Examining Identity Options in Native and Nonnative Produced Textbooks Taught in Iran: A Critical Textbook Evaluation

Document Type: Research Article

Author

Shiraz University

Abstract

Considering the crucial role textbook evaluation plays in any educational system, this study evaluated 2 textbook series with respect to the identity options they offer to Iranian learners of English. Data were gathered based on reading passages, dialogues, and pictures of Right Path to English (RPE) and Cambridge English for Schools (CES). Although this study is mainly qualitative in nature, quantitative results were also presented to provide the readers with a valid and replicable analysis of the data. Fairclough’s (1995) critical discourse analysis (CDA) framework constituted the theoretical framework of the study. Using this framework, the researcher examined different aspects of identity, namely, gender, social class, professional occupation, marital status, ethnicity, and religious affiliation. Findings indicated that RPE provides its readers with an ethnically homogenous imaginary world of English use. CES, on the other hand, depicts a more varied and ethnically heterogeneous picture of English use. Implications of these findings for Iranian textbook writers are also discussed.

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