Apples

An intercultural analysis of English language textbooks in Iran: The case of English Prospect Series

Authors:
Parastou Gholami Pasand, ALI ASGHAR GHASEMI

Keywords:
Intercultural competence, Textbook, Prospect Series, EFL

Abstract:

With the rise of English as an international language and the close association between language and culture, attaining intercultural competence has become necessary in English language teaching enterprise. Intercultural competence, as one of the components of communicative competence, is defined as the ability to interact with people from differing cultures using a foreign language (Byram, 1997). Meanwhile, textbooks are the main sources of input for many L2 learners in most EFL settings like Iran. As such, the present study aimed at examining the newly developed ELT textbooks used in Iranian junior high schools in terms of the representation of cultural points in them and also the extent to which the textbooks can develop intercultural competence in the learners. The sample was the three textbooks including English Prospect 1, 2, and 3. Content analysis of the lessons was done adapting a framework used by Hillard (2014). Results of the analyses revealed that the range of cultural topics represented in the series is rather narrow. The findings also showed that the series is very limited in its account of intercultural elements, and it is solely constrained to local matters. These findings indicate a need for the inclusion of more cultural topics in the textbooks and it highlights that more attention should be devoted to developing the students’ intercultural competence by the inclusion of tasks or activities directed to other cultures and communities.

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Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies