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Volume 2 Number 4, Winter 2005, Pages 1-140   

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A Comparative Study of Lesson Topics in High School Textbooks Used

    Naoyoshi Ogawa / Katsumi Kiyonaga / Toru Yamashita /

Topics in language textbooks provide frameworks in which to introduce language forms (target structures and skills). Over more than three decades, notional-functional approaches and communicative language learning approaches to language learning have underpinned the view that lesson topics should be aimed at providing meaningful contexts to introduce language forms. The globalization of English further requires the development of topics which better represent the multinational use of English in high school English textbooks. Thus, topic content plays an essential role in textbook development. In the present study, therefore, we will investigate the lesson topics that appear in high school English textbooks used in Japan, Korea and China. The textbooks in each of the three countries will be classified according to the same criterion, the Nippon Decimal Classification (NDC), which is used by almost all of the libraries in Japan. The results will be compared in order to identify their characteristics. Furthermore, we will investigate the forms (e.g., explanations, narratives, dialogues) of lessons and consider the relationship between the results of the content and the forms of the lessons. We will also consider topics by country in textbooks used in Japan, Korea and China at the end of the study.