2012 Volume 14 Issue 1 Pages 1-13
This study examines reading and integrated skills tasks in MEXT-authorized Reading course books for senior high school students in Japan. Its purpose is to evaluate the tasks before the course disappears in the next Course of Study. The course books are divided into five sections, and the tasks are categorized into 10 groups. The categorized tasks are scored and compared between the course books, between the course-book sections, and between the reading skills categories. The results are: (a) the course books have similar distribution of the tasks; (b) main categories used for reading skills tasks are comprehension strategies, discourse structures, vocabulary and grammar, and the main category for integrated skills tasks is comprehension strategies; and (c) post-reading sections are where the most tasks are placed. It is shown that reading and integrated skills tasks have problems in fostering overall reading proficiency. Implications for the succeeding course books are also revealed.