A Closer Look at Ideologies Embedded in Imported English Language Teaching Textbooks in Iran
Seidi, A., Kabiri Samani, S., Fallahi, H., & Parseh, F. (2016).
Textbooks are a significant element of teaching English as a foreign language and are the main input for language learners in the process of language learning. Since many various textbooks have been published for teaching English as a foreign language and have been imported to the Iranian EFL contexts, selecting the proper specific textbook is getting more difficult for Iranian teachers and program developers in private language institutes. The important point is that textbooks are not used only to make language learners familiar with the linguistic aspects; rather, they include the cultural and social aspects of the English language. These cultural and social aspects can be categorized as linguistic ideologies. The purpose of the present study was to review the theories on ideology in language learning and then discuss the ideological aspects of the imported EFL textbooks in Iran. The paper also discussed that there were certainly elements of bias in the language uses and social practices, but they were often unseen or unnoticed. Our study showed that there were three major linguistic ideologies in the EFL textbooks which included hegemony, linguistic imperialism, hegemony of English, and globalization. The imported EFL textbooks in Iran represent specific types of discourse including the western cultural, social, and economical norms. These ideological assumptions have mostly been ignored by curriculum developers in Iran in selecting the appropriate textbooks for their educational programs. The discussion in the present study can be useful to material designers, teachers, and learners.