An Evaluative Study of English Communication Skills Textbooks at the University of Jordan from a Functional Perspective

| June 18, 2012
An Evaluative Study of English Communication Skills Textbooks at the University of Jordan from a Functional Perspective

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Khadijeh Othman Hamidi
Faculty of Graduate Studies
The University of Jordan

This Thesis was Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement
for the Master’s Degree of Education in TEFL


Dr. Nayel Darweesh Al-Sharah

The present study is an attempt to investigate the functionality of the ECS textbooks within the framework of SFL. Hence, it consists of two parts: the first part was concerned with finding out the degree of this functionality as perceived by the ECS instructors in the UJLC and the UJ undergraduate students, while the second part was concerned with exploring how the aspects of functionality were distributed in the ECS textbooks.

Two rating scales were devised on the basis of Butt et al.’s model for the purpose of measuring the functionality of the textbooks. The analysis of the two textbooks was based on Butt et. al’s framework of context analysis which begins basically with the lexicogrammatical analysis of the texts to describe the experiential, interpersonal, and textual meanings/functions of the text. The corpus of the analysis consisted of all the texts in the textbooks (listening, reading, speaking and writing activities). Each textbook contains 14 units with 14 reading and listening texts together with speaking and writing activities.
The findings of the study revealed that the ECS instructors and students believed that the textbooks are moderately functional. The analysis of the textbooks showed that there was no balance in the distribution of most functional aspects in the ECS textbooks as revealed by the analysis of the lexicogrammar on the three levels of meanings: the experiential, the interpersonal and the textual and the contextual description of the three elements of situation: field, tenor and mode.

It was concluded that there was no congruity between the findings of the lexicogrammatical analysis and contextual description which indicated, generally speaking, a relatively low estimation of functionality on the one hand, and the instructors’ and the students’ perceptions of the ECS textbooks functionality on the other. This suggests that the instructors were not familiar with the functional approach to language as there were no in- service training programs in the UJLC. However, there was a considerable congruity between the instructors’ and the students’ responses to the rating scales regarding the functionality of the ECS textbooks. It was recommended that future research gives more priority to the analysis based on the SFL framework as an effective objective instrument for collecting data and evaluating EFL textbooks.


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Category: Thesis