EFL speech act teaching: Analysis of senior high school English textbooks in Taiwan
Chen, S Hua
Yu, Ming Chung
Chen, S Hua
Speech Act Teaching
English Textbooks Analysis
|上傳時間: ||2013-09-04 14:54:07 (UTC+8)|
The principles and characteristics of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) have been brought into senior high school English textbooks editing in Taiwan since 1995. Among the four components of communicative competence, sociolinguistic competence is the key to successful communication and can be shown through the use of speech acts. This study, therefore, intended to probe into how speech act teaching is carried out in senior high school English textbooks in Taiwan. Firstly, the frequency of the five much used and explored speech acts—compliment, request, apology, complaint, and refusal—in the conversation part of two sets of the most popular senior high school English textbooks in Taiwan—Textbook F and Textbook S—was counted. Then, the preference, American or Chinese, as well as cross-cultural comparisons and contrasts in both the textbooks and teachers’ manuals, were examined. Lastly, the common co-occurring phenomenon of supportive moves and small talk in speech acts was analyzed cross-culturally and related explanations in both the textbooks and teachers’ manuals were investigated as well.
The results showed that most of the five speech acts were not appropriately distributed in both sets of the textbooks, and that Textbook F offered much more Chinese preference than American one, while Textbook S provided proportionately more American preference than Chinese one, in presenting the five speech acts. However, no matter which preference both sets of textbooks favored, there were almost no cross-cultural comparisons and contrasts made in the textbooks or their corresponding teachers’ manuals. As to the presentation of supportive moves and small talk, the findings showed that Textbook F did not present enough supportive moves and small talk in the speech acts of compliment, request, and complaint, and that Textbook S did not display enough supportive moves and small talk in the speech acts of request and complaint for students to learn from, and if supportive moves or small talk were presented, there were still no further explanations in the textbooks or their corresponding teachers’ manuals to point out cultural differences between American and Chinese usage. With regard to the findings in this study, some pedagogical implications are provided. Firstly, although the senior high school English textbooks in Taiwan, at least Textbook F and Textbook S, have not taken speech act teaching so seriously, it is quite important for teachers to introduce the knowledge of speech acts to make students learn how to communicate more effectively. Secondly, as an English teacher in Taiwan, increasing our knowledge of speech act teaching becomes a ‘must’ since there are no or few explanations of cross-cultural differences of speech acts and their supportive moves or small talk in the textbooks or teachers’ manuals. Thirdly, textbook publishers in Taiwan should reflect upon the appropriate way to present the conversation part in textbooks to improve students’ sociolinguistic competence through speech act teaching. Last but not least, the coding scheme used for analyzing the preference, American or Chinese one, in this research, can not only be helpful to future researchers conducting similar studies on other sets of textbooks in Taiwan, but also offer teachers criteria to make judgments on the organization of the conversation part in textbooks and provide them the background knowledge of speech act teaching at the same time.
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