Advisor

Kimberley Brown

Date of Award

7-11-1996

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Department

Teaching English as a Second Language

Physical Description

1 online resource (183 p.)

Subjects

English language -- Textbooks for foreign speakers -- Evaluation, English language -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- Chinese speakers -- Taiwan

DOI

10.15760/etd.7047

Abstract

The English textbooks evaluated are used to prepare students for the competitive high school entrance examinations in Taiwan, thus students spend a great deal of time studying them. Though the textbooks were stated to be designed for language and cultural learning purposes, it seems no study exists that examines to what degree there is clear articulation between the government's stated culture learning goal and actual textbook content. Therefore, this study examines to what degree the textbooks allow students to reach said goal, that is, "to increase culture awareness of the societies and cultures of foreign countries and our own" (Junior High English Language Curriculum 1985, p.l). This study intends to answer five major questions: (1) what is the scope of the cultures presented?; (2) what sub-cultures represent Chinese and foreign cultures?; (3) what is the nature of inter and intracultural interactions between characters?; ( 4) what level( s) of culture do the textbooks deal with?; (5) how is the socio-cultural information presented? Hernandez's dissertation (1986) was followed in developing this study: the coding system was developed to correspond to the five questions above, and content analysis was the study method used. Data was gathered from two textbooks. Research revealed that the textbooks did not reflect the stated cultural study goal. The textbooks provided a narrow spectrum of socio-cultural elements, presenting the American culture as the only representative of foreign cultures. Both American and Chinese socio-cultural elements were portrayed on the surface level. Little interaction existed between Chinese and American cultures, with relationships confined to primarily acquaintances, and the issues discussed limited to daily life and trivial issues. The readings emphasized surface level culture with few attempts at linking more overt behavioral and cultural features. Most of the readings discussed information from a historical view, and the post-reading questions presented in the textbooks focused on a factual nature.

Description

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/29849

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