Reading activities in Swedish EFL textbooks: An analysis of reading activities as a tool for the development of reading strategies

University essay from Malmö universitet/Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS)

Abstract: In traditional EFL classrooms, teachers often tend to relay on textbooks where the reading material is a text usually followed by reading activities. Consequently, this material does not really provide students with the reading strategies necessary to become succesful readers. Successful readers should posess the ability to apply appropriate kinds of reading and reading strategies and to do that the teacher needs to provide the students with the right teaching material. Therefore, this degree project analyses three EFL textbooks for upper secondary school in the Swedish context, namely Context 2, Pick & Mix 2 and Viewponts 2. The present study explores if the reading activities in the textbooks provide learners with the opportunity to develop their reading skills by including different kinds of reading and reading strategies. Moreover, the researchers use a qualitative content analysis and criteria to conduct their study. The results reveal that the textbooks do consist of reading activities which allow for different kinds of reading. Two of the textbooks analysed, Pick & Mix 2 and Context 2, entail activities which require the readers to be able to use the majority of different kinds of reading. One textbook, however, shows lack of activities that allow learners to train their skimming ability. Finally, the textbooks do not provide learners with sufficient reading activities that include the three processes: before-, during- and after- reading.

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