Representation of English users and uses in university EFL textbooks

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BK Cottle, Rikkyo University



This study explores the representation of English users and uses in two EFL textbook series used at Japanese universities. Analysis of the characters, the contexts, and the varieties of English used suggests that the textbooks emphasize the inner circle (Kachru, 1985). Users and uses from outer and expanding circles are extremely limited, despite the growing spread of English outside of the inner circle (Graddol, 1997). The results indicate the representation of English users and uses from the three circles is extremely limited and insufficient to raise students’ awareness and facilitate their English development. Both textbook series represent males and females equally and accurately; however greater variety in gender interaction is needed. Although student feedback was solicited, students declined to participate. More research is needed in this area to determine the potential effects textbooks have on students’ perceptions of English users and uses.