Published on March 11, 2014
TEXTBOOK ANALYSIS 1. Book’s Identity Book title : Bahasa Inggris, When English Rings the Bell Publisher : Politeknik Negri Media Kreatif, Jakarta Year of Publication : 2013 Intended for grade : VII Grade Junior High School – Semester 1 & 2 Chapter : 5-8 2. Book’s Criterion Goals of the course The general goal of learning a language is to master the language. However, this book’s goal is narrower and more specific. This book is designed according to the newest curriculum applied in Indonesia; the Curriculum 2013, therefore, there are two major goals expected the students to master. A. Core Competence. The core competences are similar in each chapter. They are more concern about the morality general knowledge of the students. Here are the core competence of this book: 1. Responding and applying teachings of the religion that they believe. 2. Honoring the honest, discipline, responsible, care, polite, curious, confident, tolerant, internally-motivated, healthy lifestyle, and eco- friendly act in interacting effectively with society within their extent. 3. Understanding the knowledge (factual, conceptual, and procedural) of science, technology, art, culture and humanity with religious, nationalist, civilized, and cultural horizon related to observable phenomenon and events. 4. Try, process, and present various things in practical (use, elaborate, string, modify, and create) and theoretical (write, read, count, draw,
and compose) in accordance to what they have learned from school and from many other sources within the same point of view. B. Basic Competence Unlike the core competence, the basic competence has both morality of the students as well as more specific goals related to English skills. They are different in each chapter. Here are the goals of this book from chapter 5 to 8: 1. Understanding the social function, text structure, and language features of label and list. 2. Composing label and list, accurately (according to its generic structure and language features) and contextually. 3. Understanding the social function, text structure, and language features of both oral and written to mention characteristics of people, animal, and objects. 4. Composing both oral and written text to mention characteristics of people, animal, and objects with accurately (according to its generic structure and language features) and contextually. 5. Understanding the social function, text structure, and language features of both oral and written text to mention behavior/action/function of people/animal/objects. 6. Composing both oral and written text to mention behavior/action/function of people/animal/objects accurately (according to its generic structure and language features) and contextually. 7. Understanding oral text of gratitude and apology, and their responses. 8. Composing oral text of gratitude and apology, and their responses. 9. Understanding the social function, text structure, and language features in a very shot and simple special text type of instruction, sign or short notice, warning/caution, both oral and written. 10. Composing a very shot and simple special text type of instruction, sign or short notice, warning/caution, both oral and written accurately (according to its generic structure and language features) and contextually. 11. Comprehend the meaning of instruction text, sign or short notice, and warning/caution, both oral and written.
12. Understanding social function, text structure, and language features of very short and simple descriptive text both oral and written about people, animal, and things. 13. Comprehend the meaning in very short and simple descriptive text both oral and written. 14. Understanding messages in songs. 15. Comprehending messages in songs. With so many goals, this book has adequately provide the suitable material to fulfill it. The core competences’ goals will be a little hard to measure since it more related to the students’ behavior during the class. On the other hand, the basic competences are addressed with various conversation examples, various vocabularies, and exercises. The book also use a very polite instruction and not at all inappropriate. Background of the students The book is intended for the 7th grade students which are assumed have learned some Basic English in the primary school. We can all agree that each student has different phase in learning language. Some learn faster and the other learn slower. The language used in the book mostly appropriate with the age of the students. Some vocabularies might be a little difficult, however, with a good approach by the teacher, those difficult words can easily mastered. The content of the book appropriately match with the Indonesian culture. They are all related to the social life of the majority of Indonesian 7th graders. The names in the dialogues and texts are Indonesian names. The pictures represented the diversity of Indonesia. There are no racism in the book. 3. Approach When English Rings the Bell adopts the text-based approach, both oral and written with English as means of communication. Students are expected to understand about text-type, rules of language, and context so that when they create their own text, be that oral or written text, it will easily understood by others.
The book adopts some but not all of the learning styles. It contains the pictures for the visual-type learners, activities for the kinesthetic-type learner, and students’ projects for the tactile-type learners. However, it does not specially provide the audio for the auditory-type learners. Fortunately, it does contains texts which are read by the teacher during the class in listening part. I don’t consider this as a big problem because when the teacher and other students are practicing orally, the auditory-type learners are able to observe them. 4. Language skills Each chapter of this book is divided into four parts accommodating the four language skills. Listening : The book does not contain audio material. However it contains texts which will be read by the teacher at the beginning of the listening part of the chapter. Speaking : The book contains plenty of speaking exercises which allow students to use English orally. Reading : The book contains plenty of reading materials. Writing : In the end of each chapter, students are given assignments to create or compose text in which they practice their writing ability. The book designed adequately to covers the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. It does not accompanied with the special audio materials, but it does contains the text to be read by the teacher in the listening part of each chapter. Moreover, it can be covered by the speaking exercises which automatically make the students who are not speaking as the listener. By going through the goals of the book, I can conclude that it does emphasize the skills that are emphasized by the curriculum, in this case, able to understand the functions, the text structure, and the language features in different types of text, and the ability to use it correctly and appropriately as a means of communication.
To sum up, the book does integrate the four skills, but in quite imbalance approach towards each skill. However, this book is adequate to achieve the language skills that are emphasized by the curriculum. 5. General content The book has paid sufficient attention to words and word study. There is no mistyped words, no grammatical error, and misused words. The words used in this book are appropriate to both the teachers and students. Language is a tool used by society to communicate with one another. People acquire their L1 from their mother when they were a kid. English is taught in junior high school to prepare the students for the higher education. But more importantly, it is taught to make students understand and able to use English as means of communication. With many reading, speaking and writing activities, this book has adequately address the students’ needs in learning English. Most of the materials in the book are the things that students’ might have seen, or will likely see in their neighborhood. It is also contains the fresh contents. In other words, what students learn from this book are things that are really useful for them (contextual) and are up to date (current). Having said that, the book is indeed lack of the special notation such as phonetic symbols, stress, and intonation marking. However, 7th grader students will not benefit much from such notation since they are still a beginner learner who learn through mimic and repetition rather than code-deciphering.
6. Quality of practice material The majority of practice material in this book is good. They are in pictures and bubble speech asking the students to do something, whether to speak or to write. This can be really engaging for the students because it’s not like what we normally see in textbook. Exercises are not presented explicitly. Almost in every page, we can find exercise presented in the bubble speeches as I mentioned above. Multiple choice which we normally find in most textbooks is not available in this book. In my opinion, this is much better, because students are challenged to actually use the language instead of just crossing a, b, c or d. Having said that, the book indeed is lack of controlled exercise. However, the teacher’s book does contains the guidance on how to create the activities. The target languages are presented in examples, moving on to semi-controlled activities, and finished with free activities after the students are assumed to have understand how to use the target language. There are no grammar formulas presented in the books. Looking at this fact, it is safe to state that the book adopts the inductive approach. Even though the learning process will take a longer time than the deductive approach. This is far better because students will understand the grammar longer and will be able to apply what they learn in real conversation. There are no review materials in the book. I believe by having the final project on each project is sufficient to determine whether the students have understand what they have taught. 7. Sequencing No matter how the book is sequenced, the teacher can always jumbled the material suiting the students’ needs, the situation, the context, and the time. Teacher may teach the students the last chapter of the book in the first meeting if needed. By grammatical structures, the book is sequenced in the following order: a. Describing peoples’ job (she is a, he is a, he works at, she works at) and public places
b. Describing animals and what they do (Dog has fur, cat has fur, elephant is big, ant is small, cats eat fish) and also describing people’s characteristics. c. Describing appearances (he is tall, she is beautiful, he is diligent, my mother likes reading novels) d. Instruction and notice (don’t litter, no smoking, be quiet!) By genre, the book is sequenced in the following order: a. things around students (people, jobs, public places) b. descriptive text (characteristics) c. descriptive text d. instruction This book is not sequenced by language skills. The four language skills in English are integrated in every chapter. This is generally better than having to teach the students the four language skills in English separately. 8. Vocabulary The vocabularies in the book mostly relevant with what students’ life. With my limited knowledge in words and word study, I am confident to say that there is no mistyped or incorrectly spelled word in the books. The book contains vocabularies which are relevant to the students’ life. It is either the things that they have seen or the things they will see. There are no out of context vocabularies. Most of textbooks created these days are copy-paste material from other books used in other countries. In those books words like hamburger, sandwich, hotdog etc. These words are not written in this book, which is good because students will unlikely found them in their life. Students will find some vocabularies repeated throughout the semester. Words like, father, mother and their jobs are found throughout the semester. This way, they will be able to remember it for a much longer time. 9. General sociolinguistic factors
There are no cultural bias presented in the book. The pictures and the languages are appropriately presenting the diversity of Indonesian. There are pictures of young girl wearing hijab and not wearing hijab. Pictures of Padang restaurants, which representing the local culture. 10. Accompanying materials (Are there useful supplementary materials?) Accompanying materials will help teachers greatly in conducting the class. Materials like pictures, flashcards, cards, audio, video, board games and many others are necessary to increase students’ interest in learning English. However, even if those materials are not available, teachers can always create their own materials. The book contains plenty pictures. In fact, we can say that the book is picture-based. This way, students will immerse their selves with the language instead of translating every word into Bahasa Indonesia. It means that they will learn the word ‘dog’ not by knowing the translation: ‘anjing’, but by knowing what dog really is (from the picture) The book is not accompanied with tapes, audio or video material which is unfortunate. However, the teacher can find or create this to accommodate the class. It also doesn’t have poster, flash cards, even a set of test. Luckily, the book does come with teacher’s guidance on how to conduct the class. The guidance is well written so it is easy to understand. Teachers can choose to follow it or not. Even if teachers decided not to follow the guidance, at least they will have a rough image of how the book should be used to conduct a class. Evaluation The textbook are adequately address the course goals. Every competence in the curriculum can be achieved with this book, of course with some modification from the teacher. The chapters are arranged appropriately matching the syllabus from the Curriculum 2013. Most of the activity in the book are the same. The students are asked to relate what they have known or their own experience with the material by presenting
pictures. The students have to describe the picture or what they think about the picture. Moreover, at the end of every chapter the students will do mini projects in which they have to work in group. This kind of activity encourage the students’ ability to work with others. While this kind of activity strongly encourage students’ involvement in the learning process, it might be not very good for a low motivated students. The book need more controlled activity to accommodate the slow students. The sequencing of vocabulary, grammar and genre of this book has match what the curriculum suggests. There are a lot of vocabulary repetition throughout the book which is good because it will help students remember them much longer. The grammar sequence is not explicitly presented in the book. However, the content showed that it is appropriately sequenced, starting from the very simple (this is, that is) until the more complex grammar like in instruction. Its genre sequenced from what are the closest to students’ life (family and their jobs) into the farthest but still within the student’s life. The book is designed for Indonesian students. It contains what Indonesian students would normally find in their life. There are no ‘out of context’ material in the book. Everything is very Indonesian. The pictures and contents strongly represent the culture of Indonesia. Having said this, it would be much better if the students are given a chance to know how students in other countries are living, so they will understand about the culture of other country. The main strength of the book is the content presentation and the weakness is the lack of audio. The content is presented through pictures. The bubble speeches make the book as if it was communicating / interacting with the students. The book mostly use pictures to present the materials. Besides boosting the students’ motivation in learning, this can be far more engaging to the student. The weakness is that it doesn’t have any audio or video material. This book will be much better if there was audio and video materials. Beside saving the teacher’s time in
creating such materials, the students will learn in a more interesting way and they can hear what the correct pronunciation of certain words are. After analyzing the textbook, it is indeed suitable for the 7th grader students in Indonesia. The vocabularies are not too difficult and they are all relevant to the 7th grader students. The instructions within the book are easy to follow. The content are appropriate for students.
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