An Analysis of the English Textbook ‘Let’s Learn English’ in terms of the Action-oriented Approach

ABSTRACT:

CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) proposes a new goal in language teaching, that of training social actors and it is this new goal which implies a change of paradigm in language teaching, from the paradigm of communication to the paradigm of social action or from the paradigm of training communicators to the paradigm of training social actors, who can live and work together in their multilingual and multicultural societies. In this new paradigm, the paradigm of social action, communication is not an end itself but a means of social action. This paradigm change is reflected in the action-oriented approach with the implementation of mini-projects as employed by language textbooks and educational projects, which the students (with the help of their teachers) choose, design, implement themselves and thus which can not be limited by the time frame of the textbooks. This paper aims to critically evaluate the proposed project (named misleadingly as a project) in unit six of the English textbook ‘Let’s Learn English’ used in the seventh grades of public secondary schools in Turkey and points out that it does not have the characteristics of mini-projects as implemented in a truly action-oriented approach. After this critical evaluation, an alternative mini-project design that reflects these characteristics is proposed in place of the proposed project in the textbook. Since the implementation of the action-oriented approach in language textbooks will be possible by means of well-designed mini-projects, it is suggested that the curriculum developers and textbook writers in Turkey should carefully deal with the mini-projects, which have characteristics of their own and which are different from the communicative tasks and they should give place to these mini-projects both in the curriculum and the textbooks.

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