Analyzing Cultural Issues in High School English Textbooks in Japan

Kouki Ookawa

Abstract


It cannot be denied that intercultural understanding is crucial in the process of learning English at elementary school, junior high school, high school, and so on. This paper analyzes the high school English textbooks approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (henceforth, MEXT) in Japan from the perspective of intercultural understanding. It elucidates the types of the articles, the countries treated in the articles, and the purposes of the materials for cultural understanding. Then it discusses the characteristics of the cultural materials presented in the high school English textbooks. The result of the research shows the materials contain various kinds of categories, many materials concerning English-speaking countries. However, an important fact is that there is still too much focus on Japan and America. Finally, the paper suggests the future direction of the materials in the textbooks in order to facilitate the better intercultural understanding in the global world.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v4i2.9308

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