Cultural Exophoric References in English Textbooks Used at Four Common English Textbooks Used at Iranian English Language Institutes: A Comparative Discursive Study of the Degree of Referential Burden

Document Type : Research Article


1 Imam Khomeini University of Naval Sciences, Nowshahr

2 Payam-E-Noor University (PNU), Tehran


The present study is an attempt to find out cultural exophoric references in four common English textbooks, namely Touch Stone, American File, Top Notch, and Total English series used at Iranian English language institutes and to compare the frequency of occurrence of such references in these coursebooks. In order to compare cultural exophoric references used in these coursebooks, the researcher extracted all the cultural exophoric references used in these course books and found out their frequency rates. Since the number of books in each series was not equal, the mean for each book of the series was computed. The textbooks were also evaluated by both students and teachers based on administering cultural section of the Shatery and Azargoon's (2012) nativized checklist. To this aim, 366 students and 76 teachers participated in this study. They were selected from various language institutes of Gilan and Mazandaran in which the coursebooks under investigation were taught. Data analysis indicated that American File series used more cultural exophoric references (M = 62.4) than the other coursebooks under investigation. In addition, teachers and students had the same idea and believed that American File series is culturally biased and is a vehicle to advertise the Anglo-American culture. The researcher does not propose that one coursebook should replace another but that teachers should be well aware of cultural sensitivities of the coursebook they teach.