Semiotic Analysis of Culture in ELT Curriculum through EIL: ‘Prospect series’

Mobina Sahraee


The current study intended to examine the representation of culture in Iranian locally developed ‘Prospect series’ textbooks in light of English as an international language (EIL). The study engages EIL and Cultural Semiotics adapted by Dinh (2016b) as the theoretical and analytical frameworks to explore culture across texts, visuals and tasks. The conversation sections of ‘Prospects 1, 2, and 3’ including texts, visuals, and tasks were investigated. The findings reveal that 1) culture is evident in both implicit and explicit manners in texts and visuals; however, it is limitedly represented in the tasks, 2) expanding circle cultural content dominates the textbooks, 3) cultural diversity has not much been attended to, and in-depth levels of culture belonging to ‘small’ c categories and socio-cultural awareness are neglected, 4) there is indexical relation between texts and visuals, and occasional detached mismatch between texts and visuals, and 5) majority of questions are language and information-based while speculative and comparative questions addressing culture are extremely limited. The findings are discussed in light of existing studies, and some recommendations are suggested for textbook writers, curriculum developers, and researchers in the field.

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