Evaluating College English Textbooks for Chinese Students’ English Academic Writing: Voices of Students and Teachers’

Abstract

The increasing importance of English academic writing (EAW) in China requires concerted efforts to explore how to enhance the experience and quality of students’ learning of EAW skills. This paper reports on a study that examined the perceived usefulness of College English (CE) textbooks for Chinese college students’ EAW development. The study investigated the students’ and teachers’ views about the textbooks by surveying the students’ feedback with a questionnaire and conducting interviews with teachers and students about their experiences. The study used the convergent design data analysis by integrating the questionnaire data and data elicited from students’ interviews, and then the integration results regarding students’ feedback were compared and contrasted with teachers’ feedback obtained from teachers’ interviews. The results show that students and teachers believe that CE textbooks are useful in EAW improvement because they help students to acquire language patterns, linking words, analytical skills, and so forth. In addition, the students expected to learn about the genres of argumentation and exposition as well as procedures in CE textbooks, to help them improve their EAW skills. It is suggested that under the explicit guidance of teachers, students could use textbooks effectively to improve their critical thinking ability for EAW. Moreover, the differences between academic writing and high school writing in textual structures need to be explicitly presented in textbooks and classroom activities.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    See https://www.moe.gov.cn/srcsite/A08/s7056/200707/t20070710_110825.html.

  2. 2.

    The College English Test (CET) is China’s national English proficiency test for undergraduate students. The test is administered by the National College English Testing Committee on behalf of the Higher Education Department, Ministry of Education of China. CET Band 4 and Band 6 indicate different levels of test difficulties. Both the writing course and CET Band 4 are designed in accordance with the National College English Teaching Syllabus (Liao and Li 2017).

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Appendix: Textbooks

Appendix: Textbooks

Zheng, S. (2014). New Horizon College English. Bei Jing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.

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Li, J., Cui, X. Evaluating College English Textbooks for Chinese Students’ English Academic Writing: Voices of Students and Teachers’. Asia-Pacific Edu Res 30, 47–58 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40299-020-00513-1

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Keywords

  • English academic writing (EAW)
  • English for academic purposes
  • College English (CE) textbooks
  • Textbook evaluation