How local teachers respond to the culture and language of a global English as a foreign language textbook

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Language, Culture and Curriculum, 2014, 27 (1), pp. 72 - 88
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The global textbook has an enormous influence upon what is taught in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms. As Akbari has noted, our era is not simply `postmethod, but one of `textbook-defined practice. What happens, then, when a global EFL textbook is selected for use with Year 1 students at a Thai university? How appropriate is the content; and how do local teachers respond? To date, while there has been considerable analysis of the content of textbooks, there is surprisingly little exploration of how teachers deal with such texts. The present study investigates three teachers practices through lesson observation and interview. It finds that the prescribed textbook in this instance proved to be misleading in several ways: in its cultural assumptions or discourses; in its lexical accuracy or semantics; and in its presentation of decontextualised grammar. Local teachers reported that they were unsettled by this experience, but were observed to offer little resistance, except to distance themselves and their students from the text.
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