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Volume 8 Number 2, Summer 2011, Pages 1-210   

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The Hidden Curriculum of Cultural Content in Internationally Published ELT Textbooks: A Closer Look at New American Inside Out

    Tzu-chia Chao

This study aims to examine the cultural content and its hidden curriculum of one popular internationally published ELT textbook: New American Inside Out (elementary level/2008). The method of content analysis, based on the two coding schemes: The Five Dimensions of Culture and the Categories of Culture, was adopted to codify the content. The results show that this textbook has promoted different dimensions of culture with a focus on the introduction of western products, persons and perspectives. Quite a lot of content related to linguistic practices is found not specific to any culture or country; however, the bias in favor of Target Culture (English-speaking countries) is obvious throughout the textbook in terms of the reading texts and listening scripts. Less interest has been put on the presentation of local and Asian cultures. As for the arrangement of intercultural issues, most of them are put in speaking activities but center on personal sharing of experiences instead of carrying out intercultural reflection and awareness. Drawn upon the findings, the hidden curriculum delivered through the textbook is discussed, and then relevant suggestions are provided with the expectation of developing suitable ELT textbooks to meet the real needs of EFL/EIL learners in the global village.

Keywords: hidden curriculum, internationally published ELT textbook, content analysis, cultural content, EFL/EIL learners

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