Textbooks for teaching and learning a foreign English language: Do they really facilitate students’ acquisition of English relative clauses?

2019 IJRSLL – Volume 8 Issue 2


Hua, Tzu-Ling*
Ming Chuan University, Taiwan (tzuling0619@gmail.com)


Textbooks play an important role in learners’ language learning process. Yet, textbook writers may not be fully trained in the effective sequencing for grammatical structures. This study applies theoretical research to practical pedagogical considerations, and examines if current EFL textbooks in Taiwan facilitate students’ acquisition of English relative clauses. Based on well-established hypotheses of the difficulty order for RC acquisition, thirty textbooks were examined. The results show that textbooks do not appear to be compatible with the current hypothesis of the acquisition of relative clauses in second language. The textbooks examined do not sequence relative clauses according to their complexity. Moreover, only a few types of relative clauses were presented. Classroom teachers who strictly adhere to such textbooks may result in the inhibition of the students’ learning process, avoidance of relative clause use, and thus limitation of their language development. The findings of this study have implications for curriculum designers and English language educators as a reference for improving or modifying their pedagogical practice.

Keywords: second language acquisition; relative clauses; developmental sequences; textbook analysis; English language learning


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrsll.2019.4006

*Corresponding Author