A multimodal Visual Analysis (Published)
This paper is concerned with the multimodal visual analysis of selected second language (l2) English textbooks written by Nigerian authors for the teaching of English phonemes in secondary schools. The paper compared the multimodal visual resources used by the various authors for the teaching of English phonemes, to know if they make use of similar semiotic mode; how the audio-visual mode was used effectively, and the implication of English textbooks without audio-visual mode. The data for this paper were extracted from the selected textbooks and analysed using Halliday’s (1976) three metafunctions of language, which was developed in Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (1996; 2006) Grammar of Visual Design (GVD). Findings showed that the authors of the selected textbooks used different multimodal resources such as images, verbal texts and instructions to discuss the selected phonemes. We found out that while NCE and MBE used images to support the verbal texts in order for learners to understand the effective ways of learning English phonemes, NOSEC and EFEL did not make use of images, they only gave verbal texts and created rooms for teachers to guide the learners. In sum, none of the selected textbooks used audio-visual resources in form of CD-ROMs to aid learners’ understanding.
The Place and Pedagogical Function of the Scientific Image in Morocca Life and Earth Sciences Textbooks (Published)
The discovery of details, knowledge of the structures and composition of biological and geological elements is a very important step in the understanding of the scientific phenomena programmed in the SVTs lessons. Thus, scientific evolution has made it possible to explore different levels of organisation at ever deeper levels, whether in biology or geology, through the innovation of instruments and tools for exploration and observation, ranging from a simple magnifying glass to sophisticated techniques such as tomography or medical imaging. Textbooks transpose the results of these observations into scientific images that help learners to understand the phenomena under study as well as to develop a critical mind towards the proposed contents and to problematize their own knowledge within the framework of a competency-based approach that is adopted by the Moroccan education system. With the aim of evaluating the place and functions of scientific images of order: microscopic, magnifying observations and medical imaging, we analysed a corpus of 12 textbooks from the Moroccan educational system. We selected one copy of different accredited textbooks from each level of education. These are the textbooks for scientific awakening for the six years of primary education, three textbooks for middle school and three for high school. The analysis is carried out with the help of a self-developed grid which takes into account the percentages of each type of scientific images studied and their functions. The results showed that there is an evolution in the appearance of the scientific images studied as one progresses towards the second year of the baccalaureate: almost the majority of primary school textbooks do not include microscopic or magnifying observations or medical images, but they appear in the other levels with percentages that differ from one textbook to another. Microscopic observations are the most abundant among the other types of scientific images studied. Thus, scientific images with an illustrative function predominate, while those with a heuristic function and recommended in the competency-based approach are present in only a small percentage.
This article aims to understand the importance for Saudi students of learning about English/American culture in developing learners’ communicative competence. To this end it intends to explore the attitudes of students and parents of students to incorporating English/American culture into the EFL classroom. A quantitative approach was used for the data collection, consisting of a structured-questionnaire presented to 200 student and parent participants. The results of this study show that most students who were surveyed have a strong motivation to learn the English language in order to gain access to the culture of English-speaking countries such as the UK and the USA. Hence, they want to focus on communicative competence rather than linguistic competence in learning English. The majority of student participants who want to learn about the target culture prefer learning this at intermediate school. Also, the results show that some parents treat learning the target culture with suspicion, because of the fear of losing Saudi identity by studying authentic materials. But despite this most parent respondents have positive attitudes to learning English/American culture in the EFL classroom. The originality of this article is including parents in the belief that their participations cannot be ignored because of their influence on their children’s views. This study concludes with some useful references to ways of learning English/American culture in the EFL classroom.
A Comparison of Teaching Materials (School Textbooks Vs Authentic Materials) From the Perspective of English Teachers and Educational Supervisors in Saudi Arabia (Published)
This article is an original contribution to knowledge in that it explores English teachers’ and educational supervisors’ attitudes to using school textbooks and authentic materials in Saudi boys’ schools. Specifically, it aims to determine the preferred teaching materials (either textbooks or authentic materials which are not usually recommended in the current textbooks (or which are additional to the contents of the current textbooks) from the participants’ points of view. A mixed-research approach — quantitative and qualitative — was used to investigate the favoured teaching materials, while the contrastive research approach allowed both types to be evaluated. The results showed that the participants had positive attitudes to using authentic materials and that most teachers preferred them to school textbooks. The study contributes to the debate over how best to teach English as a Foreign Language, and concludes with the recommendation that school textbooks should include authentic materials in order to improve learners’ communicative competence.