Publication Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Kathleen Graves


This paper describes a materials development project carried out at a junior college in Osaka, Japan. The purpose of the project was to develop a set of English language readings about American history and culture suitable for use in a content area course for Japanese students majoring in English at the college. Theory and related research on readability applicable to EFL/ESL content-focused materials are surveyed and discussed in an attempt to identify key factors and to develop an approach to writing the readings and supporting exercises. This is followed by a description of how six American history and culture readings were developed and field tested, a discussion of student feedback, and implications for revision of the materials. The author concludes _ that interest level of content, format, use of illustrations, length, amount of unfamiliar vocabulary, organization of the text use of effective story telling techniques, reader background knowledge, and meaningful exercises to aid processing and retention of the text, were all important factors affecting how the materials were received. The actual materials and student feedback are also included.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education