Linguistic Imperialism and Standard Language Ideology in an English Textbook Used in China


  •  Yu Zhang    
  •  Hanxiao Song    

Abstract

An increasing number of studies have demonstrated how language textbooks serve as an arena for ideological reproduction. Following the theory of language ideology, this paper aims to examine the ideological representation of English in a textbook targeting Chinese university students in China. Data were subjected to content analysis and critical discourse analysis regarding their reference to the embodied identity options, images, case studies, cultural notes, exercises, dialogues, and reading passages in the textbook. Findings reveals that by highlighting the dominant position of English and simplifying the multilingual landscape, the textbook tends to place English at the center of prominence. The dominance of English is further entrenched by expressions of the values of speaking Standard English. It is argued that the representation of speaking Standard English ideology can be understood as the global penetration of linguistic imperialism. Furthermore, the textbook also reproduces biased gender and class representation of social characters, which might exacerbate learners’ prejudice towards certain groups on the basis of their understandings of real-life power relations. It is hoped that the study can shed some lights on providing English language learners with a more diversified textbooks for cultivating their language awareness and intercultural competence.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4741
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-475X
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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