“Evaluation of an ESL English Course Book: A Step towards Systematic Vocabulary Evaluation”, an article by Azadeh Nemati was a study meant to evaluate an English textbook used to teach pre-university students in the state of Karnataka, India. The study included 26 pre-university instructors that were recruited randomly from 12 public and private schools.
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The 26 pre-university teachers included in the study were asked to fill a questionnaire that was meant to capture their opinion on the effectiveness of the English textbook used to teach pre-university students. The study analyzed vocabulary in the book to establish whether it included words that are frequently used, and those that are rarely used.
The findings of the study indicated that 70 percent of the pre-university teachers in the state of Karnataka approved the course book used to teach English. The results from vocabulary analysis indicated that to teach ESL students effectively, it is crucial to change the method of presenting text in English books used to teach ESL students. Texts that are easy and frequently used should be placed at the beginning of a book, while texts with rare and difficult vocabularies should appear at the end.
The aim of the above article was to determine the best text for teaching English to students who speak other languages. The article is organized in a coherent manner. The researcher starts by defining what a course book is, and then goes ahead to provide some literature review that gives background information on the study. For example, in the literature review the author demonstrates the importance of having a course book to teach ESL students. The research also indicates that the texts used to teach ESL students should try as much as possible to cater for the needs of individual learners because people learn differently.
The article is a primary study, and the author clearly states the sampling procedure used, the number of participants, the method used to collect data, and how data were analyzed. The audience targeted by the researcher is teachers who teach English language learners. The article provides useful information for ESL teachers because it stipulates the best text to be used in teaching ESL students. This helps is solving the controversy on the best method to teach English language learners. The language used by the researcher is standard and simple to understand. The researcher does not use too much jargon that may confuse readers.
The article provides useful information on the best text and vocabularies to use in teaching ESL students, but it has some shortcomings especially in term of methodology. First, the data obtained through administering questionnaires to pre-university teachers were mainly opinion on whether the textbook used to instruct ESL students was effective. Opinion is subjective, and cannot be used as evidence to make a conclusion that the textbook was effective.
Second, the number of participants included in the study was small. The 26 pre-university teachers included in the study could not have effectively represented all pre-university English teachers in the state of Karnataka, India. Moreover, the researcher did text analysis on one English book. Analyzing a single book cannot generate enough evidence to make one suggest the best text and vocabularies that should be used in teaching English language learners. The research would have been better is the researcher used a larger sample and analyzed several books.
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