Step Ahead: How Useful is it for the Genre-Based Pedagogy

Lim Suet Ching Megan

English Language Honours AE, NIE, 2002


This study attempts to determine the extent to which one of the new textbooks, Step Ahead, is a useful educational resource in genre-based pedagogy. With the implementation of genre-based pedagogy in the English Language 2001 syllabus for Secondary schools, the textbook will be a critical resource for teachers in teaching genres. At the same time, the privatization of textbook publication has led to an increase in the number of new textbooks available. These changes make the selection of the most suitable textbook of great importance to both teachers and students. The evaluation in this study is based on the curriculum cycle, one of the teaching models of the genre-based pedagogy. A list of criteria was formulated which led to the development of a set of questions used in the evaluation. From the evaluation, it appears that while the textbook did provide support in various ways, the explicit modelling of genres and scaffolding for writing is not adequate. Also, the units did not fully maximize students' potential to critically evaluate the effectiveness of the genre and to creatively exploit the features within and beyond the genres. This implies that it is necessary for teachers using the textbook to address the deficiencies with their own supplementary materials. With the likelihood of a greater number of textbooks being published, textbook evaluation should continue to be conducted to ensure that the potential of these resources is maximized.