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An ESP Coursebook Design Principles Grounded in Design-Based Research


The development of learning materials seems to be a fact of life for many ESP teachers. Even though there are many empirically grounded studies on the development of English language learning materials, only a few deal with ESP materials development that would provide potential authors with instructions on how to proceed with their design. Therefore, the need arises to conduct research that would focus on both the design of a coursebook and the production of design principles. Design-based research methodology offers a solution to this problem since it involves systematic implementation, evaluation, and development of an educational intervention (in this case an ESP coursebook) with the aim of producing design principles and empirically grounded theories. This study focuses on the formulation of design principles for an ESP coursebook derived from the results of design-based research of the coursebook, English for Information Technology, designed for the course, English for IT, that is attended by students of the Faculty of Information Technology at Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic. The research was conducted among 184 students and 13 teachers at Brno University of Technology in two iterative cycles from 2018 to 2020. The research methods included the coursebook evaluation by means of a questionnaire survey and testing students' knowledge and skills before and after using the coursebook. The research results indicated the requirements for the coursebook redesign so that it could meet the needs of the target group of students as well as teachers' and students' common and different preferences in choosing the suitable ESP learning materials. Besides validation of English learning materials development theories and theories of second language acquisition, the design-based research of the coursebook contributed to the development of some theories of ESP coursebook design and evaluation. It is believed that the design principles presented in this study should provide a basis for adaptation to other situations, that is, they can help teachers to develop ESP coursebooks tailored for their own courses.


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