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Monday, August 4, 2008

Evaluation Checklist

Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah
English Form 3
By; Saras Nagappan, Kamala Ganehsan, Nora Mohd. Nor
First published: 1989
Reprinted: 1991
Mutiara Ilmu Sdn. Bhd.
ORGANIZATION
The textbook consists of a useful table of contents, index but has not a glossary at all unless a word list. The table of contents is divided into different columns of learning skills including listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar. It provides a few pages of index which are considered useful because they comprise the page(s) of each word listed and the words are arranged nicely in alphabetical order. Besides, the writers capitalized especially the initial letter of each proper name/proper noun and used small letters for all the common nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions etc. The word list anyway is said to be convenient only to the Form-three-students. The word list is imperfect and incomplete because there are neither further translations nor definitions of each word listed. This can make students confused. The writers also included some phonetic transcriptions without any necessary translations of each diphthong, monophthong as well as triphthong in detail.

The table of contents shows a logical arrangement and the development of the subject. The writers followed the syllabus or curriculum specifications thoroughly. Should the contents not follow the syllabus or curriculum specifications provided by the Ministry of Education, the textbook will absolutely not to publish and will possibly never seek permission from the Ministry of Education, ever. The textbook is uniform in appearance and content layout throughout the book as well as within each chapter.

It contains references but unfortunately it is unwell-organized because the writers have included the references within the acknowledgement of the textbook. It does not have any bibliographies but they still provide other resources which are also included in the acknowledgement. They are insufficient and less helpful because the writers did not explain precisely regarding the sources and did not organize them in a proper way. Furthermore, there is no American Psychological Association (APA) citation.

Besides that, the chapters have no clear and comprehensive introduction and summary. The textbook just goes direct to the main topic. Without summaries, students will not be exposed to the main objectives of each chapter very accurately. As a result, students will never know what they will exactly learn upon the successful completion of each chapter obviously. All the pages of the textbook are numbered starting from the beginning of the page of the first chapter until the last one.


CONTENTThe content meets local and national standards. The writers included some photos such as the National Museum, Penang Hill, the Sultan Abdul Samad building, the parliament, the National Mosque and many more. The characters used in the whole chapters comprise all the races in the country. For example, Rugayah (a Malay), Su Lee (a Chinese) and Kumari (an Indian). The content is accurate and up-to-date on the time the textbook was published and it might be no longer appropriate to the present time.

The content will be supported by other textbooks that students have or will use. History, Geography and Science for instance. This is because a few of the chapters in the textbook talk a little bit about the history of Malaya, several technology devices such as phones and computers, and also relate to the geographical aspects including coordinates in directions (i.e. Chapter 2: How do I get there?).

The language is exactly appropriate for the intended age group. It is clear as well as grammatically correct. It is believed that all the writers are professional in English grammar and know well the appropriate language they have to use when writing the textbook. The textbook contains age appropriate reading level. It contains end-of-lesson questions at the end of the lessons but then there is no quiz included. Besides that, it includes activities in each chapter but nevertheless it is poor structured. Lessons are linked to other subject areas as stated in the third number of the answers above such as History, Geography and Science.

The activities will possibly engage students in active learning in that there are inspiring games and attractive activities to work out. None the less we find a shortage of the chapters. There are no assistant teaching aids such as compact discs (CD's) for more engaging learning process, and digital dictionaries especially in terms of pronunciations. Students are not exposed to listen to the English-speaking pronunciations. Nowadays, most textbooks are supplied together with a CD for deeper exploration in every chapter. The activities are quite appealing to a wide range of abilities and interests. For example, a crossword puzzle and language games equipped with some helpful clues will urge students to think more creatively and more critically. By doing the activities with the teacher's help can create more communication between students and the teacher. This deliberately makes students less embarrassed and more confident when asking teachers especially when they do not really understand in certain topics. In one of the chapter related to occupations, students will discover their respective interests in which occupations are attractive to them to go into in the forthcoming future and then will be bent on studying harder to make the dreams come true.

The lessons encourage higher level thinking as we have elaborated in the previous answer.The textbook must be always updated from time to time and appropriate to the current era. We are partially conscious of the daily increasing development of science and technology and a diversity of electronic machines being invented tremendously will be able to attract students' concentration more compared to ancient ones.

PHYSICAL ASPECTS
The size and weight of the textbook are inappropriate for students who will use it as it looks somewhat heavy and thick. Students will get into the hot water when having to carry too many textbooks of other different subjects. Sometimes, the weight of the textbook might be heavier than the student himself. The font and style age are appropriate enough because the fonts 'Symphony' and 'Tahoma' are legible to Form-three-students. Other than that, the binding, pages and cover are durable. As clear evidence, we still can see the durability of the textbook itself.


Sadly, the textbook will not really appeal to the students. The contents of the textbook do not seem too fascinating due to the lack of colours used. For instance, most of the colours of the pictures are just black and white. However, the page layout is uncluttered and balanced. The chapters are in the right order and the pages of the contents are well ordered. The illustrations, tables, figures, graphs, charts, etc. provide appropriate representations of age such as most characters in the textbook are teenagers, ethnicity, sex and physical or mental ability. The illustrations, tables, figures, graphs, charts, etc. are relevant and functional based upon the related pictures etc. in every chapter.
COVER APPEARANCEIts front cover is engaging and decorated with lovely and colourful graphics – related to the topics they will learn. In addition, it conveys certain inner messages as well as moral values to students for the sake of their future and careers.

The back cover is less interesting owing to colourlessness and no pictures – but the profiles and backgrounds of the three writers enable students to find out who the writers of the textbook are. The backgrounds of each writer would be able to make students get interested in doing English and determine to become such people someday.