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The foreign language coursebook: a study of its role in learner motivation.

O'Sullivan, Anthony Vincent (1990) The foreign language coursebook: a study of its role in learner motivation. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Motivation is the driving force behind successful learning. It is especially crucial in a curriculum area such as foreign language study. This investigation aims to explore the motivational role of the central teaching and learning resource used in schools - the coursebook. The opening Chapter reviews major theories of motivation and learning from behaviourism to cognitivism with the aim of establishing a theoretical base. Chapter Two examines mother tongue acquisition and foreign language learning. Theories of both are discussed, compared and contrasted with the emphasis on identifying compatible features. Key aspects of learning theory and motivational factors related to foreign language learning are presented. The motivational function of the teacher is reviewed with particular reference to the planning and management of learning. The role and the nature of the foreign language coursebook are reviewed and reappraised in Chapter Three. The main aim of this study is identified and, in the light of previous discussion of motivation and learning, an evaluation instrument for coursebooks is drawn up. Chapters Four and Five report and discuss surveys of the views of pupils and teachers on three widely-used coursebooks. Although reactions are generally positive, clear areas of unfulfilled need emerge, as do shortcomings in coursebooks' effectiveness in motivating learners and promoting successful learning. A broad consensus of views between the two groups is revealed. The most popular coursebook of the 1980s is used as a case study in Chapter Six. Application of evaluation criteria established earlier reveals some commendable features but a rather larger number which fail to generate motivation or promote effective learning. The final Chapter sets an agenda for a reappraisal of coursebook design based both on findings of this study and on the impact of sweeping change and reform of the education system which will take effect in the 1990s.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Welshman
Date Deposited: 02 May 2014 13:43
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2016 11:57
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