Analysis of EFL textbooks for lower secondary school: How effectively do new EFL textbooks in lower secondary schools facilitate intercultural competence and accommodate LK20 guidelines about intercultural competence?
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This Master’s thesis in Education is written in the field of English didactics and presents an analysis of how effectively Norwegian 8th grade English as a foreign language (EFL) textbooks facilitate the development of intercultural competence (IC) and accommodate intercultural guidelines from the Knowledge Promotion Reform 2020 (LK20). In an increasingly complex world, educators need to address how to teach students to interact and cooperate with people from diverse cultures and how to handle cultural expressions presented through various platforms. In light of this it is useful to investigate how IC is present in EFL textbooks and in the Norwegian national curriculum for the subject of English. Three textbooks from various publishing houses were chosen for this study. These were Gyldendal’s Enter 8 (Diskin, Kasbo & Winsvold, 2020), Cappelen Damm’s Engelsk 8 (Madsen & Mohammad-Roe, 2020) and Aschehoug’s Stages 8 (Pettersen & Røkaas, 2020). With a quantitative content analysis, the thesis has investigated the extent to which learning tasks in 8th grade EFL textbooks facilitate IC. In addition the study has also considered how learning tasks facilitate Micheal Byram’s model of Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) (1997). With a qualitative content analysis of the LK20 the study has investigated what guidelines the curriculum present about IC and then it has investigated how these were present in learning tasks in the chosen textbooks. Findings from the study demonstrate that Engelsk 8 (Madsen & Mohammad-Roe, 2020) and Enter 8 (Diskin, Kasbo & Winsvold, 2020) have high numbers of learning tasks linked to IC, whereas Stages 8 (Pettersen & Røkaas, 2020) stands out with fewer learning task connected to the development of IC. The study found that the distribution of learning tasks linked to factors of Byram’s model of ICC is not equally prioritised. There is an extensive emphasis on tasks that develop knowledge and few tasks that can develop students’ critical cultural awareness. The overall result of how textbooks accommodate curricular guidelines about IC is that textbooks facilitate most guidelines, but not all. The textbooks include learning tasks that can develop an intercultural understanding of different ways of living, ways of thinking and communication patterns, but few tasks that challenge students' worldviews.
Master in Education with English Didactics Department of Language, Literature, Mathematics and Interpreting