Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 24

Reading and Writing Targets 3 by Evans and Dooley (2001): A Critical Analysis

Jamel Abdenacer ALIMI e-mail: jamel_alimi@yahoo.com


.March,

2006 10
PAPER PLAN

INTRODUCTION 1- PRELIMINARIES 1.1 ELT Syllabus and Course Design: Literature Review 1.2 RAWT3-related Contextual Considerations 1.3.1 The Learning/Teaching Context 1.3.2 The EEP Learners 1.3.2.1 Learner Factors 1.3.2.2 Learners' L2-related Needs 2- RAWT3: A DESCRIPTION OVERVIEW 2.1 General Observations 2.2 Aims and Objectives 2.3 Underlying Syllabus and Course Design Principles 3- RAWT3: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS 3.1 Course Design Principles 3.2 Accountability and Congruence 4- RECOMMENDATIONS 5- CONCLUSION END NOTES 6- REFERENCES 7- APPENDICES

Any syllabus will express however indirectly certain assumptions about language, about the psychological process of learning, and about the pedagogic and social processes within a classroom (Breen 1984: 49; quoted in Nunan1988a: 6)

INTRODUCTION Oman's secondary schools for general education have undertaken, since last September 2005, the implementation of the first Elective English Programme (EEP) ever for Grade 12 classes. A global book1, entitled Reading and Writing Targets 3 (RAWT3) by Evans and Dooley (2001), along with a supplementary Writing Tasks Sheet (Appendix One) has been prescribed by the Ministry of Education authorities for that purpose (Assessment Document Development Committee for English 2005). The textbook just referred to, while intuitively praised for many a merit over the last few months, does still pose a dire need for systematic analyses and evaluations of its very content and ways of working, which, unfortunately, has not been fully satisfied to date. The present paper is in partial response to the gap in investigative research noted above. Within its purview, it will be mainly concerned with providing a critical analysis of RAWT3, with chief regard to its underlying syllabus design assumptions and to the degree of its congruence with the needs of the EEP student community at Sohar Secondary School for General Education, where I currently work. To this twofold end, the essay proposes to proceed according to the following steps: A- Preliminaries: These will include, in turn, a brief review of the literature on syllabus and course design for English language teaching, a description of my teaching context and of the EEP students here concerned. B- A brief overview of the Coursebook. C- A critical analysis of RAWT3's underlying principles and of its degree of suitability for the EEP students' needs. D- A set of RAWT3-related recommendations.

The remainder sections are to be structured according to the format outlined above. In the interest of time and space, further details are available in the End Notes and Appendices Sections to supply necessary clarifications and comments, as need arise.

1- PRELIMINARIES As the heading should clearly indicate, the present Section will comprise a few introductory notes to serve as a basis for the Critical Analysis Section to come. These particularly concern RAWT3, as a coursebook2, in relation to its macro syllabus and course design background and, at a later stage, to the very micro instructional context it is being implemented in. 1.1 ELT Syllabus and Course Design: Literature Review Syllabus and course materials design falls within two broad strands closely connected to either Type A or Type B syllabus design classification (White 1988: 45-6)3. The former (also termed synthetic4) type may be of a notional-functional, topic, content, phonological, lexical, structural or skills units of design5. Conversely, the latter category is of an analytic6 or process orientation, and takes "task" as a unit of analysis and design. It concerns the Procedural, Process and the Task-Based Language Teaching syllabuses, which first appeared in the 1980s (Long and Crookes 1992). In contradistinction to the sub-syllabuses pertaining, respectively, to Type A and Type B taxonomy above, stand the Proportional syllabus (Johnson 1982: 135-44; Yalden 1983: 120-37) and the Multidimentional syllabuses (Ullmann 1982; Batstone 1988: 188-9). As Reilly (1988) points out, it is practically rare that either of the syllabuses identified earlier occurs in absolute independence, or in entire distinction, from any other. Thus, more often than not, "For a given course, one type of syllabus usually dominates, while other types of content may be combined with it" (ibid). This depends, inter alia, on two intertwined factors: the target and learning needs7 (Klimov and Suchnkov: 2001:9) . The current learner's centrality in the syllabus and course design equation alluded to just earlier would hardly pose, in principle, any serious matter of discord. This is chiefly due to the impact of the Communicative Language Teaching (McDonough and Shaw 2003: 15-39), work in English for Specific Purposes (Munby 1978; Hutchinson and Waters 1987), and the growing influence of HumanisticConstructivist approaches to English Language Teaching (Arnold (ed.) 1999). Rather, what is practically at issue is, as will be discussed later, the variety of claims built around it by some coursebook designers and publishers only to give out, at times, some skillfully marketed masses of rubbish (Brumfit 1979: 30; quoted in McGrath 2003:12). This has necessitated the rise and growth of a plethora of textbook description, analysis, and evaluation frameworks in the field8. Two out of the key parameters, which have won consensus amongst curriculum, syllabus and coursebook evaluators, directly concern the context analysis as well as the survey of learner needs. Both of these are turned to in the next sub-section.

1.2 RAWT3-related Contextual Considerations In extension to the previous sub-section, which placed RAWT3 within the context of the recent developments in syllabus design and theory, the present part will now situate the textbook under discussion in closer relation to the Omani instructional context and, much more narrowly, to the needs of the EEP student community at Sohar Secondary School for General Education. The data provided below are only quick notes from a more detailed report available in Appendices Two and Three. 1.2.1 The Learning/Teaching Context Sultanate of Oman's students are given up to twelve years of English language instruction at state-run schools. These are spread over a period of nine years in Grades 1-9 at junior-senior, Basic Education schools and three years later in Grades 10-12 at senior-high Schools for General Education. Senior-high students have five to six 45minute English classes per week; those enrolled in the EEP have only three. Despite genuine efforts to modernize the teaching of English, the syllabus is still prescribed by the centralized Ministry of Education and implemented in one way or another by a majority of non-native teachers of variously national, academic and teaching backgrounds, which negatively impacts on the status of English in the long run (Nunan et al 1987)9. Lessons revolve around the usual four skills in addition to grammar and vocabulary, and are almost totally delivered in a teacher-fronted way. Continuous as well as end-of-term evaluation and assessment are tightly textbookbound, which rather gives way to rote-learning, little, if ever, exposure to extra material, and to many instances of cheating during exams, as it must be mentioned,. 1.3.2 The EEP Learners The overall negative depiction of the Omani instructional context above has to suffer yet other serious effects when considering the plight of the EEP learners here involved. A glance through Appendix Three should be informative enough to mentally visualize their rather low proficiency learning variables. Some of these noticeably include: an overwhelmingly weak level at all language skills, rather limited study skills, including access to dictionaries, computer facilities, library books and other learning materials, a heavy dependence on rote-learning and cheating during examinations, and a tendency not to perceive English as a world language or a skill immediately related to their own needs and existence (Nunan et al 1987)

The implications of these as well as other similar characteristics available in Appendix Three are to be spelled out in Sections Three and Four below.

2- RAWT3: A DESCRIPTION OVERVIEW

2.1 General Observations: RAWT3 is the third of a three-level writing series designed for pre-intermediate students (Both the teaching context and the age group of the target students have not been specified). It is made up of 18 units, each with a distinct 11-to-14-exercise theme. As stated in the Teacher's Guide (TG)'s Introduction (Appendix Four), it is meant to provide material for 40 to 45 teaching hours. 2.2 Aims and Objectives: The overall aim of RAWT3, as stated in the Student's Book blurb (Appendix Six) and the TG Introduction, is to provide "systematic" development of students' reading and writing skills via carefully selecting a wide range of unit themes to appeal and motivate learners at pre-intermediate level, starting each unit with a written input based on a "real-life communicative situation to develop students' reading skills to serve as a model for their own written work", following input texts with a set of vocabulary and grammar exercises to help students produce successfully fluent and accurate pieces of writing, exposing learners to a miscellany of text genres, familiarizing students with a wide variety of reading skills, supplying writing tip boxes so as to help students with the structure of each piece of composition, and providing paragraph plans to give learners step-by-step guidance and support.

From its part, the four-heading "Contents" page (Appendix Seven) yields further indicative clues as to the realization of RAWT3's aims and objectives on a unit-wise basis. As illustrated in the extract below, the unit entries invariably specify UNITS UNIT 15 page p.64 READING SKILLS - reading for detailed understanding WRITING SKILLS GRAMMAR - making suggestions -advice / suggestion esp. conditionals type 2

Trouble Shared

- a letter offering - matching topics to advice to a relative paragraphs - reconstructing a text

the types of reading sub-skills in focus, the communicative purpose as well as the genre of the piece of writing, and the grammatical / structural item thought suitable for tackling the composition exercise.

Surprisingly, this continuum misses out two key components: vocabulary and, at a lesser degree, speaking; the latter being stressed in the TG Introduction as an indispensable in-class activity "before the exercise is assigned as written homework". 2.3 Underlying Syllabus and Course Design Principles Considering the overview description above, it might be inferred that RAWT3's design rests, most prominently, on the following views of language and language learning: View of Language: Language is a set of rules and patterns which need to be learned and internalized step by step. Language is made up of discrete units hence, the expediency to expose learners to a variety of "accuracy" exercises. Language is used for purpose and, thus, varies according to the context / topic / situation it may be used in.

View of Learning: Language is a linear and additive development. Each of the items is to be learnt separately. Once mastered, a different one is then moved onto. The learnt set of rules or patterns provides for effective, communicative writing skills. Learners indiscriminatingly learn items at either the same or similar rate. Writing is a culmination of model reading, lexical and grammatical inputs. The teacher is la fois a giver of knowledge about language and a monitor of opportunities to get the students to produce extended pieces of discourse.

As could be expected, these two sets of views are to exert a considerably powerful influence at many a level. Their impact is notably manifest in the potential learning context RAWT3 happens to be implemented in, the methodology it embraces, the roles it expects from the teacher and learners, the way it is actually designed and produced

as a skills book, and, ultimately, the extent to which it meets the requirements of its target students. The next Section will give brief consideration to the two latter. 3- RAWT3: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS The chief aim of the present section is to critically analyze the coursebook herein concerned in terms of its underpinning assumptions and of the extent to which it actually meets the needs and expectations of the EEP community described in Subsection 1.3.2 earlier. 3.1 Course Design Premises Based on the overview description Section above, the principles RAWT3 draws on tend to derive from an integrated, multilayered approach to language learning, with stress on the functional, syntactic and lexical aspects of English on the one hand, and on the learning strategies for fostering learners' reading and writing skills on the other. The realization of this bi-focal objective is conceived attainable through a series of exercises which call on the inductive and deductive faculties in students. The initial assumptions just identified have engendered several merits as to the ultimate state of the Coursebook. Their subsequent positive impact is outstandingly tangible in the latter's selection of topics and themes which undeniably appeal to its teenaged audience. Its inclusion of graphic and written inputs, along with study and writing tips, so as to maximize motivation and performance in students. Its devising of lexical and syntactic exercises which prove of tremendous assistance and relevance as to carrying the ultimate writing assignments and projects. Its pedagogically realistic stance in approaching the writing skill as a combination of process and product. Its genuine efforts to live to its claim as a reading-to-writing skills book from one unit to another. Its success in exposing the targeted writing students to a variety of writing genres

Irrespective of these advantages, RAWT3 does seem to suffer, at least, three major deficiencies. These are summed up in the following points: a- General syllabus tradition: As preconceived by its co-authors, the skills book under consideration pertains to Type A syllabus category. In so doing, it

manifests conformity to the notoriously "traditional definition of a syllabus as an organized statement of content of things to be learnt" (White 1988: 91). b- Methodology bias: RAWT3 shows ample evidence for tendency towards intervention in the learning process as well as the pre-selection, specification and presentation of content. Such a strand gives too much preference for a product-oriented, end-means model of coursebook design hence, its condemnation by proponents of procedural, process, and learning- or learnercentred one ( Long and Crookes 1992; Prabhu 1987; Nunan 1988b: 20). c- Approach to Units: It seems that the co-authors' use of such terms as "systematic development", "real-life communicative situation", and "task" (Appendix Four) is deliberately aimed at highlighting their adherence to a task-based model to English instruction. The practical materialization of this allegiance tends to prove extremely questionable, though. For it displays but little correspondence, if at all, to the construct of "pedagogic tasks" which, in short, necessitates a considerably high level of active learner involvement, communicative interaction and cognitive processing while tackling the task assignment as a communication problem to solve (Nunan 2004: 1-4). Seen from this perspective, it very much fails to meet the above-mentioned characteristics and would, most expectedly, result in a quite limited range of "routes, media, modes of participation, [and] procedures", as has been the case with other coursebooks with a similar trend (Candlin 1987, cited in Nunan 1988a: 45-6).

3.2 Accountability and Congruence As pointed at in the preceding sub-section, RAWR3 undeniably offers many positive aspects. This is said, it should be stressed that the Coursebook, not least by the mere fact of being a global textbook, imminently sparks off serious problems of suitability with many an instructional context around the world. The one here considered will happen to be yet another case in point. Indeed, a perusal of the data in Sub-section 1.3 above would not fail to reveal the number of gaps between the expectations of the coursebook and the realities it has to confront when implemented with students whose profile is not dissimilar to that described in Sub-section 1.2.3. These, most pertinently, concern

The high level of English language command that RAWR3 conspicuously imposes on the EEP students when dealing with either skill in target (See Appendix Eight for a sample). The option for reading inputs whose settings, events, and characters are, in all cases, non-Arab and culturally-specific thus, further straining the content schemata of the students in focus. The suggestion of writing topics that have little in common with the daily life here in Sohar.

The expectation that these writing topics may very well be carried out in fourto-five paragraph format by students who, in their majority, are just simply incapable of producing an accurate, one-to-three-sentence written discourse.

Understandably enough, these and other similar points exert an urgent need for adapting RAWR3 to the EEP community at Sohar Secondary School and, by extension, to their peers with identical profiles elsewhere in the Sultanate. A few suggestions in this regard are put forth in the next Section. 4- RECOMMENDATIONS In light of the preceding Sections, it is felt crucial to realize that RAWR3, however well-designed, simply cannot be expected to be ideally suited to each and every learning context. The discrepancies between its potentialities and the practical difficulties surrounding its implementation (Section 1.3) urgently require EEP teachers to consider the following set of recommendations: A critical stance towards the content, aims and procedures of any Units which might prove well beyond the intellectual, cultural or linguistic reach of the students, as is the case with Units 3, 6, 9, and 12. A more independent and creative attitude towards the prescribed textbook. This will greatly maximize the teachers' possibilities for inspiration and a sense of partnership with RAWR3's co-authors (Cunningsworth 1984: 65). Adoption of language learning procedures and techniques inspired by a genuine drive for humanizing the imposed coursebook and the classroom (Tomlinson 2003).

5- CONCLUSION The present essay has attempted to provide a critical analysis of RAWT3 a commercial coursebook recently authorized for use in an Omani teaching and learning context. The chief concern was to relate the textbook in question "as it is" to the specific needs of the student community at Sohar Secondary School for General Education. Based on the tripartite data deriving from syllabus design theory, the description and analysis of RAWT3 and learners' needs, a set of recommendations for amending the Evans and Dooley series book for near future use in the Sultanate was also suggested. Given its scope, the paper has limited itself to approaching RAWT3 according to the three parameters mentioned above. In so doing, it missed out higher-order data which could only be derived from testing out the "Trojan Horse" Textbook against "what may actually happen in classrooms" (Littlejohn 1998: 191). This unfortunate lacuna may be adequately filled out, in its own right, in a separate paper based on an Action Research framework. Only then, could RAWT3, and, by extension, other similar coursebooks, best reveal their real value as active, dynamic contributors to the learning processes.

END NOTES 1- According to Tomlinson (1998: x), a "global coursebook" is one " which is not written for learners from a particular culture or country but which is intended for use by any class of learners in the specified level and age group anywhere in the world ". 2- This term, following Tomlinson's (1998) definition, should be understood here as "A textbook which provides the core materials for a course. It aims to provide as much as possible in one book and is designed so that it could serve as the only book which the learners necessarily use during a course. Such a book usually includes work on grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, function and the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking (ix). 3- Type A and Type B Taxonomy:
a- Syllabus orientation to learning process b- Attitude towards the learner Type A Interventionist; giving priority to the pre-selection of linguistic or other content or skill objectives . external to the learner . other-directed . determined by authority c- Teacher/student roles . teacher as a decision-maker Type B Non-interventionist; experiential; "natural growth" approach to the learning process . internal to the learner . inner directed or self- fulfilling . negotiated between teachers and learners . learner and teacher as joint decision-makers . teacher doing things to the learner d- Language content . content = what the subject is to the expert . content = a gift from the teacher or knower . teacher doing things for or with the learner . content = what the subject is to the learner . content = what the learner brings and wants . content is subordinate to learning processes and pedagogical e- syllabus objectives defined in advance procedures described afterwards

(adapted from White 1988: 45-6) 4- "A synthetic language teaching strategy is one in which the different parts of language are taught separately and step-by-step so that acquisition is a process of

10

gradual accumulation of the parts until the whole structure of the language has been built up" (Wilkins 1976) 5- See Robinson (1998) for a state of the art article which establishes second language syllabus design in light of recent SLA theory; Richards and Rodgers (2001) and McDonough and Shaw (2003: 40-58) for further details and analysis. 6- According to Nunan (2004), an analytic syllabus is " A syllabus based on the notion that learners can acquire language by holistic "chunks" of language and then analyzing the language into its component parts, rather than having the language broken down for them. Topic and content-based syllabuses are analytic in nature (212). 7- As Klimov and Suchnkov) 2001:9) explain " The former reflects what the learner needs to do in the target situation, what communication purpose, communicative setting, or the means of communication is, what language skills, functions, or structures the learner will need to acquire. The latter answers the question of what the learner needs to do in order to learn, what his/her learning purpose, learning style, resources, or profile are". 8- See, for instance, the models proposed by McDonough and Shaw (2003), McGrath (2002), Tomlinson (ed.) (1998) and Cunningsworth (1984; 1995). 9- Almost two decades ago, Nunan et al (1987: 3) noted the problems presented by the various backgrounds of the expatriate teaching workforce, especially insofar as their teaching methodology was concerned. Their observation still holds true, in my view.

6- REFERENCES Arnold, J. (ed.) (1999), Affect in Language Learning, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Assessment Document Development Committee for English (2005), Student Assessment Document for English: Grades 10 to 12, Muscat: Sultanate of Oman's Ministry of Education. Batstone, R. (1988), "Teachers and course design: the case for a modular approach", ELTJournal 42, 3: 185-94. Breen, M. (1984), "Process syllabuses for the language classroom". In C.J. Brumfit (ed.), General English Syllabus Design,Oxford: Pergamon. Brumfit, C. (1979), "Seven last slogans", Modern English Teacher 7, 1: 30-1. Brumfit, C.J. (ed.) (1984), General English Syllabus Design,Oxford: Pergamon. 11

Candlin, C. (1987), "Towards task-based language learning". In C. Candlin and D. Murphy (eds.), Language learning Tasks, Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall. Cunningsworth, A. (1984), Evaluating and Selecting EFL Teaching Materials, London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd. Cunningsworth, A. (1995), Choosing your Coursebook, London: Longman. Evans, V. and J. Dooley (2001), Reading and Writing Targets 3, Student's Book, Newbury: Express Publishing. Evans, V. and J. Dooley (2001), Reading and Writing Targets 3, Teacher's Book, Newbury: Express Publishing. Hutchinson, T. and A. Waters (1987), English For Specific Purposes: A Learning Centred Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Johnson, K. (1982), Communicative Syllabus Design and Methodology, Oxford: Pergamon Institute of English. Klimov, B. and H. Suchnkov (2001),"Some tips for syllabus design", IATEFL Issues June-July, 9-10. Littlejohn, A.(1998), " The analysis of language teaching materials: inside the Trojan Horse". In B. Tomlinson (ed.), Materials Development in Language Teaching, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 190-216. Long, M.H. and G. Crookes (1992), "Three approaches to task-based syllabus design",TESOLQuarterly,26,1:2756. [27January,2006]http://www.iei.uiuc.edu/TESOLOnline/texts/longcrookes/ Mac Grath, I. (2002), Materials Evaluation and Design for Language Teaching, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. McDonough, J. and C. Shaw (2003), Materials and Methods in ELT. 2nd edn. Malden, Ma., USA: Blackwell. Munby, J. (1978), Communicative Syllabus Design, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nunan, D. (1988a), Syllabus Design. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Nunan, D. (1988b), The LearnerCentred Curriculum, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nunan, D. (2004), Task-Based Language Teaching, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

12

Nunan, D., D. Watton and M. Tyacke (1987), Philosophy and Guidelines for the Omani English Language School Curriculum, Muscat: Sultanate of Oman's Ministry of Education. Prabhu, N.S. (1987), Second Language Pedagogy, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Reilly, T. (1988), "Approaches to foreign language syllabus design", ERIC Digest ED 295460. Richards, J.C. and T.S. Rodgers (2001), Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching.2nd ed, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Robinson, P. (1998), "State of the art: SLA theory and second language syllabus design", The English Teacher Online 22, 4. [28 January, 2006] http://langue.hyper.chubu.ac.jp/jalt/pub/tlt/98/apr/robinson/html. Tomlinson, B. (1998), "Glossary of basic terms for materials development in language teaching". In B. Tomlinson (ed.), Materials Development in Language Teaching, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, viii-xiv. Tomlinson, B. (ed.), Materials Development in Language Teaching, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tomlinson, B. (2003), "Humanizing the language class", Guidelines 25, 2: 4-9. Ullmann, R. (1982), "A broadened curriculum framework for second languages", ELT Journal 36, 4: 255-62. White, R.V. (1988), The ELT Curriculum: Design, Innovation And Management. Oxford: Blackwell. Wilkins, D.A. (1976), Notional Syllabuses. Oxford : Oxford University Press

7- APPENDICES

APPENDIX ONE: RAWT3 Writing Tasks Sheet (an extract)

13

14

APPENDIX TWO: The Omani Learning/Teaching Context The data, provided below in a Prompts-Notes format, concern only two out of Cunningsworth (1995: 149)'s four-category, 27-item checklist for specifying aims and analyzing the learning/ teaching situation. The Sultanate of Oman is one of the Arabian Gulf states, with a population of approximately 2,331,000 people about 75% of them are Omani nationals; 49% Females; 51% Males: around 40% illiterate as per the Year 2003 Census releases. It presents the following features: 8- a- Status of English: First foreign language since 1970. Recently used as a medium instruction at Science, Medicine, Engineering and Agriculture faculties at Sultan Qaboos University. Widely used in banks, hospitals, hotels, private firms dealings especially in major cities and towns and where expatriates are predominant. Limited use as a communication channel amongst young nationals at and outside home. b- Role of English in Oman: A resource for local development as well as a a means of communication with non-Arab-speaking nations worldwide. 10- a- Main purposes for learning English: To raise the consciousness of pupils, including those aspiring to enter tertiary institutions, in relation to the following " four dimensions of a language learner: 1. As a communicating individual (the development of communicative competence) 2. As a learner (the development of strategies in learning how to learn a language) 3. As a social being (the development of social interaction) 4. As a person ( the development and affirmation of personality)". ( Nunan et al 1987:3) b- Programme intensity: Compulsory tuition from Grades 1 through 12 at all public, state-funded institutions. c- Availability for learning English:
LEVEL CYCLE YEAR PERIOD/WEEK LENGTH OF PERIOD TIME/ WEEK

Basic Education Basic Education Secondary Education Secondary Education

1 2

1-4 5-9 10 11-12

5 5 5 6

40 mins. 40 mins. 45 mins. 45 mins.

200 mins. 200mins. 225 mins 225 mins.

15

English Elective Grades

11-12

45 mins.

138 mins

10- Materials and equipment resources available in the school: 36 classrooms; two physics labs; two chemistry labs; two computer labs; a library; an OHP; taperecorders; two photocopiers; English language book-boxes; English Arabic dictionaries. 11- Size of the classes: EEP classes: 25-30; others: 35-39 12- Class homogeneity level: one single level per class/grade; mixed-ability students; strict sex segregation (except for a few schools scattered in remote, mountainous areas. Age ranging between 15 and 19. 13- Predominant values of the educational system: emphasis on knowledge and on individual preparation for a place in society. Future use of language systems: both productively and receptively

APPENDIX THREE: Learner Factors and Needs at Sohar Secondary School for General Education The learners involved in the present coursebook description and analysis are about 150 out of 1,130 in total. They are all males in their final, pre-university class. They all come from Sohar, the second largest city in the country. The majority of them are Omani nationals; the rest are Sudanese, Egyptians, and one Algerian newcomer from Nottingham, England. They are taught by four Omani teachers, three Egyptians, three Tunisians and one Sudanese. They display a wide range of learner factors and of learner needs, as shown below: Learner Factors (Based on a Summary of Learner Factors compiled by McGrath (2002: 19)) a- Age range: 18-19 b- L2 proficiency level: predominantly pre-intermediate; little homogeneity within learner groups c- First language: Arabic d- Socio-cultural background: Muslims; strong allegiance to Sunni, Abadhi, and Shiite precepts e- Occupation: fishing on week-ends(minority) f- Reasons for studying English: part of the curriculum; future academic and vocational purposes for some g- Attitude to learning English: English overwhelmingly seen as a subject like any other not as a skill; not learned as a second language or "perceived as functionally relevant to their existence" (Nunan et al 1987); fearful attitude to

16

English (bte noire); respect towards, and cooperation with, teachers and School Staff h- Previous language-learning of English: more or less 9 years i- Language-learning aptitude: rather weak j- General expectations of The coursebook: preparation for the end-of-term examinations The teacher: a facilitator; a spoon-feeder; a mediator; a translator Their own role: teacher-dependent

k- Specific wants: varied l- Preferred learning styles: analytic; indiscrete bits; rote learning (and cheating whenever possible) m- Sex distribution: single sex (many of them showing gay behaviour) n- Interests : football; basketball; swimming; dancing Learners' L2-related Needs ( Based on McGrath, ibid) a- Dialect: British English b- Language-skills: writing c- Contexts and situation of use: class and school magazines; web chatting; English language assessment portfolio d- Sub-skills: joining sentences; building sentences out of dehydrated ones; writing extended written discourse based on graphic cues e- Notions: miscellaneous f- Functions: miscellaneous g- Language-system emphasis: grammar and lexis h- Language forms: elementary structures and vocabulary items i- Future use of language systems: both productively and receptively j- Attention to writing mechanics: spelling and punctuation

APPENDIX FOUR: Teacher's Guide's Introduction

17

18

19

APPENDIX FIVE: A schedule presenting the "explicit" nature of RAWT3 (Adapted from Littlejohn (1998: 197) in Tomlinson (ed.))

Title : Author : Publisher: ISBN:

Reading and Writing Targets Student's Book 3 Evans and Dooley Express Publishing (2001) 1-84325-267-8

A. BOOK AS A WHOLE 1. Type : supplementary; class use for pre-intermediate students 2. Intended audience : Age range: not specified School: pre-intermediate Location: worldwide 3. Extent : a. Components: durable "Student's Book"; Teacher's Book; supplementary, consumable Writing Tasks Sheets (Appendix One) b. Total estimated time: 40-45 hours (Teacher's Book) 4. Design and layout 1 colour SBk, 79 pp (+ Appendix figuring 1 colour photofile section : 81-104 pp); 1 black-and-white TBk 47 pp 5. Distribution a. Materials cassette tape script answer key guidance on use of class materials b. Access index/ word list detailed content list section objective Teacher [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] Learners [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

6. Route through material specified user-determined 7. Subdivision

[ ]

18 units with 18 different themes ( Unit One is a detailed introduction devoted writing strategies, with standardized exercises throughout.

20

B. OVERVIEW OF AN EXTRACT (Unit Two: Everyday People) 1. Length: 1 theme out of 18 2. Exercise Sequence : 1 A rubric; 2 An article (reading); 3 Comprehension questions; 4 Vocabulary exercise STUDY TIP 5 Vocabulary exercise; 6 Vocabulary exercise; 7 Grammar exercise; 8 Grammar exercise STUDY TIP 9 Grammar exercise; 10 Grammar exercise; 11 Grammar exercise WRITING TIP 12 An article (reading); 13 Writing topic; 14 Writing plan box.

APPENDIX SIX: RAWT3's Blurb

APPENDIX SEVEN: RAWT3's Contents Page

21

22

APPENDIX EIGHT: A Copy of RAWT3's Unit Nine

23

24

Оценить