Teacher and learner perceptions of ELT textbooks in Hong Kong secondary schools
The study aims to explore the textbooks from the perspectives of teachers and learners at the three key stages of the English curriculum in Hong Kong secondary schools in terms of suitability and parameters. Suitability depends on the perceptions of the users (e.g. learners' and teachers') regarding their needs, pedagogy and language use and the goals established by the government English curriculum. The method used is based on a Textbook Evaluation Model (TEM), which establishes the parameters (prescriptive, chronological, psychological and sociological) and emphasises the importance of exploring the variables affecting textbook suitability in the Hong Kong context. Previous research studies on the suitability of textbooks in general are controversial. As a consequence, this thesis attempts to answer some of these criticisms by showing how teacher and learner variables contribute to the concept of textbook suitability. This is all closely allied to the consideration of the parameters and the stakeholders' needs. The survey involves the learners at the three key stages from 52 schools, representing most of the districts in Hong Kong. A total of 555 teachers and 2,535 learners answered the questionnaires. Their opinions were compared to determine, whether any credibility gaps exist among the parameters and stakeholders. The findings indicate that improved textbook development and evaluation can enhance textbook suitability. The overall findings also suggest that statistically different perceptions exist among the intergroups (e.g. learners and teachers) and the intragroups (e.g. subject streams, learning stages, teacher qualifications and experience). The study recommends greater collaborative effort among the textbook stakeholders regarding textbook development and evaluation as a way to attain greater textbook suitability and user satisfaction.