Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 11. Number3 September 2020 Pp. 92 -116
Developing an Evaluation Checklist for English Majors’ Textbooks in China: Focus on
Intercultural Communicative Competence
Language Institute, Thammasat University
Language Institute, Thammasat University
With the rising interest in the Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) in language teaching, evaluating the ICC attributes in EFL textbooks is becoming a great concern. This study aimed to find out the evaluation criteria for the ICC attributes in EFL textbooks generated from the literature and from EFL experts, and then construct an evaluation checklist for assessing the ICC attributes of the English majors’ textbook in China. The findings revealed that thirty-six items were identified from the literature and another thirty-six new items were generated from the interview with nine experts in the fields of ICC research and textbook selection. These items were constructed into a draft checklist and checklist was validated by another nine EFL teachers and native-speaker teachers. Consequently, a try-out checklist with two dimensions, eight themes and sixty-one items was developed. Given the vital role of ICC in English teaching, it is essential to understand the ICC attributes in EFL textbooks, which is a relatively new construct. The proposed checklist was a critical step towards a better evaluation of ICC attributes in English majors’ textbooks and would be a helpful tool for teachers in textbook evaluation. Future research is required to refine the try-out checklist.
Keywords: EFL textbooks in China, English majors, evaluation checklist, ICC
Cite as: Lei, W., & Soontornwipast, K. (2020). Developing an Evaluation Checklist for English Majors’ Textbooks in China: Focus on Intercultural Communicative Competence. Arab World English Journal, 11 (3) 92 -116.
AbdelWahab, M. M. (2013). Developing an English language textbook evaluative checklist. IOSR Journal of Research & Method in Education, 1(3), 55-70.
Al-Mekhlafy, M. H. (1988). Development and validation of a checklist for assessing the readability and overall quality of the reading textbooks currently used in the Yemen Arab Republic [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Indiana University, Bloomington.
Ansary, H., & Babaii, E. (2002). Universal characteristics of EFL/ESL textbooks: A step towards systematic textbook evaluation. The Internet TESL Journal, 8(2), 1-9.
Azarnoosh, M., Zeraatpishe, M., Faravani, A., & Kargozari, H. R. (2018). Issues in Coursebook Evaluation. Leiden and Boston: Brill Sense.
Bozkurt, A., & Bozkaya, M. (2015). Evaluation criteria for interactive e-books for open and distance learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(4), 58-82. DOI: 10.19173/irrodl.v16i5.2218
Breen, M. (1987). Learner contributions to task design. In C. Candlin & D. Murphy (Eds.), Language Learning Tasks (pp.23-46). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Byram, M. (1995). Acquiring intercultural competence: a review of learning theories. In L. Sercu (Ed.), Intercultural Competence: The secondary school (pp. 45-56). Aalborg: Aalborg University Press.
Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Byram, M., & Grundy P. (2003). Introduction: Context and culture in language teaching and learning. In M. Byram, & P. Grundy (Eds.), Context and culture in language teaching and learning (pp. 1-3). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters LTD.
Byram, M., Gribkova, B., & Starkey, H. (2002). Developing the intercultural dimension in language teaching: A practical introduction for teachers. Language Policy Division, Directorate of School, Out-of-School and Higher Education, Council of Europe.
Byrd, P., & Schuemann, C. (2014). English as a second/foreign language textbooks: How to choose them-how to use them. In Brinton, D.M., Celce-Murcia, M., & Snow, M.A. (Eds.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (pp. 380-393). Boston, MA: Heinle Cengage Learning
Carden, F., & Alkin, M. C. (2012). Evaluation roots: An international perspective. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 8(17), 102-118.
Carter, S. L., & Wheeler, J. J. (2019). The social validity manual: Subjective evaluation of Interventions (2nd ed.). London: Academic Press.
Churchill Jr, G. A. (1979). A paradigm for developing better measures of marketing constructs. Journal of Marketing Research, 16(1), 64-73.
Cortazzi, M., & Jin, L. X. (1999). Cultural mirrors: Materials and methods in the EFL classroom. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Culture in second language teaching and learning (pp. 196-219). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Council of Europe (2001). Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Cunningsworth A. (1995). Choosing Your Coursebook. Oxford: Heinemann Publishers Ltd.
Cunningsworth, A. (2002). Choosing Your Coursebook. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Demir, Y., & Ertas, A. (2014). A suggested eclectic checklist for ELT coursebook evaluation. Reading, 14(2), 243-252.
Ellis, R. (2003) Task-based Language Learning and Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Fantini, A. E. (2000). A central concern: developing intercultural competence. In A. Fantini (Ed.) SIT Occasional Papers Series Addressing Intercultural Education, Training & Service (pp. 25-33). Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.117.8512&rep=rep1&type=pdf#page=33
Galante, A. (2015). Intercultural Communicative Competence in English Language Teaching: Towards Validation of Student Identity. Brazilian English Language Teaching Journal, 6(1), 29-39. http://dx.doi.org/10.15448/2178-3640.2015.1.20188.
Gao, Y. C. (2014). Construction of the Theoretical Framework of the Intercultural Communicative Competence Evaluation System for Chinese College Students. Foreign Language World,4, 80-88.
García, M. (2005). International and intercultural issues in English teaching textbooks: The case of Spain. Intercultural Education, 16(1), 57–68. DOI: 10.1080/14636310500061831
Ge, C. P., & Wang, S. R. (2016). On Cultivation of Intercultural Communicative Competence in College English Teaching. Foreign Languages and Their Teaching, 2, 79-86+146.
Gilmore, A. (2007). Authentic materials and authenticity in foreign language learning. Language teaching, 40(2), 97-118. DOI: 10.1017/S0261444807004144
Huang, D. (2007). On Problems in College Textbook Selecting and the Countermeasures. Journal of Nanning Teachers College, 24 (3), 109-111.
Huang, F. M. (2002). The introduction of culture into College English teaching. Journal of Nanning Polytechnic College, 7 (1), 64-65.
Hutchinson, T., & Waters, A. (1987). English for specific purposes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hwang, W., & Salvendy, G. (2007). What makes evaluators to find more usability problems? A meta-analysis for individual detection rates. In Proceedings of the 12th international conference on Human-computer interaction: interaction design and usability (pp. 499-507). Springer Verlag.
Jahangard, A. (2007). Evaluation of the EFL materials taught at Iranian high schools. The Asian EFL Journal, 9(2), 130-150.
Jiang, B. (2010). The Role of College English Textbooks in the Teaching of Culture in China, (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of York, York.
Jin, H. (2015). How to develop intercultural communicative competence in english teaching. Curriculum, teaching material and method, 35(11), 80-85.
Karamoozian, F. M. (2008). Development of a New Checklist for Evaluating Reading Comprehension Textbooks. ESP World, 7(3), 1-21.
Kashoob, M. D. (2018). Evaluating ELT materials with specific reference to Colleges of Applied Sciences General Foundation Programme in Oman: Towards a viable checklist, (unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of York, York.
Kilickaya, F. (2004). Authentic materials and cultural content in EFL classrooms. The Internet TESL Journal, 10(7), 1-6.
Kim, M. S., & Hubbard, A. S. E. (2007). Intercultural communication in the global village: How to understand “the other”. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 36 (3), 223-235. https://doi.org/10.1080/17475750701737165
Kiss, T., & Weninger, C. (2013). A semiotic exploration of cultural potential in EFL textbook. Malaysian Journal of ELT Research, 9(1), 34–46.
Knudsen, B. M. (2016). Textbook tasks and the development of ICC in the EFL-classroom. How do textbook tasks in the subject of English in VG1 potentially promote the development of intercultural communicative competence? (Unpublished master’s thesis) The University of Bergen, Bergen.
Kramsch, C. (1998) Language and Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Laabidi, H., & Nfissi, A. (2016). Fundamental criteria for effective textbook evaluation. Journal of EFL, Linguistics and Literature, 1(2), 141-159.
Labuschagne, J. T., & Steyn, H. (2010). Development of a project management methodology for the consulting engineering industry. South African Journal of Industrial Engineering, 21(1), 69-80.
Li, C. P. (2017). Compilation of college English teaching materials under the guidance of objective system—Analysis of New Horizon College English (3rd edition), View on Publishing, 19, 80-81.
Litz, D. R. (2005). Textbook evaluation and ELT management: A South Korean case study. Asian EFL Journal, 48(1), 1-53.
Liu, K. L. (2016). Prioritizing criteria for evaluating cultural contents in EFL textbooks through AHP. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 7(5), 841-850.
Luo, X. Y. (2005). The introduction of culture into College English teaching. Pioneering with Science & Technology Monthly, 4, 132-133
Mao, Z. X. (2001). Language, culture and communication, The Introduction of Culture into College English Teaching. Journal of Hebei Normal University, 3 (2), 13-15
McDonough, J., & Shaw, C. (1993). Materials and methods in ELT. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
McGrath, I. (2002). Materials evaluation and design for language teaching. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
McKay, S. L. (2002). Teaching English as an international language: Rethinking goals and perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.
Meihami, H., & Khanlarzadeh, M. (2015). Pragmatic content in global and local ELT textbooks: A micro analysis study. SAGE Open, 5(4), 1–10.
Miekley, J. (2005). ESL textbook evaluation checklist. The Reading Matrix, 5(2),1-9.
Minh, N. T. T. (2007). Textbook evaluation: The case of English textbooks currently in use in Vietnam’s upper-secondary schools (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Vietnam National University, Hanoi.
Ministry of Education of PRC. (2001). English teaching syllabus for English major program in higher education. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.
Ministry of Education of PRC. (2001). Guidelines for College English Teaching. Beijing: Higher Education Press.
Ministry of Education of PRC. (2018). China’s standards for foreign language teaching. Beijing: Higher education Press.
Mosand, K. N. (2019). To what extent do learning tasks promote intercultural communicative competence?-A study of EFL textbooks aimed at Norwegian lower secondary level (Unpublished master’s thesis). Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen.
Mukundan, J., Hajimohammadi, R., & Nimehchisalem, V. (2011). Developing an English Language Textbook Evaluation Checklist. Contemporary Issues in Education Research,4(6), 21-28.
Ndura, E. (2004). ESL and cultural bias: An analysis of elementary through high school textbooks in the Western United States of America. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 17(2), 143–153. DOI: 10.1080/07908310408666689
Nguyen, T. T. M. (2011). Learning to Communicate in a globalized world: To what extent do school textbooks facilitate the development of intercultural pragmatic competence? RELC Journal, 42(1), 17–30. DOI: 10.1177/0033688210390265
Nimehchisalem, V., & Mukundan, J. (2013). Usefulness of English Language Teaching Textbook Evaluation Checklist. Pertanika Journal of Social Science & Humanities. 21(2), 797 – 816.
Nunan, D. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nunan, D. (2001). The learner-centred curriculum: A study in second language teaching. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.
Phillips, R. (2000). New applications for the Delphi technique. Annual-San Diego-Pfeiffer and Company, 2, 191-196.
Rahim, A. H., & Daghigh, J. A. (2019). Locally developed versus global textbooks: an evaluation of cultural content in textbooks used in English language teaching in Malaysia. Asian Englishes, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/13488678.2019.1669301
Rashidi, N., & Meihami, H. (2016). Hidden curriculum: An analysis of cultural content of the ELT textbooks in inner, outer, and expanding circle countries. Cogent Education, 3(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2016.1212455
Reimann, A. (2009). A critical analysis of cultural content in EFL materials. Journal of the International Studies of Utsunomiya University, 28(8), 8-20.
Richards, J. C. (2001). The role of textbooks in a language program. RELC Guidelines, 23(2), 12-16.
Risager, K. (1991) Cultural references in European textbooks: An evaluation of recent tendencies. In D. Butjes, & M. Byram (Eds.), Mediating languages and cultures: Towards an intercultural theory of foreign language education (pp. 181-192). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Risager, K. (2007). Language and culture. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Sadeghi, K., & Sepahi, Z. (2018). Cultural content of three EFL textbooks: teachers’ and learners’ cultural preferences and cultural themes of textbooks. Pedagogies: An international Journal, 13(3), 222-245. https://doi.org/10.1080/1554480X.2017.1417128
Şahin, S. (2020). Developing a checklist for English language teaching course book analysis. International Journal of Education and Research, 8(1), 107-120.
Salavati, M., Waninge, A., Rameckers, E. A., Van Der Steen, J., Krijnen, W. P., Van Der Schans, C. P., & Steenbergen, B. (2017). Development and face validity of a cerebral visual impairment motor questionnaire for children with cerebral palsy. Child: Care, Health and Development, 43(1), 37-47. https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12377
Sercu, L. (1995). Intercultural competence. Aalborg: Aalborg University Press.
Sercu, L. (2002). Autonomous learning and the acquisition of intercultural communicative competence: Some implications for course development. Language culture and curriculum, 15(1), 61-74. DOI: 10.1080/07908310208666633
Sheldon, L. (1988). Evaluating ELT Textbooks and Materials. ELT Journal, 42(4), 237-246
Skehan, P. (1998). A cognitive approach to language learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Skierso, A. 1991. Textbook selection and evaluation. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (pp. 432-453). Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.
Skopinskaja, L. (2003). The role of culture in foreign language teaching materials: An evaluation from an intercultural perspective. In I. Lazar (Ed.), Incorporating intercultural communicative competence in language teacher education (pp. 39-68). Graz: Council of Europe Publishing.
Spitzberg, B. H., & Changnon, G. (2009). Conceptualizing intercultural competence. In D. K. Deardorﬀ (Ed.), The SAGE handbook of intercultural competence (pp. 2–52). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publication Ltd.
Tajeddin, Z., & Teimournezhad, S. (2014). Exploring the hidden agenda in the representation of culture in international and localised ELT textbooks. The Language Learning Journal, 43(2), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2013.869942
Tang, H. (2003). The introduction of culture into College English teaching. Journal of Guangxi Medical University, 3, 34-36.
Tomlinson, B. (2013). Developing Materials for Language Teaching (2nd Ed.). London & New York: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Weninger, C., & Kiss, T. (2013). Culture in English as a foreign language (EFL) textbooks: A semiotic approach. TESOL Quarterly, 47(4), 694–716. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.87
Wilson, C. (2013). Brainstorming and beyond: a user-centered design method. Oxford: Morgan Kaufmann.
Yu, Y. M. (1997). A Study to Develop an Appraisal Checklist for the Selection of Elementary Chinese Textbooks to Be Used in the United States (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh.
Yuen, K.-M. (2011). The representation of foreign cultures in English textbooks. ELT Journal, 65(4), 458–466. DOI: 10.1093/elt/ccq089
Zhang, H. L. (2007). Intercultural approach to foreign language teaching. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Teaching Press.
Zhang, H.L., & Yao, C. Y. (2020). Construction of an integrated model for development of Chinese students’ intercultural communicative competence. Foreign Language World, 4, 35-44+53.
Zhou, X. L. (1996). On the Criteria of English Teaching Materials. Foreign Language World. 2, 60-63.
Zokaeieh, S., Karimi, S., Nouri, F., & Hakimzadeh, A. (2019). Developing a critical checklist for textbook evaluation. The Journal of English Language Pedagogy and Practice, 12 (24), 202-225. DOI: 10.30495/jal.2019.671933