Speaking Subskills in EFL Coursebooks
Keywords:speaking subskills, negotiation of meaning, agenda management, direct approach, EFL coursebooks
The primary goal of most EFL students is to achieve fluency in the target language and become autonomous speakers who can react naturally in most situations. To achieve this, mastery of speaking subskills is crucial. The paper aims to identify how well specific subskills, i.e. negotiation of meaning and agenda management, are represented and developed in EFL coursebooks. Twenty coursebooks approved by the Slovene Ministry of Education, Science and Sport for 3rd and 4th year grammar school students are reviewed.
The number of all recorded subskills in the reviewed coursebooks suggests that less than a third are covered in each coursebook. Skills in negotiation of meaning are better represented than skills in agenda management in terms of the number of occurrences, the location within the unit and variety of skills. However, there are no significant differences among the remaining teaching elements. The study also indicates that most activities do not contain practice of meaning/form and pronunciation of target phrases. Although communicative activities are mostly present, they lack authenticity and are thus not sufficiently motivating for the target group.
The results of the study can serve as a recommendation for secondary school teachers as to the type of speaking subskills, their presence in English coursebooks as well as the detail with which they are covered. Practical teaching advice is given on how the lack of variety in the selected subskills, as well as the quality of related activities can be resolved.
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