[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 15] 1983
► pp. 7–30
Research into the use of language in schoolbooks can be done from several angles: theory of verbal communication, teaching methodology, psychology (of education, of reading, of the reader). Being at the crossroads of so many different disciplines makes research difficult, and this is not conductive to ready application of any results in practice. In the border area between linguistics (in its wider sense) and educational science, publications with a practical dimension are few and far between, most of these resorting to generalities. The perennial problem is: should we opt for adaptation of Schoolbook texts, in other words for 'availability' , or rather for training pupils in reading comprehension (in which case texts may well be difficult)? To complicate matters, the place and function of the Schoolbook within the teaching and learning process are under discussion. The place and function of the Schoolbook are again strongly determined by the phasing of communicative situations or language learning situations. Thus the wheel has come full circle. The question remains, however, where all this leaves the use of language in schoolbooks. In this context the interplay between reader and text cou!d be declared to be the object. The text-approaching skills of the reader and any text processing could be viewed as an integrated approach to text comprehension and text 'availability'. This means that the focus is on the interaction between reader and text, on mobilising meta-cognitive skills and on the improvement of reading for comprehension at primary school level. In the Netherlands this view is represented by such people as Hennephof, Westhoff and Bol; in the Federal Republic of Germany by Groeben. A situationally determined and multilateral approach to the use of language in schoolbooks seems the only sensible one. 'Availability' is here used in the sense that it is easy to get access to what is in the text. It is not synonymous with 'readability', but rather with the German "Verständlichkeit'.
Article language: Dutch