MAKE-UP OF THE TEXTBOOK 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 3 Totally Lacking 3 Poor 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 Adequate Good 1 Ilustrations Visuals and Illustrations graphics help to culturally understand sensitive meanings of vocabulary Format Size and f ormat of print Book's size and weight Paper Table of contents 0 Textbook B Textbook C Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C Textbook A Textbook B Cover 0 Textbook A Excellent 0 Bibliography
  • 30. GRAPH #4: GENERAL FEATURES OF THE TEACHER S MANUAL Totally Lacking 4 Poor 4 Adequate 3 Good 2 Excellent 1 0 Textbook A Textbook B Textbook C The teacher's guide is helpf ul. Textbook A Textbook B Textbook C There is an answer key.
  • 31. GRAPH #5: METHODOLOGICAL GUIDANCE OF THE TEACHER S MANUAL 4 2 Techniques f or activating students’ background knowledge. 2 Method given in the manual. 2 1 Listening and speaking skills. Poor Textbook C Adequate Textbook B Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C 1 Textbook B Textbook A Textbook C 1 Textbook B Textbook A 1 Totally Lacking 3 Textbook A 3 Textbook C 3 4 Dif f erent learning styles. Good Excellent
  • 32. GRAPH #6: SUPPLEMENTARY EXERCISES AND MATERIALS OF THE TEACHER S MANUAL Totally Lacking 3 3 3 Poor Adequate 2 Good 1 1 0 Textbook A Textbook B Textbook C There are CD-ROMs, f lashcards, etc. Textbook A 0 Textbook B Textbook C Instructions to incorporate audiovisual materials. Textbook A Excellent 0 Textbook B Textbook C Extra practice, test, and review vocabulary words.
  • 33. GRAPH #7: APPROPRIATENESS OF THE TEXTBOOK Totally Lacking 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 3 Poor 3 Adequate 2 1 1 Excellent Textbook Textbook Textbook Textbook Textbook Textbook Textbook Textbook Textbook Textbook Textbook Textbook A B C A B C A B C A B C The textbook is appropriate f or I cycle students. Free of material that might be of f ensive. Images of children of both sexes. Good Appropriate f or the teacher.
  • 34. GRAPH #8: ACCESSIBILITY OF THE TEXTBOOK Totally Lacking 4 Poor 4 3 Adequate 3 Good 2 Excellent 1 Textbook A Textbook B The price is reasonable. Textbook C Textbook A Textbook B Textbook C The textbook is easy to f ind.
  • 35. CONCLUSIONS I CATEGORY ANALYSIS ATTRACTIVENESS AND PHYSICAL MAKE-UP TEXTBOOK CONTENT EXERCISES AND ACTIVITIES TEXTBOOK A REGULAR REGULAR REGULAR TEXTBOOK B EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT TEXTBOOK C POOR POOR POOR
  • 36. CONCLUSIONS II CATEGORY ANALYSIS TEACHER´S MANUAL GENERAL FEATURES METHODOLOGICAL GUIDANCE SUPPLEMENTARY EXERCISES AND MATERIALS TEXTBOOK A REGULAR POOR POOR TEXTBOOK B EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT TEXTBOOK C POOR REGULAR REGULAR
  • 37. CONCLUSIONS III CATEGORY ANALYSIS CONTEXT APPROPRIATENESS OF THE TEXTBOOK TEXTBOOK A REGULAR TEXTBOOK B EXCELLENT TEXTBOOK C POOR
  • 38. CONCLUSIONS IV CATEGORY ANALYSIS ACCESSIBILITY ACCESSIBILITY TEXTBOOK A EXCELLENT TEXTBOOK B REGULAR TEXTBOOK C POOR
  • 39. RECOMMENDATIONS 1. The content in textbooks should always be well organized and it should perfectly match the one incorporated in the MEP syllabus. 2. It is extremely likely to recommend that all textbooks include wellbalanced mechanical, meaningful, and communicative practice. 3. English textbooks should be illustrated and the quality of the illustrations should show good taste in drawing and painting. The cover should be visually appealing. They should include a table of contents as well as references. 4. A teacher’s manual should be included with the textbook since it has significant influence on how the course is taught.
  • 40. RECOMMENDATIONS 5. Textbooks should portray social realities of the country. 6. Price should be reasonable for the average students. It should also be easy to find. 7. Textbooks should keep a good balance in all the criteria proposed in this study.
  • 41. PROPOSAL • PROPOSAL OF AN EVALUATION OF ENGLISH TEXTBOOKS IN COSTA RICA
  • 42. GENERAL OBJECTIVE • To present a textbook evaluation guide, to determine the effectiveness of a textbook whose intention is to cultivate communicative competence in English at the Public-Elementary Schools in Costa Rica.
  • 43. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES • To attain that the Costa Rican Ministry of Education creates a Technical Standard to establish uniform technical criteria in all textbooks. • To create a Board of Evaluators to revise and approve the textbooks. • To certificate the effectiveness of textbooks to make students communicatively competent.
  • 44. DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROPOSAL • The proposal consists of three elements, namely: – Technical Criteria Guide (TCG), – Board of Evaluators Committee (BEC), – Quality Certification of the textbook (COC).
  • 45. TECHNICAL CRITERIA GUIDE (TCG) • The TCG is what will ensure that textbooks fulfill the Technical Standard.
  • 46. B. Exercises and Activities i. There are sufficient examples to learn the vocabulary. ii. The activities incorporate individual, pair and group work. iii. The book offers the right amount of mechanical practice. Controlled activities that involve repetition and substitution drills. e.g. Sentence completion in isolation without a relevant context. iv. The book offers the right amount of meaningful practice. Those activities where the students need to pay attention to and comprehend the stimulus to provide a correct response. v. The book offers the right amount of communicative practice. Activities where the students are asked to produce language within a real communicative context and real information is exchanged. C. Attractiveness of the Textbook and Physical Make-Up i. The cover of the book is appealing. ii. Illustrations are clear. iii. Visuals and graphics are appropriate for children and also culturally sensitive. iv. The illustrations help the students to understand the meaning of the vocabulary words. v. The format of the book is visually appealing and interesting. vi. vii. viii. ix. The size and format of print is appropriate. The book has an appropriate size & weight for children. The paper is a high-quality paper. The textbook provide a useful table of contents, glossary and index. x. The textbook contains references, bibliography, and resources. Adequate Poor Totally Lacking CRITERIA I Textbook A. Content i. The content coincides with the MEP syllabus ii. The subject matter is presented either topically or functionally in a logical, organized manner. iii. Real-life applications are given. iv. The information and directions are clearly written and explained. Good RATING Excellent Title of the book: ________________________________ Evaluator: ________________________________ Date: ________________________________ Checklist code: ________________________________ TECHNICAL CRITERIA GUIDE (TCG) 4 3 2 1 0
  • 47. II Teacher's Manual A. General Features i. The teacher's guide is helpful so that the teacher understands the objectives and methodology of the book. ii. There is an answer key with correct or suggested answers for the exercises in the textbook. B. Methodological Guidance i. Teachers are given techniques for activating students’ background knowledge before teaching vocabulary. ii. The manual suggests a clear, concise method for teaching each lesson. iii. The textbook includes and focus on the listening and speaking skills that I need to practice. iv. The book integrates different learning styles; such as aural, oral, visual, and kinesthetic. C. Supplementary Exercises and Materials i. There are CD-ROMs, flashcards, posters, and/or audio CD along with the textbook. ii. The manual gives instructions on how to incorporate audiovisual materials produced for the textbook. iii. The manual provides teachers with exercises to practice, test, and review vocabulary words. III. Context A. Appropriateness i. The textbook is appropriate for I cycle students. ii. The textbook is free of material that might be offensive. iii. The textbook includes images of children of both sexes and various cultures and physical conditions. v. The textbook and teacher’s manual are appropriate for the teacher who will be teaching with them. IV. Accessibility i. The price is reasonable. ii. The textbook is easy to find.
  • 48. BOARD OF EVALUATORS COMMITTEE (BEC) • Executive Director • Three Postgraduate English teachers • An Industrial Engineer (advisor) and a philologist to write the Technical Standard • One typist and a secretary
  • 49. QUALITY CERTIFICATION (COC) • Certification number • Printed on the cover of the textbook • List on an official web site • A maximum period of four (4) years • Sample of the logotype
  • 50. BUDGET ITEM ELEMENTS TCG TIME COST ¢ 2 Advisors 6 moths 12.000.000 Executive Director 12 months 18.000.000 3 Postgraduate 12 months 36.000.000 6 moths 12.000.000 1 Philologist 2 moths 1.000.000 1 Typist 6 moths 3.000.000 1 Secretary 12 months 6.500.000 Administrative 12 months 50.000.000 Fixed expenses 12 months 12.000.000 Variable expenses 12 months 5.000.000 Unforeseen 12 months 7.000.000 3 months 3.000.000 English teachers 1 Industrial Engineer (Advisor) BEC expenses expenses COC Total 1 Advertising Agency 166.500.000
  • 51. INITIAL INVESTMENT • The initial investment will be paid by the Ministry of Education. • Each publisher will be charged a three thousand dollars, ($3.000) evaluation fee.
  • 52. IMPACTS OF THE PROPOSAL • Academic impact • Economical impact
  • 53. DERIVED STUDIES FROM THIS PROPOSAL • Development of a technical standard by an industrial engineer. • Development of a logo by a Publicist. • Development of an advertising Campaign by an Advertising Agency. • Development of Technical Criteria Guides for the rest of the basic subjects taught in the country. By Science, Social Studies, Civic, Mathematics, Spanish, and French professors.
  • 54. UNIQUE AND INNOVATIVE CHARACTER OF THIS PROPOSAL • The Costa Rican education system does not have any guidelines that standardize all the processes when selecting textbooks. • Innovative because it would come to normalize those processes.
  • 55. UNIVERSIDAD MAGISTER