Investigating the Pragmatic Aspects of Teaching Materials: A Comparative Study of the Iranian and Iraqi High School English Textbooks
The present study aimed at investigating all oral activities included in the speaking and listening sections of the Iranian high school English textbooks and the Iraqi junior high school English textbooks in terms of their pragmatic aspects with a focus on speech acts using Searle’s (1976) model for macro-functions and two other models for analysis of micro-functions including Quirk et al. (1985) and Matreyek (1990). To this end, the frequency and type of each speech act was identified. Also the context of each conversation was examined for the meaningfulness of the conversations.The results indicated that the speech acts in the Iraqi textbooks were more frequent than the Iranian ones and there were more various types of speech acts in the Iraqi textbooks in comparison with the Iranian ones. In addition, language functions in the Iraqi textbooks mostly occurred in meaningful contexts while the Iranian ones did not provide such meaningful contexts. Furthermore, it was revealed that out of five different kinds of language functions proposed by Searle (1976), only three of them, i.e. representative, directive and expressive macro-functions were used in the Iranian textbooks. The Iraqi textbooks proved superior in this case as well since they included the three types of speech acts identified in the Iranian English textbooks plus the commissive type.
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