Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Hyo-Chang Hong

Second Advisor

Ryan Angus

Third Advisor

Sumeeta Patnaik


Relative clauses have been researched and found to be one of the more difficult English grammar items for people who speak English as a Second Language (henceforth, ESL) and people who use English as a Foreign Language (henceforth, EFL). In particular, objective relative clauses are one of the most challenging items for English learners. (Gibson, 1998; Gordon, Hendrick, & Johnson, 2001; Mellow, 2006; Hawkins, 1994; King & Just, 1991; Otsuka & Aburai, 2003). By examining the frequency of subjective and objective relative clauses in six English textbooks which are being used in middle schools and high schools in Japan, the efficacy of the textbooks in exposing learners to these grammar points was clarified: subject relative clauses appear in 3 sentences out of 659 (0.4%) in middle schoolers’ textbooks and in 102 sentences out of 1835 (5.5%) in high schoolers’ textbooks. Object relative clauses appear in three sentences out of 659 (0.4%) in middle schoolers’ textbooks and in 29 sentences out of 1835 (1.5%) in high schoolers’ textbooks. These percentages showed the lack of example sentences in those textbooks, especially the frequency of object relative clauses in both types of schools, even if learners’ comprehension of object relatives has been marked lower than other grammar (Otsuka & Aburai, 2003; Hidai, Matsumoto, Takahashi, Suzuki, Oda, Enomoto & Tanji, 2012). Based on these data, it was discovered that the textbooks’ publishing company should add more subject and object relative clause sentences in order to provide enough examples to the learners. Analyzing English textbooks which especially focus on certain grammatical views is still an on-going research topic. Therefore, this study attempts to give opportunities to discuss the grammar usage in the textbooks, and I hope it will be helpful for English teachers and educational organizations for assessing the role of the textbooks.


English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.

English language -- Textbooks for foreign speakers.