How is culture represented in the English language textbooks used in Hong Kong and Shanghai?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

With the increasing demand for communicatively competent citizens with global perspectives, culture learning has become an important component in the English language curricula in Hong Kong and mainland China in recent years. This paper will examine how culture is represented in two series of textbooks for junior secondary students in Hong Kong and Shanghai, both published by the same popular publisher. The study adopted Moran’s framework (persons, products, practices, perspectives and communities) and Kachru’s three concentric circles (inner circle, outer circle and expanding circle) to investigate how the authors managed the breadth and depth of cultural presentation. Unlike many previous studies which merely relied on manual analysis, this study combined both manual analysis and corpus linguistic tools to conduct a more comprehensive and objective study. The results show that the Hong Kong series outperformed the Shanghai series in terms of the breadth of the local and foreign cultures represented, as well as in terms of Moran’s cultural dimensions. Nevertheless, both series showed an imbalance in terms of Moran’s cultural aspects, with products (e.g., food, sightseeing places) being the most frequently depicted cultural element, and perspectives the least. This reveals a ‘tourist’s perspective’ and a lack of depth in cultural materials, which may not favour learners’ intercultural communicative competence development. Copyright © 2021 IAFOR.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Citation

Lee, J. F. K. (2021, March). How is culture represented in the English language textbooks used in Hong Kong and Shanghai? Paper presented at The 2021 Asian Conference on Language, Tokyo, Japan.

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