Romey examines the questions of textbook according to these 4 categories : a.A question the answer of which is directly in text
b.A question the answer of which is concerned with "definitions"
c.A question the answer of which is concerned with learner's using of new acquired knowledge ""
d.A question requiring the learner to solve a specific problem "
Romey calls the first 2 as inactive categories and the second 2 as active categories.
In reading comprehension , the answers of most questions are directly in text :
"Who was traveling in the United States ?" "Could tom take the bus to school ?"
Some answers are not directly in text but they are not such active questions that involve the learner to solve a problem.They make the students think 'however e.g: "Do you speak a foreign language ?"
"Do some men also have summer and winter homes?" "How do they birds find their way back home ?"
There are some kind of questions which are very useful to involve students in comprehending the text but there are no questions like these in our text books .These questions are :
1. LRestate this sentence in English: "That's how big it is" (line =1)
2.Restate this sentence in English:
"They are not much bigger than your thumb."
3. What does "its "(line 10)refer to?
4. What do "its " and "it" (paragph S ) refer to ?
5. Write 4 sentences about the text and ask the students if they are true or false:
6. Complete the text:
In Holland there is a ....... city. The buildings are small in this city. But there are
lots of ......... There's an .........at the toy town .Its planes are the size of a
child's ......... Small boats ....... on canals about afoot ......... Trains run along
7. Write a summary of text in 10 sentences with your partner. The best summary will be awarded.
8.Copmpare two sides of the moon.
9.Are there any similarities between two sides of the moon ? Support your idea by using examples.
10.Do you think Washoe is a clever monkey? Support your idea by using examples and reasons?
However the number of these questions is so few and most are inactive questions that the learner can find their answers exactly in text ."
Interpretation of results
When the involvement index (learner's involvement with content: text pictures
,questions )is specified the results are interpreted .
Romey calls a textbook active when its involvement index is between 0.4 and 1.5 . If it is less than 0.4 it means the textbook requires the learner to recite the scientific points Here learner and his mind is viewed as bank system that looks for keeping and saving the scientific points . And more than 1.5 means that the textbook require the learner to analyse all the sentences or questions or pictures. These textbook only look for activities without presenting enough scientific information and knowledge.They neglect the learner's knowledge and conditions .
Then a textbook is good that the involvement index is between 0.4 and 1.5 that is ,it should present at least 30 % and 70 % scientific subjects .
In fact the content should be designed in a way that motivate the learners to learn .inquire .discover and be active .
As we see the textbooks in high school have these demerits but the question is : Does this problem (I mean having books like that means doing nothing and waiting only for changes and revise of books ?
As Widdowson says: A structural based syllabus can be realized in a communicative methodology and a communicative syllabus may be realized in a structural
methodology (as we see in book 4 :preuniversity book our teachers go on their own structural methodology). So a solution for the present state is not waiting and being passive but teachers can do actions to compensate these shortcomings.
1.Brown,H.D.1994H.D.1994.Principles of Language Teaching
2. Gilliland, J., Readability (University of London Press, 1972).
3. William D. Romey,Inquiry techniques for teaching science, Prentice
Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1968
4.Penny Ur ,1995,Acourse in Language Teaching Cambridge University
5.WiddowsonH.G(1990)Aspects of Language Teaching
The methods of assessing Reading Age
Fry Readability Graph Select samples of 100 words.
(i) Find y, the average number of sentences per 100-word passage (calculating to the nearest tenth).
(ii) Find x, the average number of syllables per 100-word sample.
Then use the Fry graph (below) to determine the reading age, in years. This test is suitable for all ages, from infant to upper secondary.
The curve represents normal texts. Points below the curve imply longer than average sentence lengths. Points above the curve represent text with a more difficult vocabulary (as in school science texts).
Fry Graph for estimating Reading Ages (in years)