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The reception of new language materials: a case study evaluation of an EFL textbook in Vietnamese high schools

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posted on 28.03.2022, 19:12 by Nguyen Minh Tho Le
This thesis is an evaluation of an English as a Foreign Language textbook recently introduced to Vietnamese secondary education. It investigates the textbook's creation for an understanding of why the textbook is the way it is, and its usage in three different case studies, rural, urban, and semi-urban, including explanations of why the textbook is used differently in each context. To capture an understanding of how the textbook was operationalised in the classroom and to what apparent effect, a multi-case research approach was undertaken, collecting data from students, classroom teachers, and head teachers through classroom observations, interviews, and questionnaire surveys. Concurrently, the textbook writers were interviewed about factors shaping the textbook. Following Werner (1979, 1984) and Aoki (1984, 1989, 2005), the textbook evaluation was then undertaken through three complementary lenses: ends-means (formal goals versus actual lessons); situational (users' views of the textbook); and critical approaches (forces influencing the textbook's creation and usage) adapting Shohamy's critical language testing principles (2001). The findings show that despite some success, the achievement of the textbook's apparent aims was challenged by its inadequate learning opportunities, its variable difficulty for students and its lack of relevance to students' interests and needs, across all three cases. Also having an adverse effect to varying degrees in the three contexts were supporting conditions concerning teacher preparedness, testing practices and physical classroom conditions. Importantly, the textbook's effectiveness was ultimately determined by factors rooted in its creation and implementation. It was found that textbook modification, ample classroom resources, assessment reformation, and even teacher preparation were necessary but not sufficient on their own to meet the policy ambitions for the textbook. What is essential is the need to align the underlying political, educational and cultural forces towards on-site textbook users' needs, interests and circumstances.


Table of Contents

Part A: Body of thesis -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Contexts of creation and reception -- 3. Literature review -- 4. Methodology -- 5. Case study 1: rural school -- 6. Case study 2: urban school -- 7. Case study 3: semi-urban school -- 8. Discussion -- 9. Conclusion -- Part B: Appendices


A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Dept. of Linguistics, 2011. Bibliography (p. 303-317) "October 2011"

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Dept. of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Stephen Moore

Additional Supervisor 1

John Knox


Copyright Nguyen Minh Tho Le 2011. Copyright disclaimer: http://mq.edu.au/library/copyright




1 online resource (xix, 704 p.) ill. (some col.)

Former Identifiers

mq:71948 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1279830