Am I in the Book? Imagined Communities and Language Ideologies of English in a Global EFL Textbook
AuthorCortez, Nolvia Ana
Critical Discourse Analysis
English as a Foreign Language
English Language Teaching
AdvisorWaugh, Linda R.
Committee ChairWaugh, Linda R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractLearners from many corners of the earth are acquiring English as a Foreign Language (EFL), lending importance to issues of language learning and its effects on global and local identities being forged in the process. As English language users, they are recipients and producers of multiple discourses around the global status of English as a foreign language, from English as linguistic, material, and symbolic capital (Bourdieu, 1991) to language as commodity (Heller, 1999). Such discourses are accompanied by representations of language and culture, or imagined communities (Anderson, 1983, Norton, 2001) that represent language use and cultural representations deemed as legitimate.The purpose of this study is to triangulate three different but intersecting perspectives: that of the researcher, Mexican EFL teachers and Mexican teachers-in-training, on the imagined communities and the underlying ideological discourses of English in a global EFL textbook, as well as those held by these same teachers and teachers-in-training. Critical discourse analysis, classroom observations, in-depth interviews and language learning autobiographies provided the data for a critical assessment of the language and cultural content of the textbook and the ideologies of English.While CDA has been rightly challenged for privileging the researcher's position, this study contributes to a poststructuralist view of the participants as agents of change; they are receptors of discourses that taint their ideologies about language, but they also resist and transform them, through articulated ideas as well as through specific classroom actions that allow them to appropriate the English language, despite the textbook's systematic exclusion of speakers like them, and cultural practices like theirs.This study contributes to the growing field of critical applied linguistics, where learners are viewed as social beings in sites of struggle and with multiple and changing identities (Norton, 2000). In this vein, neutrality can no longer be accepted as a construct in textbooks or in the ELT practice, since the contained practices are subject to ideologies which must be dismantled in order to offer students and teachers more equitable representations of the English language and its speakers.
Degree ProgramSecond Language Acquisition & Teaching