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Analysis of the tasks for the development of writing skills in workbooks for teaching English as a foreign language to the fourth and fifth graders

Lucija Ovniček (2019) Analysis of the tasks for the development of writing skills in workbooks for teaching English as a foreign language to the fourth and fifth graders. MSc thesis.

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    Teaching English as a foreign language is a comprehensive process and its goal is to develop communicative competences. One of the four communicative skills is writing, which is a complex process, especially in a foreign language if one does not yet entirely master their mother tongue. Due to globalisation and rapid technological development, the need for written communication is increasing; moreover, the means of communication are changing as well—we are inclined to write in a short manner, quickly and as much as possible. The use of textbooks and workbooks prevails in Slovenia in teaching English as a foreign language. The results of the yearly report on the execution of the National Assessment of Knowledge of English for the year 2017/2018 (2018) show that the pupils finishing 6th grade face problems with exercises testing writing skills. They have no problems recalling words outside of context, but their use of words in a certain context is inappropriate and grammatically incorrect. What is more, the results were very low in several consecutive years. Since the majority of exercises for the development of written communication can be found in textbooks, we analysed exercises in 12 textbooks, 6 of which are used for teaching English in 4th grade and 6 for teaching English in 5th grade of primary school. We were interested in how common these exercises are in the workbooks compared to the exercises for the development of other communicate skills and the aspect of cognitive processes encouraged by these exercises (according to the Bloom's taxonomy). The latter was compared regarding which grade the pupils were in as well. The results show that the distribution of the exercises in regard to the four communicative skills is unequal; in all 12 workbooks, more than a quarter of the exercises (in some cases, more than a half) is dedicated to the development of writing skills. According to Bloom's taxonomy, the exercises testing knowledge, comprehension and application are predominant whereas very few exercises test analysis and synthesis; surprisingly, there are no exercises testing evaluation. We came to similar conclusions when comparing the exercises from the textbooks for 4th and 5th grade. Most of the exercises in the textbooks for both 4th and 5th grade are testing knowledge, comprehension and application, only a few test analysis and synthesis and not one exercise in any of the textbooks tests evaluation. The research ensures a concrete insight into the content of the chosen workbooks and provides teachers of foreign languages arguments for critical evaluation of teaching materials.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: teaching a foreign language, English, writing, teaching materials, Bloom's taxonomy
    Number of Pages: 79
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Mateja Dagarin FojkarMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12621385
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 6023
    Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2019 09:19
    Last Modified: 02 Oct 2019 09:19
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/6023

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