Sociological and Aesthetic Senses of Culture Represented in Global and Localized ELT Textbooks

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Allameh Tabataba'i University

2 Allameh Tabataba'i University


The relationship between language and culture has become a rich source of inquiry in the context of English language teaching. Learning materials can depict cultural content in different cultural senses, namely aesthetic, sociological, semantic, and pragmatic. The present study aimed to investigate the way cultural aspects are represented in the reading and dialog sections of global (American English File) and localized (The ILI English Series) ELT textbooks which are widely used in Iran. The framework adopted to analyze the cultural contents of the materials was Adaskou, Britten, and Fahsi (1990) to explore how culture in aesthetic and sociological senses is realized in the series. The findings demonstrated that more emphasis was put on the sociological sense and that this aspect of the culture dominated the aesthetic sense in the cultural contents of the two series. The cultural and culture-free contents represented in the two global and localized series were found to be entirely different in frequency and sense realization. Most of the contents in the localized series were culture-free, while the culture-free contents in the global series were reasonably less than the sociological and aesthetic senses. Additionally, the findings revealed that compared with the worldwide series, the localized textbook was less representative of cultural features in sociological and aesthetic senses. The results imply that ELT materials should be inclusive enough regarding the sociological and aesthetic senses of culture to help learners get engaged in the development of their cultural understanding.


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