A critical evaluation of text difficulty development in ELT textbook series: A corpus-based approach using variability neighbor clustering

Alvin Cheng Hsien Chen*

*此作品的通信作者

研究成果: 雜誌貢獻期刊論文同行評審

12 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)

摘要

Although the importance of English Language Teaching (ELT) textbooks is widely acknowledged, previous evaluation of ELT materials has paid little attention to the appropriateness of the text difficulty development in a textbook series. The present study aims to assess the progression of text difficulty in different textbook series in Taiwan, the rationale of which is argued to be generalizable to other ELT contexts. Specifically, there are two methodological emphases. First, text difficulty has been quantitatively measured by the BNC corpus-based frequency lists and a comprehensive set of well-established readability formulas, considering both vocabulary and structure complexity of the texts; second, a clustering-based statistical algorithm-variability neighbor clustering-is utilized to identify the developmental stages in text difficulty on an empirical basis. This corpus-based computational method not only objectively determines the developmental gaps in a textbook series, but also identifies the direction of the difficulty progression in vocabulary and structure complexity. This rigorous textbook evaluation provides a common framework for the assessment of text difficulty progression in the ELT materials. Several pedagogical implications are drawn for EFL learners and teachers as well as ELT textbook developers.

原文英語
頁(從 - 到)64-81
頁數18
期刊System
58
DOIs
出版狀態已發佈 - 2016 六月 1
對外發佈

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 語言與語言學
  • 教育
  • 語言和語言學

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