A Critical and Multimodal Discourse Analyses of Values Embedded in Educational Texts

Author: Adcharawan Buripakdi (Suranaree University of Technology)
Jing He (Tongling University)
Speaker: Adcharawan Buripakdi, Jing He
Topic: Language Ideologies
The GLOCAL CALA 2023 General Session


English language teaching materials are the value-laden social and cultural artifacts filled with particular beliefs, culturally appropriate values and norms, and ideologies, while these things are intended to impose their effects on learners (Gebregeorgis MY. Africa Education Review 13:119-140, 2016). By and large, these values can be represented and constructed through visual, and textual representations in the textbooks (Xiong T, Yuan ZM. Journal of Language, Identity & Education 17(2):103-117, 2018). In the past four decades, neoliberalism which is a dominant economic, political paradigm and ideology have evolved into a global trend from. Against this backdrop, intensified globalization and neoliberal economic paradigm urge us to reconsider the assumptions from which the materials of critique to global English can be drawn. In this light, unequal Englishes as a newly emerged approach to English critique is born (Tupas R, Rubdy R. Introduction: From world Englishes to unequal Englishes. In: Tupas R (eds). Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2015). This study aims to analyze two widely circulated Chinese college English Listening, Viewing and Speaking textbooks used by non-English majors in China by applying critical discourse analysis to unravel the moral and cultural values reflected in the textbooks; in the meantime, multimodal discourse analysis was adopted to explore the functions of image-text relations and tones of the speakers in embedding the values; in addition, Chinese college English teachers and non-English majors who have used the textbooks before were interviewed to get their perceptions on the values. From the results of the data analysis, the textbooks are embedded with values of Chinese language policies, neoliberalism, unequal Englishes, and so on. Furthermore, the interviewees generally give positive comments on the values in the textbooks. This study may not only fill the research gap of rare studies of values analysis on Chinese college English textbooks through the lens of Neoliberalism, unequal Englishes and Chinese language policies; meanwhile, it may also raise or further strengthen Chinese college students’ and English teachers’ awareness of values and develop their critical thinking ability of discerning values to enable them to become the active assessors rather than the passive receivers to a certain extent.

Keywords: Values, Critical Discourse Analysis, Multimodal Discourse Analysis, College English Textbooks, China.