Examining and comparing English textbooks and high-stakes exams in Turkey: A Corpus-Based Study

Textbooks, as the de facto syllabi in elementary and secondary education, largely influence thepedagogical practice in classrooms. Hence, textbook research is of considerable importance inshaping educational constructions. Meanwhile, research in assessment, in particularstandardized examinations, has revealed substantial washback effects on both teaching andlearning. However, in the field of English language education in Turkey, few empirical studieshave been conducted to investigate the relationship between textbooks and high-stakesstandardized exams. Furthermore, no studies have been performed based on corpus data.This ongoing research study aims to examine whether the English textbooks used in Turkish K-12 public schools align with the high-stakes high school and university entrance exams for thepast decade. In other words, the study aims to investigate the connection between what issupposed to be taught and what is tested. Corpus-based quantitative analysis will be conductedto compare the textbooks and exams from vocabulary, sentence, and discourse levels.Moreover, sociolinguistics aspects will be considered in the comparison as well. Pedagogicalimplications as well as insights for curriculum revising, textbook writing, and exam designingwill be provided based on the findings of the study.The preliminary results of this study have shown limited overlap between the high schooltextbooks and the university entrance exams regarding most frequent vocabulary items,including lexical bundles. With respect to lexical sophistication and lexical diversity, significantdifferences between the textbooks and the university entrance exams have also been detected.The lexical sophistication and diversity level of the textbooks were significantly lower than theexams. The final research findings are expected to be concluded by May, 2020.
Corpora and Discourse International Conference 2020


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Citation Formats
X. Yu, “Examining and comparing English textbooks and high-stakes exams in Turkey: A Corpus-Based Study,” presented at the Corpora and Discourse International Conference 2020, Brighton, İngiltere, 2020, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/92609.