Of Cultural Literacy in First- and Second-Generation Algerian Middle School Textbooks

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Universite Mouloud MAMMERI Tizi-Ouzou


This thesis probes into a comparative study of the cultural literacies in the First and Second-generation Algerian EFL textbooks for middle schools. The First-generation textbooks consist of a series of four books entitled Spotlight on English 1 (2003), Spotlight on English 2 (2004), Spotlight on English 3 (2005) and On the Move (2006). The Second-generation textbook series consists of four textbooks entitled My Book of English (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). Inspired by culture and post-colonial theories, we undertake a macro and micro-levels textbook evaluation of the two textbook series focusing on issues related to cultural literacy, national ideologies and identity. We are particularly interested in knowing the extent to which the textbooks conform to new theoretical findings in teaching that “silent” language called culture. A substantial cultural literacy is crucial as it fosters both national identity, understanding of the other and international citizenship. The textbook evaluation draws on the Social Semiotic Multimodal approach, analyzing both texts and images within the teaching materials. The findings reveal that the two textbook series have different views and choices of culture, and proceed from quite different ideological standpoints. Purposes of teaching culture vary within the textbooks reflecting different cultural literacies associated with different attitudes towards nationalism, culture “imperialism” and national identity. The cultural literacy provided in the first-generation textbooks targets the British and American societies representing the target culture. The Second-generation, on the other hand, favors national culture and strives to promote national pride in the Algerian and Muslim heritage. The findings reveal that both textbook series adopt a national approach to culture that is characterized by native-speakerism and banal nationalism for the First-generation textbook series, while the second-generation carries elements of banal nationalism and reflects what Hallidays calls “exotica of difference”. Besides, the complex nature of culture is totally overlooked, as both Algerian and British/American societies are depicted as homogeneous societies with a predominantly middle-class student population.


427F. : ill. ; 30cm. + CD Rom


Cultural literacy, Textbooks génération, Culture:Ideology, Langage: Ideology, Linguaculture


Didactics of Literary and Civilization Texts