Analyzing the Speech Acts in Grade 11 Textbooks: Representation and Practice in Speaking Activities and Lessons

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Dehininet Dessie
Belachew Zerihun
Getnet Gidey(PhD)


The main objective of this study was to investigate the representation of speech acts in speaking activities in grade 11 English for Ethiopia textbook and how these acts are prac- ticed in EFL classrooms. To achieve this, descriptive research design was employed. Speak- ing activities in grade 11 textbook as well as grade 11 English language teachers were used as sources of data. All speaking lessons of Grade 11 English for Ethiopia textbook and four grade 11 English language teachers were selected using comprehensive sampling technique. Document analysis and classroom observation were used as data gathering tools. The gathered data were analyzed qualitatively using content analysis. That is, the data gathered through document analysis were analyzed based on Searle's (1976) classifi- cation of speech acts. The speaking tasks were analyzed in terms of content (speech act or non-speech act), distribution, level of directness and competence. Besides, the tasks were analyzed to see whether they are representing  communicative contexts or not, and to see whether the speech act activities help learners to use appropriate language in the appro- priate context in the real world or not. The data gathered through classroom observation were analyzed qualitatively to check how the speech act tasks found in Grade 11 speaking lessons are being implemented. The findings of the study show that most of the speaking lessons have speech act content though the lessons are not represented by all forms of speech acts. Assertive is the highly emphasized speech act in the textbook. Direct language expressions are common and represented speech acts frequently focusing on pragma-lin- guistic competence. Most of the represented speech acts do not have clear situation and instruction when they are presented in the textbook and English language teachers are not able to use/create situation when they teach speech acts in the classroom. Therefore, some pedagogical implications were suggested to further improve the EFL textbook.

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