Evaluation the English textbook for EFL learners at Secondary School in Thailand
English language is one of the mostly learnt foreign languages in the world. In Thailand or in any other country, the role of the EFL instructor is a vital one as English proficiency is one of the major requirements of the institutions. As far as Thailand is concerned, EFL class is majorly dependent on the instructions of the teacher and the teacher plays the primary role of an academic speaker. This essay attempts to shed light on the several aspects of a particular English textbook in accordance with its potency in improving the language skills of Grade 12 students who study English as a foreign language at secondary school in Thailand. In order to do so, a particular unit and two tasks from that unit have been selected for scrutiny. Adaptation of the tasks has been elaborated prior to the rationale of the adaptation.
The reading materials of the books reflect the socio cultural factors of contemporary times. In the very first chapter of the book, the reading material reflects the domination of advertisement in the modern day. Therefore, the Mega Goal Student Book 6 provides a suitable forum for enhancing the interpretative skills of the learners through a specific demonstration of the relatives namely advertisement and globalization in modern day. The book attempts to project an overview on the evolution in the advertisement techniques that may be related to viewing habits of the consumers over the prevailing decades or two. Buzz Marketing has been projected with an alignment to personal insights development of the students contradicting to the proposed of modules of consumer-reach marketing and promotion techniques. Developing knowledge of the macro environment is equally important for the learners that is associated with their development needs.
The students that are considered here are 17-18 years and demographically Thais. Therefore they lack the basic knowledge of English. Therefore, their moot concern is to learn and focus on grammar and translation rather than exposing the language. It has also noticed that they have a negative attitude towards speaking in English because of they feel unnecessary to communicate in English instead of Thai. Therefore it is important for the teacher to make them understand the importance of English in the world.
The projection of a peculiar simulation to the students may act a catalytically for a positive reaction in the development of the communication skills. The proposed procedure on future educational techniques emphasizes on being open to constructive analogue.
The teachers have sound knowledge of English grammar. However the major lack that is found is their inability to use technology in the teaching process. They have low competence as far as English speaking is concerned. They avoid to step out of the domain of text book and create their customize worksheets and learning materials.
The school on which the study is based is where I teach and it is a public secondary school and it only provides four hours a week to the students for studying English. Learning English is a compulsory curriculum for the students and they need to pass in the subject with a higher grade than D in the grade 10-12. As far as grade 7-9 students are concerned they need to only pass in the subject.
Principle of evaluating the material
English is one of the prime most used language in all over the world. Dubin & Olshtain (1986) commented that the textbook is a tangible element that is chiefly used for providing a face validity to the language course. Textbook has multiple roles according to Razmjoo (2007) and he also suggested that working with a textbook indicates a sense of progress, security and achievement as well. Textbooks are effective source of presenting materials for teachers and it is also an important source of self-directed learning (Cuuingsworth, 2013). There are several strategies that are used in the textbooks in order to achieve the learning objectives.
The evolving viewership habits of the identified consumer base have been indicated for a daily exposure of 400 advertisements per customer. Emphasize by the Thai Ministry of Education on the English proficiency for the learners and a mandatory inclusion in Thai curriculum has been aligned the developmental analogue of the nominated book. The exposure of the candidates to the various advertisement techniques may aid in the development of an interest in the Thai students, which may influence the need of a suitable framework for English coaching in Thailand. The differential paradigms reflected through the Mega Goal book projected advertisement techniques resembles on the aspect of English proficiency in the domains of respective role-plays (Cohen, 2014).
Evaluation of the book as a whole
Flexibility in the development of the skill set may be related to the active integration of a periodic structural activity. The escalation of the arbitrary components may be related to the evaluation skills of the learners, which is influenced by the alignment of the teaching modules to the respective interpretative capabilities of the learners. Advertisement Exposure of the consumers has been scientifically intercepted to be related to the evolution in the viewership trends with a through influence of the digitalisation in trade. Therefore, the projecting of a nominal percent of sale based on the daily advertisement exposure may be demonstrated through a role-play. The viability of the resources that may be utilized for the development of the EFL can be confined through the traditional ways of learning. It emphasizes on the requirement of a suitable and interactive modules that may aid the students in relating to the prevailing business trends all around the globe (Niazi, Siddiqui, Alishah & Hunjra, 2012).
Analysis and evaluation of a simulation or scenario are separated by the virtues of operational techniques and objectives. Therefore, the evaluation of the performance promotes the integration of specific embellishes. However, analysis of performance may be performed at a regular and individual level. The influence of Listening skills can be extended in the development of the pronunciation and vocabulary building blocks of the candidates. The elementary standards of profile development can be promoted through a inclusion of the operational techniques resembling to the acquisition capabilities of the students. Therefore, the achievement of proportionate standards of skill development can be aligned to the sustainable traits of modern day business.
As opined by González‐Howard & McNeill (2016), an integration of the influences to the business environment can be intercepted, documented and projected utilizing English as the language for communication which justifies emphasizes of the Thai Ministry of Education on English in the Core curriculum. The frequently used terms by the consumers in order to reflect their disposable limits preferably for a day are namely broke, blow, max out and bear it etc. For escalating the standards of designated operation in an industry, an acquaintance to this nomenclatures concerning buyer behavior is essential for an aspirant. Therefore, the acquisition of an overview on the influence of the advertisement on the buying habits has been demonstrated through a justification on the constructive analogue of learning. The utility of English in the global styles of communication can be intercepted through the modules of the Mega Goal Student Book 6, which justifies its alignment to the core curriculum and inclusion in the regular classes (Grade 12) Similar techniques of teaching may expand the weekly period vested by the students for English learning, which may make a purposeful alignment of the teaching techniques to realistic scenarios of trade all across the globe.
As far as this particular book is concerned, the first glance evaluation has been used to evaluate the book as a whole.(see in appendices) Several components that are necessary in teaching grade 12 students are present in the book as per the evaluation provided below.
Practical consideration: At a glance at the complete book, it seems that the book is affordable for students belonging to different strata of the society. The major components that function as the primary learning components are present in the book. However, the book could have been helpful to a great extent if it would have been more elaborative. Several sections or chapters are not explained in a detailed manner. The level of the book is preferable for grade 11 and grade 12 students, hence, it can be considered as multi level. Mega Goal 6 starts with a sequence page that includes the categories that are highlighted in the unit. This helps the teacher to understand the moot essence of the unit and the focal point that he or she needs to work on.
Support for teaching and learning: The book is suitable for self study for the students who read English as their first language but it is not suitable for the students of EFL in Thailand. It can be considered as a teacher friendly text but in order to increase the effectiveness of learning, the teacher needs to customize the lessons as per the learning needs of the students in a EFL classroom.
Context relevance: The most important aspect of the book is the reading materials reveal a lot regarding the culture of the language in a contemporary context. Apart from that, the book is for 11-12 grade learners who are in the age between 16 to 18 years old and the course at aims at improve the grammatical expertise and language used of the students who study English as a foreign language. It can be used for the purpose of examination, as there are several tasks and activities in the book.
Appeal to the learners: The learners find this book to be practical and several sections of the book appeal to their visual senses because of the colorful images. The layout of the book is simple and it is comprehensive for the students of EFL in Thailand. The book is suitable for middle term and the topics focus primarily on the vocabulary, reading skills, conversational skills and improving grammar for the practical purpose.
Evaluation of the chosen unit
Mega Goal Student book 6 is consisted of several units. Unit 5 of this student book is one of the potent units that provide the opportunity for the students to improve their language skill which is one of the major criteria in increasing the proficiency of speaking English as a foreign language. This particular unit has been chosen in order to evaluate the adaptability of the provided tasks in classroom and to analyze their effectiveness.
Overview of the unit
For EFL teachers there are four main contents that the students must understand while learning a foreign language. The aspect of language and culture along with language with other learning areas are the aspects that the students need to know. As far as the unit 5 of the book is concerned, it is consisted of several significant tasks that are important in increasing the language skill of the students. The particular unit that is titled as Do you really need it? Primarily sheds light upon the skills that the students need to focus on. The learning details that are mentioned in this unit are classified according to different types of skills and practice.
This unit concentrates on Functions, grammar, listening, pronunciation, reading and writing. Evaluation of the unit clearly connotes that functions are the most important factor that this unit emphasize on. This unit is designed with the aim that after learning this unit the students will be able speak and use English language in real life and for practical purposes. As far as the book is concerned it covers four basic language skills but this particular unit adds grammatical knowledge and pronunciation for the extra practice of the students (Shih& Reynolds, 2015).
Tasks in the unit
Inception of the unit propagates with the listen and discussion part with the objective of increasing the potency of the students to talk in English along with providing necessary training for the listening skill.
The second part of this unit is the grammar part and it concentrates on the Adverb clause and its application. The lesson that is provided in this section is potently associated with the implementation of adverb clause and therefore it is useful.
The third part is associated with conversation. This section of the unit provides an effective example of a conversation, which is helpful in understanding minute details of a real life conversation in English language.
Part 4 is associated with the listening ability of the students. As one of the primary aspects of EFL is increasing the ability of communication of the students, comprehension by listening is of prior importance.
This part is associated with breeding activity and it reflects on the students’ ability of reading and the application. This reading section is consisted of long passages instead of brief ones.
The last section of this unit is promote the writing activity for students to improve their ability in writing. This section has an insufficiency of instruction as the book provides only technique of mind mapping and does not present the in-depth of explanation.
Evaluation of the unit in increasing the language skills of the students
Most significant part of this first chapter is that it provides the teacher with the opportunity to have a quick check of the student’s understanding of vocabulary and the listening comprehension. The content of this part is associated with advertisement and marketing. The content along with reflecting on the culture of the language also potently focuses on the verbal or sound communication tools to provide constructive messages. Reflecting on the cultural aspect and also practicing on the aspect of critical thinking the content of this chapter is written in locution and symbology form (Abdelhalim, 2017).This part can be adapted because the visual aspect of this part is captivating. As the unit starts with this part, it is important that the students find it interesting enough so that they can interest themselves throughout the session. It also helps the teacher to effectively concentrate on a reading session based on this particular section.
Although this section does not discuss the adverb clause in detail and focuses on the ability of the students to solve the provided exercises in the section. It would have been better if the section could reflect on the details regarding the classification of the adverb clause. It would have engaged the students in a process of in depth learning. This section fails to provide crisp and simple steps that are easier to grasp for the students of Thailand. However, the activities of this section are productive and help to increase the efficiency of the learners in practical application of the adverb clauses.
The most interesting part of this section is that apart from the section that provides an opportunity to ask questions, it also has a Real talk box for the students. The significance of this box lies in the fact that it shows few functions of language or to be more specific the functions of a real life conversation. It is important for a EFL task book to provide examples that can help the students to grasp the function of the real life conversation in that particular language. This box is very much useful as it provides clear meaning of the particular words and the students can easily understand the sense of the sentence used in the sentence (Baghaei & Riasati, 2015).
This section provides the students with the opportunity to better their conservation skills. The major benefit of this part is it is practical and it also helps the teacher to incorporate this exercise into classroom activity which is significant for an EFL class.
The vocabulary building part is not in alignment with the first section of this part. This part can be replaced after the Vocabulary quick check section as it is helpful in illustrating the students the effectiveness of understanding the vocabulary and also it is helpful in extending their knowledge of words before the reading comprehension. This change can facilitate the learning process to be smoother in classroom. The significance of the part is the vocabulary quick check section that provides a scope for learning new words for the students. Learning new words in order to enrich their vocabulary is of much significance for the students of EFL and the vocabulary exercises that are provided in the section paves the path for better learning of English language for the students of Thailand.
The reading section is of prior importance in increasing the English proficiency of the language learning students. The content of this part reflects upon the marketing strategies and the passages are long passages. It is a well known fact thatThai students struggle with vocabulary and it is important for them to enrich their vocabulary in order to improve their conversation and writing skills. Therefore, it is important for them to know new English words. This part requires improvement as the provided structure of the reading lessons are too lengthy and can not be covered in a 50 minute class. Brief and crisp reading sessions interest the students and also helps the teacher to complete each session at a time. The session could have been more effective if this part would have provided with brief passages that could be read by one single student at a time. In spite of lack in the reading section the writing exercise is interesting and also capable of captivating the minds of the students (Sugita McEown& Takeuchi, 2014).
This portion promotes the mind mapping technique. Language experts have opined that Mind Mapping technique is important in helping the students with their learning and writing skills. The students prefer these exercises as these are interesting to organize. The major factor that this part lacks is that this part does not have sufficient instructions. This could make students feel lost and indistinct when they do the exercise.It would have been easier for the teacher to facilitate the process of learning if the part could have had more explanations and examples (Sanchez& Borg, 2014).
Importance of the tasks
The tasks are important in engaging the students into classroom activities. Most of the tasks that this unit provides are aligned with skill development in English language and also helps the students to apply the knowledge in practical purpose (McDonough& McDonough, 2014). Along with that the significance of the unit lies in the content as it deals with the major aspects of the language. Learning a foreign language requires concentration and in order to develop that it is important for the teacher or the trainer to strategize according to the learning need of the students. The exercises and the activities of this book helps in capturing the minds of the students as they are interesting. Aligned with the level of learning needs of Grade 12 and Grade 11 students, it provides important aid in developing the English speaking and writing skills of the students (Yen et al. 2015).
Evaluation of two chosen tasks
The book “Mega Goal Student Book 6” has been chosen to conduct the entire study, in order to understand the definite implications of learning English as a foreign language. Thus, it can be propagated that, the tasks that are allocated within the textbook of English needs proper evaluation and it needs to be taken into proper consideration. From the book itself, two tasks have been selected in order to promulgate the effective ways of adapting the intricacies that are offered by the English textbook. The Unit 5 of the textbook has been chosen to conduct the study and to analyse the key facets that are associated with the learning of English as a foreign language (Brinton& Celce-Murcia, 2014).
Task 1: 3. Grammar (Pg. 42, 43)
The grammar section of the Unit 5 describes the primary facets and features of an adverb clause. An adverb clause is considered a dependent clause and it begins with an adverb. On the other hand, it can also be said that, the adverb in the adverb clause is always linked to an independent clause. Furthermore, in the viewpoint of Hsu (2013), it can be promulgated that, when an adverb clause begins, it is likely to happen that; comma is used for the sole purpose of separating it from the independent clause.
Thus, the entire task contains of five definite activities, which helps in evaluating the use of adverb clause in a sentence. The syntactical aspects, based on which an adverb clause is used also needs to be taken into proper consideration. On the other hand, it can also be said that, the use of punctuation also becomes prominent and useful after the attainment of learning about adverb clauses (Richards& Rodgers, 2014).
It is to be noted that, the first activity of the task demonstrates the matching of adverb clauses in order to frame an appropriate sentence. Thus, after teaching the facets of adverb clause, this task can be initiated in the class itself in order to make the students understand the ways by which they can frame a proper syntactical sentence out of it. Furthermore, the second activity of the task requires forming sentences out of adverbial clause phrases. The phrases have already been provided and the students need to identify the compatible phrase to be framed with a definite sentence. Thus, after an assessment of this activity, it can be said that, this task also needs to be initiated in the class as well. This is because, after the matching of essential adverb clauses with sentences, it is also important to understand the proficiency of the phrases that will be appropriate with the sentence framing.
On the other hand, the third activity of the task asks to combine each pair of the sentence with the use of appropriate word or phrase in the sentence in parentheses. Now the first question that might come into the minds of the students is that, what parentheses are. It needs to be evaluated to them. A parenthesis is a curvy, tall punctuation mark that is used to set off material that is not fundamentally connected to the main topic. The marks of parenthesis come in pairs, which tend to look somewhat similar to a first bracket [()]. Thus, after the students have attained an interactive session on the fundamental aspects of adverb clause, this activity can be provided as homework to them. It will help them to understand the proper placement of adverb clause and their predominant uses in a definite sentence scenario. The rest two activity of the task requires the same knowledge regarding the use of adverb clause, which can be given as homework to the students (Staub, 2017).
Task 2: 7. Vocabulary building (Pg. 45)
The second most important part of learning English as a foreign language is that, the students need to prepare a proper building of vocabulary, which is equally significant to understand the entire language briefly. Thus, the second task has been chosen to teach in the class in order to develop the effective skills of vocabulary in their mindset. The task contains two activities, which needs to proceeded with after a reading a comprehension that has been provided. Therefore, it can be propagated by the given task that, reading comprehension is another integrated part of building up essential vocabulary. The first activity of the task defines to match the words with the phrases that have been provided in columns. The student needs to match words with their appropriate meaning.
Thus, the entire task of vocabulary building needs to be done in the class itself, as the second activity of the task requires group work. However, the first activity of the task needs to match the meaning with the words that are being provided. Thus, after reading the comprehension in class, the students will attain an extensive understanding regarding the sentence structure and the ways by which writings are supposed to be. After reading, the students need to find the matching words from the comprehension and match them with the words that are given in the first activity. Thus, after an extensive assessment of the activities that are provided in the task, it can be propagated that, vocabulary building and vocabulary attainment plays a significant role in the attainment of a detailed understanding regarding the facets of vocabulary and grammar (Partridge, 2014).
Adaptation of the tasks
Therefore, after comprehending the facets of the tasks that have been chosen to conduct the study of English as a foreign language, it can be propagated that, there are certain ways by which the tasks can be adaptive to the students. Since the students in Thailand are learning English as a foreign language, thus, it is important to adopt definite ways by which the study can be more convenient to them. The ways are as follows:
In order to make the students understand the facets of adverb clause more potently, here are some of the effective ways by which the process can be initiated:
- It is to be noted that, when the students are being taught adverb clause, they need to keep this fundamental aspect in their mind that, not all of the adverb clauses can be reduced to definite adverbial phrases. The students need to be pointed out the subject of the adverb clause and the subject of the sentence, which needs to be in the same order in order to reduce the adverb clause. Furthermore, it can be propagated that, with the use of proper adverbial clause, it will be easier for the students to understand the definite ways by which the sentence can be framed with the help of adverb clauses.
- The second task states the importance of using vocabulary in order to understand the predominant facets of how a sentence structure is supposed to be. Furthermore, it can also be said that, in order to make the students aware of the proper and ideal structure of a sentence, it is important to make them read and comprehend their vocabulary skills. However, attending tasks out of textbooks are not substantially enough to make the students aware of the predominant needs and requirements of a proper syntactical sentence and their predominant approaches (Niazi et al. 2012).
●In order to teach the students a lesson regarding the use of adverbial clause, there can be interactive sessions, which will include audio visual aids, which will show the perfect use of the grammatical approach in a more convenient way. On the other hand, to make the students aware of their vocabulary skills, the students need to read English storybooks, which will allow them to understand the vitality of a sentence structure amidst a paragraph. If they find any difficulty in understanding specific words out of the sentences, then they can take the help of a dictionary in order to get the adequate meaning of it (Fauziati, 2014).
Rationale for the adaptation
It is to be noted that, the Thais students acquire English education as a foreign language. Naturally, it is likely to happen that, the Thai students face many problems in their studies and other curricular activities. Therefore, it can be propagated that, with the implementation of English education to the Thai students, it will be easier for them to understand the facets and features that are associated with the education of English. On the other hand, it is also important to note that, most of the Thai schools use a type of simple rote instructional method that they need to follows closely in order to receive the passing marks.
Thus, it can be evidently said that, in order to make the students understand the features and facets of English education, the Thai students need to learn English as a foreign language, for the sole purpose of communication and achieving better business opportunities. Thus, it can also be said that, with the implementation of English education on Thai students, it will be convenient for them to attain more opportunities in the near future.
It is to be noted that, spending time on studying the mechanics of sentence structure tends to make a huge difference in the writing of a student. The phrases and clauses are considered the building blocks of sentences. Therefore, it can be propagated that, teaching on the types of clauses at a secondary level has been quite motivational by the goal of helping the learners understand the work. This is because; it helps in the understanding of a better sentence structure. On the other hand, it can also be said that, the students need to have a better working knowledge of subjects, predicates and objects before they continue learning about the facets of effective learning.
Furthermore, it is to be noted that, the size of a student’s vocabulary is an epitome of the measure of educational attainment. It is also considered a key to academic success. The development of vocabulary in classroom of students who study English as a foreign language is a crucial success to reading. After a predictive survey, it has been found that, there has been marked difference between vocabulary developments in students from high to low income families. Vocabulary development also varies from person to person concerning to verbal interactions that takes place among their family members. Therefore, it can be propagated by stating the fact that, with the adaptation of learning clauses and vocabulary in the English classrooms, it will be convenient and easy for the students of Thailand to grab the fundamental aspects of grammatical approaches that needs to be taken into proper consideration.
In the light of the above study, it is evident that making language learning interesting in the classroom it is important to come up with customized strategies. Strategizing and planning the lesson effectively increases the training process and helps the students to enjoy language classes. Above discussion significantly reflects the potency of the used material in EFL classroom and therefore, it can be concluded that it is important for a language teacher to evaluate the textbook as a whole on order to understand the benefits regarding pedagogical implications that are helpful in a teaching process that is helpful for the students to learn best.