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Learning English in an English speaking world : examining opportunities for intercultural understandings and connectedness through representations of identities in English language textbooks

Caukill, Emma (2011) Learning English in an English speaking world : examining opportunities for intercultural understandings and connectedness through representations of identities in English language textbooks. In Dashwood, Ann & Son, J.B. (Eds.) Language, Culture and Social Connectedness. Cambridge Scholars Publishing., Newcastle Upon Tyne, pp. 57-73.

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Abstract

With the recognition that language both reflects and constructs culture and English now widely acknowledged as an international language, the cul-tural content of language teaching materials is now being problematised. Through a quantitative analysis, this chapter focuses on opportunities for intercultural understanding and connectedness through representations of the identities that appear in two leading English language textbooks. The analyses reveal that the textbooks orientate towards British and western identities with representations of people from non-European/non-Western backgrounds being notable for their absence, while others are hidden from view. Indeed there would appear to be a neocolonialist orientation in oper-ation in the textbooks, one that aligns English with the West. The chapter proposes arguments for the consideration of cultural diversity in English language teaching (ELT) textbook design, and promoting intercultural awareness and acknowledging the contexts in which English is now being used. It also offers ways that teachers can critically reflect on existing ELT materials and proposes arguments for including different varieties of Eng-lish in order to ensure a level of intercultural understanding and connect-edness.

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ID Code: 49012
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: English as an international language, language textbooks, intercultural understanding, language and culture, pedagogy
ISBN: 9781443829922
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > LOTE ESL and TESOL Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Maori) (130207)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Please consult the author.
Deposited On: 07 Mar 2012 10:34
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2012 10:34

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