Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of English, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Shahrekord University


Textbooks play an important role in English Language Teaching (ELT), particularly in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context where it provides the primary linguistic input. The present research was an attempt to comparatively evaluate the Touchstone series in terms of compliment and complaint speech acts. Four Touchstone textbooks (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, and Book 4) were selected and content analysis was done using Olshtain and Weinbach’s (1993) complaint strategies and Wolfson and Manes’ (1980) classification of compliment. The frequencies and percentages of compliments and complaint speech acts were obtained. Data analysis showed that, first, the total frequency of the complaint speech act was higher in Touchstone, Book 4 than the other three textbooks; second, the frequency of complaint and compliment speech acts in the Writing section was quite low, but the Conversation section had a high frequency of compliment speech act in the Touchstone series; third, the expression of annoyance or disapproval complaint strategy was frequently used in the Touchstone series; fourth, the compliment strategy of ‘noun phrase + looks/is (intensifier) adjective’ was very frequent in the Touchstone series; finally, there was a significant difference between the frequencies of the two speech acts, in general, in the four Touchstone textbooks. Considering the weaknesses and strengthens of Touchstone series, implications for teachers, material developers, and textbook writers are provided.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


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