Evaluating Passages 1 and First Certificate Textbooks: A Discourse Perspective

Document Type: Research Article


Shahrekord University


Adopting the critical discourse analysis framework, in general, and
Fairclough’s (1989) critical text analysis, in particular, the current study aims at
examining 3 aspects of meaning, namely social relations, subject positions, and
contents in the conversation as well as vocabulary and grammar parts of Passages 1
(an American textbook) and First Certificate (a British textbook) to find out whether
there would be any discernable differences between these 2 instructional textbooks.
To evaluate the textbooks, content analysis was employed. The results revealed that
the primary emphasis of both ELT textbooks was on the cooperative learning.
Additionally, in both textbooks, social relations were mostly equal, and
conversations often took place between a male and a female with equal social status
and power. Regarding subject positions, the data analysis showed that Passages 1
favored friends social relation, whereas TV reporting was the dominant social
relation in First Certificate. Besides, Passages 1 mostly focused on uncontroversial
issues, whereas First Certificate concentrated on controversial and market-oriented
topics more than Passages 1. After all, both these textbooks tended to represent the
discourse and culture of Western countries, which can exert specific ideologies on
language learners.