An appraisal study of language usage and use for literacy in second language acquisition: An investigation into English textbooks used in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Kalala, Laurent Beya
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Since a number of studies on textbooks in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) have shown that textbooks hold a major place in education (De Guzman, 2000; Oakes & Saunders, 2004), this study proposes to investigate the content of an English Language Teaching (ELT)/ English as a Second Language (ESL) textbook used in 6th form secondary school (Grade 12) in the DRC, Go for English 1RE. It aims to identify and evaluate the content of this ELT textbook so as to deduce and derive main insights for the determination or not of its appropriateness and relevance in terms of its contribution to language use and literacy in the ELT/ESL curriculum of the DRC. The study draws its theoretical underpinning from two theories: the Cunningsworth’s textbook analysis theory and McDonough and Shaw evaluation theory. As research design, the study adopts an a descriptive, exploratory and interpretive design which draws on both quantitative and qualitative data collected on the basis of textbook evaluation checklist and semi-structured interviews. In regard to the procedural orientation, the study uses descriptive and content analysis to analyze, interpret and examine both interviews and textbook evaluation likert-scale checklist data. In respect of its data, the study uses ‘mixed methods approach’. Both qualitative and quantitative data come from 259 teacher and student participants on the basis of two different samples. The quantitative data comes from 209 student participants and 25 teacher participants and the qualitative data from 10 student participants and 15 teacher participants. The findings attest to the general content of "Go for English 1RE ELT" textbook in regard to language activities and tasks related to its subject matter, to the quality and nature of language it contains, and finally to the diversity in its subject matter and its cultural aspects, is suitable for language use and literacy skills development. However, even though its content is suitable, the findings also indicate that this ELT textbook is not well adapted to Congolese 6th form secondary school students’ level.