Reading and Writing Connection: Insights into an Integrative Approach to Developing and Teaching Reading and Writing in EFL Classrooms (Published)
This article reviews and analyses four textbooks purportedly written for teaching reading and writing integratively. It attempts to shed light on the approaches and strategies adopted to establish the connection between reading and writing. This investigation is intended to help and provide guide to language material developers, more soundly and effectively, as they embark on designing ESL/ EFL courses, specifically, reading and writing. The analysis is based on whether each textbook maintains well-balanced activities in both domains throughout its sections or units, the types of reading and writing tasks and exercises manipulated throughout these textbooks and whether these textbooks address other language aspects such as grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, etc. The analysis has revealed that these books maintained, to a large extent, balanced activities in reading and writing throughout their sections or units, i.e., the reading activities were set to help students to write effectively using the lexical items and sentence structures they experienced in the reading texts. Activities such as review (an activity that discusses styles and writing techniques used by the author in the reading passage), summary, paragraph and essay writing, collaborative learning activities and topics for discussion were some of the main features of these textbooks. Some of these textbooks included activities in grammar and speaking skill. Language material developers as well teachers/instructors are advised to use the outcomes of this investigation as a guide to plan and prepare connected reading and writing activities for their language classrooms. The best situation for any language context is either using these strategies and approaches to produce their own materials, adopting or adapting these published materials to suit their students’ needs, taking into account the cultural and linguistic differences between their students and learners for whom these textbooks were written.