Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 17, June 2008

Ali S. Hasan and Volker Raddatz

Analysis of EFL elementary textbooks in Syria and Germany: cognitive, affective and procedural aspects in their inter-cultural context

Abstract

This study attempts to explore and compare the cognitive, affective and procedural aspects of EFL elementary textbooks in Syria and Germany. It analyses a corpus which consists of three Syrian elementary textbooks, Starters I-III, and their German counterparts, Kooky I-II. Based on the paradigmatic change from instructivism to constructivism, a descriptive-analytical approach is used to examine the content-material in terms of teacher vs. pupil orientation, product vs. process orientation, virtuality vs. authenticity, cognitive learning vs. learning by doing which represent the essential parameters of learner autonomy. Results indicate that the Syrian material focuses on the cognitive element of language learning without ignoring affective and procedural factors, whereas the German material tends to put special emphasis on affectivity and process-orientation. Culturally, the Syrian textbooks confine their view to the domestic background before opening up to British culture in book III, whereas the German textbooks are keen to introduce the British dimension right from the start. For the Syrian material, the study suggests the inclusion of pronunciation exercises and a stronger consideration of learner autonomy. For the German material, close attention should be paid to a well-balanced relationship between the three parameters mentioned above.

Keywords intercultural communication, culture, culturing, quantum, intercultural theory


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