2019 Annual Graduate Student Symposium

Title

Reevaluating Teaching Materials in Southeast Asia

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Keywords

English language--Study and teaching--Lao speakers; English language--Textbooks for foreign speakers;

Abstract

Situated in Southeast Asia, Laos is a small landlocked country where the majority of the population depends upon subsistence agriculture. For nearly a century Laos went through a cycle of being controlled and influenced by foreign power before establishing their own government in 1975. Subsequently, Laos has restored an education system formerly created by the French while at the same time establishing basic education policies. Through this process were growing ideologies across Asia to learn English as a Foreign Language. Thus, Laos created an English language education policy in which students starting in Grade 3 through secondary school and university, were to learn English. When it came to implementing English into the classroom there were many problems such as lack of textbooks and/or inappropriate use of textbooks. Yet despite many years students spent learning English, they still finished university with low levels of proficiency. Wanting to make the best use of the limited available materials in developing countries like Laos, I evaluated three English textbooks used in higher education for: mechanical, meaningful, and communicative practice. It was found that two of the three textbooks have a majority of mechanical and meaningful practice, while the third textbook was nearly evenly split in thirds. Although these results showed hints of different methodologies used to teach English, it does not account for what is being implemented in the classroom. Additional studies need to be done to determine the effects these textbooks have on acquisition as well as the teachers’ implementation of these textbooks.

Start Date

3-4-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

3-4-2019 2:00 AM

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Joyce Milambiling

Department

Department of Languages and Literatures

File Format

application/pdf

Embargo Date

4-17-2019

Electronic copy is not available through UNI ScholarWorks.

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Apr 3rd, 12:00 PM Apr 3rd, 2:00 AM

Reevaluating Teaching Materials in Southeast Asia

Situated in Southeast Asia, Laos is a small landlocked country where the majority of the population depends upon subsistence agriculture. For nearly a century Laos went through a cycle of being controlled and influenced by foreign power before establishing their own government in 1975. Subsequently, Laos has restored an education system formerly created by the French while at the same time establishing basic education policies. Through this process were growing ideologies across Asia to learn English as a Foreign Language. Thus, Laos created an English language education policy in which students starting in Grade 3 through secondary school and university, were to learn English. When it came to implementing English into the classroom there were many problems such as lack of textbooks and/or inappropriate use of textbooks. Yet despite many years students spent learning English, they still finished university with low levels of proficiency. Wanting to make the best use of the limited available materials in developing countries like Laos, I evaluated three English textbooks used in higher education for: mechanical, meaningful, and communicative practice. It was found that two of the three textbooks have a majority of mechanical and meaningful practice, while the third textbook was nearly evenly split in thirds. Although these results showed hints of different methodologies used to teach English, it does not account for what is being implemented in the classroom. Additional studies need to be done to determine the effects these textbooks have on acquisition as well as the teachers’ implementation of these textbooks.