Document Type : Research Paper


University of Tehran


This study aims at empirically measuring a universal criterion for materials evaluation, i.e., learning opportunities, in a locally- and a globally-designed materials. Adopting the conceptual framework of sociocultural theory and its conceptualization of learning as participation (Donato, 2000), the researchers utilized the methodological power of conversation analysis to examine how opportunities for learner participation and, by extension, learning are created whilst the materials are being used. Thirty teachers’ naturally-occurring classroom interactions, evolving from the two types of materials, was videotaped and transcribed line-by-line to identify the interactional contexts in which learner participation opportunities are embedded. Four interactional contexts affording different levels of learner interactional space were prompted by both types of materials. Examining the distribution of contexts revealed that management-oriented and form-oriented contexts were sustained significantly longer in classes with the locally-designed material. The globally-designed material, however, tended to unfold significantly longer skill-oriented and meaning-oriented contexts suggesting higher levels of built-in learner participation potential. The findings of this study raise materials developers’ awareness, especially in periphery communities, about how materials can either marginalize or empower learners in classroom interaction.


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