How well do materials evaluation schemes empower users to detect problematic social group portrayals within ELT materials?

A corpus analysis

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21344/iartem.v15i1.973

Keywords:

Textbook evaluation, Diversity, Hidden curriculum, Social justice, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), ESL

Abstract

This research sought to determine how well schemes for evaluating English language teaching (ELT) materials provide guidance in detecting problematic social group portrayals. I collected 107 frameworks for ELT materials evaluation, assessing the guidance provided for detecting social group portrayals problematic in ELT materials. Specifically, I considered how well these frameworks instructed users in detecting ableism, ageism, lookism, racial bias, religious bias, cultural bias, undue UK/US focus, undue English native speaker focus, gender bias, heteronormativity, and urbanormativity. While results revealed some attention to these social group issues, this attention was limited and guidance to users was poor, especially when compared with more traditional areas of ELT materials evaluation such as that afforded to assessing presentations of grammar and vocabulary. This suggests a troubling blind spot in materials evaluation, one that could allow ELT pedagogy to promote social injustice given that problematic social group portrayals can form a potent hidden curriculum.

Author Biography

  • Charles Brown, Purdue University

    Charles Allen Brown is a lecturer in the Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange (PLaCE) program at Purdue University, USA, where he works to support international English language learners at the university level. His work has also involved training pre-service teachers in Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. In his research, he especially investigates the roles and representations of different social groups in English language education in order to foster socially responsible practice. [Email: [email protected]]

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Published

2023-04-24

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Section

Articles

How to Cite

How well do materials evaluation schemes empower users to detect problematic social group portrayals within ELT materials? : A corpus analysis. (2023). IARTEM E-Journal, 15(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.21344/iartem.v15i1.973