World Wide English. An Evaluation of the First Teaching Material Developed After the Introduction of Gy11’s Criteria for the Initial Course in English at Upper Secondary Level

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Abstract: A new curriculum was introduced in Sweden 2011, which increased the debate about education. The subject of English was exposed to minor changes; one example is that a criterion was introduced in the syllabus concerning the use of English as working language and another criterion demanding that students should benefit from the surrounding world as a source of contacts, information and learning not only as a source of comparison of different English speaking cultures as before. The purpose of this essay is to evaluate the new teaching material World Wide English, i.e. the two textbooks World Wide English Naturvetenskapsprogrammet and World Wide English Samhällsvetenskapsprogrammet, to see what the main focus is in the material and how well it coheres with the new syllabus in Gy11 for the initial course at upper secondary level, English 5. The method used in this essay is qualitative and comparative text analysis while investigating three textbooks, World Wide English Naturvetenskapsprogrammet and Samhällsveneskasprogrammet and Solid Ground, compared to the two most current syllabi in the Swedish school system (Course Syllabus 2000 and Gy11). The results showed that WWE includes several exercises to improve the personal writing abilities but fewer speaking exercises than Solid Ground. In order to develop versatile communicative ability, which is a goal in the syllabus, additional exercises concerning oral communication, need to be added. Furthermore, WWE seems to be a good material that coheres with Gy11’s criteria and tries to appeal to a target group interested in social science or natural science studies by choosing extracts relevant for each group.

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