A Textbook Evaluation of Speech Acts and Language Functions in High School English Textbooks (I, II AndIII) and Interchange Series, Books I, II, And III
Although English textbooks are considered as a key component in English language teaching programs, they have been criticized for not offering classroom learner’s adequate opportunity for learning authentic language (Vellenga, 2004). This is because, instead of making use of language samples that native speakers actually produce, many textbooks have drawn on native speakers’ intuition about language use, which might not always be reliable. This study investigated the use of speech acts presented in Iranian high School English Textbooks I, II, and III and New Interchange series (I, II, III) which are quite popular in Iranian language schools and institutions. For this purpose, speech acts in the conversations were analyzed to see how they were presented through Searle’s (1976) speech act model. There were 1100 different speech acts used in New Interchange series while there were only 275 speech acts used in high school textbooks. The language functions in the two mentioned series were also compared, there were a variety of language functions used in the New Interchange series while in the high school English textbooks they were presented unequally and some of them recurred throughout the books which followed no specific pattern. Since high school English textbooks in Iran are not communicatively oriented, the researcher concluded that these books cannot develop the pragmatic competence in the language learners or students. Finally, some recommendations were offered for the textbook designers and language teachers in dealing with the speech acts in high school English textbooks.
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