reliability index for the present study’s checklist was found to be 0.94, for students’ questionnaire and 0.86 for teachers’ questionnaire, both of which are considered high reliabilities.
To ensure the content and face validity of the checklist, the comments of five experts were sought. Each strongly confirmed the appropriateness of the checklist in regard to the general objective of evaluating coursebooks.
It is worth mentioning that the researcher took advantage of the students’ and the teachers’ comments and suggestions about the questionnaire and applied some slight modifications in the final version.
Interchange 3rd Edition, the newest revision of New Interchange, is written by Richards, Hull and Proctor in 2006 and is claimed to be communicative and task-based. It includes 4 textbooks, i.e., Intro, Interchange 1, Interchange 2, and Interchange 3, each of which has its own textbook, workbook, cassettes, teacher’s manual, and CDs. Each book includes sixteen units. At the end of the books, there are some extra activities to provide more exercise over the previous lessons. The authors state that the textbooks include high-interest topics, focus on both fluency, and a multi-skills syllabus integrating themes, structures, functions, vocabulary, and pronunciation. They believe that the underlying philosophy of the course is best learned when used for meaningful communication. However, since the publication of the Interchange (3rd edition) in 2006, there has been no research to show to what degree such claims could be valid.
3.2.3 Top Notch
One source of material in the present study is the Top Notch series (Ascher & Saslow, 2011), a dynamic six-level communicative English course with two beginning entry levels namely fundamentals A and fundamentals B for adults and young adults. Generally, the Top Notch series consist of 12 textbooks on the whole, written by Joan Saslow and Allen Ascher and published in the United States of America by Pearson Longman Incorporation. This sample included ten units, each of which is composed of four lessons plus a preview and review pages. Top Notch series provides learners with an opportunity to see their own progress at the end of every lesson. Each student’s book consists of 10 units accompanied by the workbook, CD, teacher’s manual and guide.
As the authors claim, Top Notch aims to prepare students to understand spoken and written English and to express themselves appropriately. The series is based on new standards and uses the natural language that people really speak with a rock-solid learner-centered approach.
3.2.4 English Result
English Result Series were written by Mark Hancock and Annie McDonald, published by Oxford University Press in 2009. The series have four levels of Elementary, Pre-intermediate, Intermediate and Upper-intermediate. Each book consists of twelve units, all of which have six-lesson structure. Every unit includes lessons A-D, each consists of two pages; the impact page on the left and the lesson page on the right. Lesson E is one page which reviews the language in the unit and building up to a written output task. The unit ends with a one-page Review lesson which provides extra practice of the grammar and vocabulary covered in the unit.
3.2.5 Total English
Total English is another material employed in the present study. It was written by Mark Foley and Daniel Hull and published by Longman Publication in 2006. Each student’s book consists of 10 topic – based units accompanied by DVD, video, cassettes/CDs, workbook, and ‘catch-up’ CD-ROM. Every unit has a Lead-in page, three lessons, each consists of three pages, and also four pages at the end of each unit being named as Vocabulary, Communication, Reference, and Review and practice. The Student’s Book is available with a DVD which has a short film for each unit. The Student’s Book includes ‘Film Bank’ pages with comprehension activities to be used with the DVD, as well as transcripts of the tapes available for use with the books.
3.3 Data collection procedure
This study aimed at evaluating four most frequently used foreign coursebooks. The data collection took place in twelve institutes of Gilan and Mazandaran provinces. The coursebooks, evaluated based on the evaluation checklist, were the intermediate level of Interchange, Total English, English Result and Top Notch series. The textbooks were evaluated by both students and teachers based on administering written questionnaires. The researcher requested institutes’ supervisors for permission to administer the research instruments in the selected classes in collaboration with class teachers. The questionnaires were administered and collected in one session. The researcher himself attended administration sessions in order to clarify any probable ambiguities for students and teachers. The researcher explained the project to the participants in the study in order to guarantee their cooperation before administering the questionnaire. All the participants were given an oral description of objectives and procedures of the questionnaire. They were also assured that the results would be kept confidential. They had ample amount of time to go over the questionnaire items and answer them.
In order to empower the gathered data, 25 percent of the teachers and 10 percent of the students attended an interview session. The researchers’ final insights and overall evaluation of the coursebooks are given in chapter four after analyzing the gathered data. In this chapter, the weakness and strengths of coursebooks are discussed. Once the data were collected, appropriate statistical tests were used to find out the significance of the results.
3.4 Data Analysis
In order to analyze the collected data from the questionnaires, first of all descriptive statistics including means and standard deviations were computed to summarize the students’ responses to the checklists. In addition, chi squares were run to see whether or not the differences in each item was statistically meaningful or not. Moreover, the interviews that included open-ended items were analyzed qualitatively. It must be noted that all the statistical analyses were conducted by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 17.0) program. Hypotheses were tested on alpha .05. Finally, the results were interpreted and discussed and their implications were also pointed out.
This chapter presents the research findings with respect to the proposed research questions. To this aim, the data gathered from the questionnaires were analyzed by relevant statistical tests and the interviews were analyzed qualitatively used to find out the results.
4.1 Data Analysis and Findings
In this section, all the administered questionnaires from both teachers’ and students’ perspectives were analyzed and their reports were presented.
4.1.1 Analysis of the Questionnaires
18.104.22.168 Content from Teachers’ Perspective
Result of the descriptive statistics, percentage and Chi-square of the teachers’ responses related to content in the case of Interchange coursebook
S. D. Agr
The selected topics are familiar to the students.
The selected topics enhance learners’ motivation.
The CB contains adequate self-check progress report.
Texts and dialogues include new vocabulary and grammatical structures.
Language items (e.g. vocabulary, etc) are presented in context to make meaning clear.
Pedagogic texts and dialogues include a variety of interesting subjects.
Note. S. Agr. = Strongly Agree; Agr. = Agree; D. Agr. = Disagree; S. D. Agr. = Strongly Disagree
As it is indicated in table 4.1, 35% of the teachers strongly agreed and 65% of them agreed that the selected topics are familiar to the students (M = 3.35, SD=.49; SUM. of S. Agr. & Agr. =100%). However, there is not any significant difference between the number of teachers who agreed and the ones who strongly agreed with this item, c2 (1, N = 20) = 1.80, p .05.
In the second item, 20% of the teachers strongly agreed and 65% of them agreed that the selected topics enhance learners’ motivation. Moreover, 15% of the teachers had the opposite idea and disagreed with the item (M = 3.05, SD=.60; SUM. of S. Agr. & Agr. =85%). In addition, there is a significant difference between the number of teachers who agreed and the ones who strongly agreed and disagreed with this item, c2 (2, N = 20) = 9.10, p .05.
The next item considers whether Interchange coursebook contains adequate self-check progress report or not. The results show that 25% of the teachers strongly agreed and 60% of them agreed that the coursebook contains adequate self-check progress report. In addition, 15% of the teachers disagreed with this item (M = 3.10, SD=.64; SUM. of S. Agr. & Agr. =85%). Moreover, there is a significant difference between the number of teachers who agreed and the ones who strongly agreed and disagreed with this item, c2 (2, N = 20) = 6.70, p .05.
The findings in item 4 display that half of the teachers strongly agreed and the other half agreed that texts and dialogues include new vocabulary and grammatical structures (M = 3.50, SD= .51; SUM. of S. Agr. & Agr. =100%). However, there is not any significant difference between the number of teachers who agreed and the ones who strongly agreed with this item, c2 (1, N = 20) = .00, p .05.
The fifth item considers if language items (e.g. vocabulary, etc) are