Starting from the Grassroot: Exploring Teachers’ and Learners’ Views, Wants, and Uses of their English Textbook in Western Algeria Secondary schools

  • Nour El Houda Bouacha

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


New trends in English language teaching (ELT) have flourished around the world in an attempt to modernise education and pedagogy. Algeria, like many developing countries, has sought to improve its educational system and cater for its local needs through an educational reform that introduced the Competency-Based Language Teaching approach in all secondary schools across the country. This teaching approach was implemented through newly developed and prescribed textbooks by the Ministry of National Education to enable teachers to structure language learning effectively. However, during these initiatives, the teachers and learners, being the actual textbook users, have been marginalised during the different design processes and their voices have been ignored. Furthermore, studies on how teachers and learners use and interpret materials in second-language classroom contexts are scarce. In response, this exploratory study seeks to investigate Algerian secondary schools teachers’ and learners’ views, wants, and uses of their English textbooks. In doing so, this study aims to find out the actual value of the prescribed textbooks from the end-users’ perspectives voicing their suggestions and uncovering their textbook use. This study is deemed vital not only because it contributes to an under-researched area of material use, but it also gives voice to teachers and learners by focusing on their insights and experiences.

Using a convergent mixed-method case-study design, questionnaires were administered to 51 teachers and 135 students, 60 sessions of classroom observations were undertaken, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 teachers, and 12 focus groups interviews were carried out with 60 students. The quantitative and qualitative data were analysed using different procedures (e.g., descriptive analysis, thematic analysis, individual and cross-case analysis) to shed light on a comprehensible picture of the end-users’ perceptions and uses of the textbook materials. The findings revealed that the teachers and learners demonstrated an acute awareness of effective materials as they identified several features that were lacking and, as such, desirable to be included in their textbooks. These features were attractive design, life-like texts and tasks, and relevant, varied, and innovative content and resources that challenge learners and allow them to develop their critical thinking. The findings also showed that the teachers’ use of the textbook was molded by their own beliefs, knowledge of students’ profiles, pedagogical preferences, experience, and training which all accumulate to determine how the material was enacted in the classroom. Regarding the students’ use of the textbook, the findings demonstrated that their use was shaped by the way they perceive the materials and the role of their teacher. The study concludes by recommending a bottom-up approach through the inclusion of teachers and learners in the decision-making and design processes. It also highlights several implications for different stakeholders including decision-makers, designers, trainers, and teachers.
Date of AwardFeb 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAssia Slimani Rolls (Supervisor) & Cristina Devecchi (Supervisor)


  • Post method
  • ELT materials
  • empowerment
  • inclusivity
  • views
  • wants
  • use of textbook materials

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