Teaching English Through English: An Analysis of a Sample of Japanese and South Korean Textbooks

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Diane Johnson, Keiko Umeda, Kyoungja Oh, The University of Waikato

In many parts of Asia, the national curriculum for English in schools recommends that teachers should use English as a medium of instruction. We analyzed samples of Ministry of Education-approved textbooks and teachers’ guides produced in Japan and South Korea in order to determine how the authors interpret this recommendation. There were clear indications that they had difficulty in complying with it. The selection, ordering and presentation of materials appeared to be predicated on the assumption that the teachers would use translation as a primary means of conveying meaning. However, the appearance of at least partial compliance was provided by the inclusion in teachers’ manuals of formulaic monologue sections in English which could be used to frame lessons and lesson segments.