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Towards developing a multi-aspectual framework for systematic evaluation of locally prepared ELT materials

Reza Biria (Department of Foreign Languages, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) branch, Isfahan, Iran)
Abbas Mehrabi Boshrabadi (Department of Foreign Languages, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) branch, Isfahan, Iran)

English Teaching: Practice & Critique

ISSN: 1175-8708

Article publication date: 7 September 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a multi-aspectual framework for evaluating locally prepared English language teaching (ELT) materials used for Iranian senior high school students. Many practitioners of the field assert that the inappropriate development of ELT materials would leave an adverse effect on the potential value of the realistic ways which translate the educational beliefs on language learning into operational goals defined by local educational systems.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Using a stratified sampling method, 120 high school students along with 60 ex-students attending Isfahan (Khorasgan) University as well as 30 English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers teaching English courses at high schools were selected. To measure the participants’ attitudes toward the pedagogical effectiveness of English textbooks (i.e. Right Path to English series), a 30-item questionnaire developed based on the comprehensive guidelines suggested by Nation and Macalister (2010) about materials development was used. To improve the credibility and dependability of respondents’ perceptions, a focused-group interview was further utilized as a source of triangulation.

Findings

The findings revealed that the multi-aspectual framework is a comprehensive and valid model utilized for post-use materials evaluation. The results also depicted that the target textbooks published by the Iranian Ministry of Education did not satisfy the actual needs of students.

Practical implications

The findings may offer certain benefits to teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) teachers, policy makers and materials developers engaged in locally ELT material design.

Originality/value

The present study used a comprehensive list of criteria dominating not only the curriculum development but also the principles governing the EFL classroom practices. Considering the principles as a litmus test for evaluation, the study used a principle-driven approach to evaluate the Iranian English textbooks used in senior high school level.

Keywords

Citation

Biria, R. and Mehrabi Boshrabadi, A. (2015), "Towards developing a multi-aspectual framework for systematic evaluation of locally prepared ELT materials", English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 164-186. https://doi.org/10.1108/ETPC-03-2015-0022

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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