Publication details

Kulturní aspekty angličtiny jako mezinárodního jazyka v učebnicích angličtiny

Title in English Cultural aspects of English as an international language in ELT textbooks


Year of publication 2017
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

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Description The research presented in the text addressed the international character of the English language and how it is reflected in ELT (English Language Teaching) textbooks used at lower secondary schools in the Czech Republic. It consisted of a content analysis of the most commonly used textbooks (namely Your Space 3, Cambridge English: Prepare! Level 3, and Project 3, Fourth Edition) with a focus on the cultural aspect of the language in these. The aim of the research was to examine whether the most popular publishers of ELT textbooks acknowledge and react to the fact that there are more L2 speakers than L1 speakers in the world and that English is more and more often used as a means of communication with other non-native speakers rather than L1 speakers, both as EIL (English as an International Language) and ELF (English as a Foreign Language). This was done by counting references to different groups of countries in the textbooks, calculating the ratio between different accents in the audio materials, and by counting links to L1 of the learners. The results show that the textbooks vary among each other in different aspects. One aspect of the textbooks that we evaluated was the cultural density. All textbooks scored a little below two cultural references per page. The textbook, which has the closest ratio to the one between L1 and L2 speakers and thus represents the role of English today is textbook Prepare!. Concerning audio materials, we found out that RP is still very strongly preferred; sometimes there is very little representation of any other accent. Representation of L2 speakers is almost non-existent, which indicates a very conservative approach towards EIL in the spoken form and an inaccurate representation of the language reality. Next we focused on references to the mother tongue of the learners and discovered the textbook Project to be the most successful in this regard, however all references to L2 were related to direct translation. Your Space turned out to be subtle in their links, teaching learning skills at the same time. Their links had an advisory tone rather than requiring a specific action from the learner. The textbook Prepare! contained very little references to L1 of the learners, and if so, they were related to the topic of the unit, therefore inconsistent. Suggestions for further research are to be found in the conclusion.

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