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Palgrave Macmillan

Critical Perspectives on Language Teaching Materials

ISBN 9780230362857
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This Critical Perspectives on Language Teaching Materials brings together a collection of critical voices on the subject of language teaching materials for use in English, French, Spanish, German and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) classrooms. It is firmly located within the 'critical turn' in Applied Linguistics and seeks to build on the growing body of work in this vein. Collectively the authors take it as axiomatic that the politics of representation and identity, and issues of ideology and commercialism cannot be neglected in any serious study of language teaching materials. Rather, it sees these issues as central. The book draws on research carried out in the UK, Spain, North America and Brazil, and is aimed at language teachers, teacher educators, students, researchers, materials writers and those working in the materials publishing industry.

John Gray is Senior Lecturer in TESOL Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK. He is interested in language and globalization, the cultural and political aspects of the global spread of English, ELT materials analysis and English language teacher education. His previous publications include The Construction of English and Neoliberalism and Applied Linguistics (with David Block and Marnie Holborow).

1. Introduction; John Gray
2. Telling Tales: Changing Discourses of Identity in the 'Global' UK-published English Language Coursebook; John Kullman
3. LGBT Invisibility and Heteronormativity in ELT Materials; John Gray
4. The 'Neoliberal Citizen': Resemiotizing Globalized Identities in EAP Materials; Christian W. Chun
5. 'This Activity is Far From Being a Pause for Reflection': An Exploration of ELT Authors', Editors', Teachers' and Learners' Approaches to Critical Thinking; Denise Santos
6. Critically Evaluating Materials for CLIL: Practitioners' Practices and Perspectives; Tom Morton
7. Communicating Constructions of Frenchness through Language Coursebooks: A Comparison; Simon Coffey
8. Spanish Imagined: Political and Subjective Approaches to Language Textbooks; Cristina Ros i Solé
9. Motivation, Authenticity and Challenge in German Textbooks for Key Stage 3; Nick Andon and Ursula Wingate
10. Resisting Coursebooks; Scott Thornbury

Nick Andon, King's College London, UK
Christian W. Chun, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Simon Coffey, King's College London, UK
John Gray, Institute of Education, University of London, UK
John Kullman, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK
Tom Morton, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
Cristina Ros i Solé, King's College London and University College London, UK
Denise Santos, language teaching consultant and materials writer
Ursula Wingate, King's College London, UK
Scott Thornbury, The New School, New York, USA


'There have been monographs and edited collections on language teaching material over the years, but none have managed to do what this book does – cover the basics of the field while moving debate on further in a variety of different areas. Thus within the covers of this collection, magnificently edited by John Gray, we find not only general information about language teaching materials, but also detailed attention to how such materials are cultural artefacts, that is how they are human-produced objects which communicate information about the culture within which they are embedded and from which they emerge, as well as their creators. A key factor here is the move by contributors to an interdisciplinary approach to language teaching materials, leaving behind an approach which is informed exclusively by mainstream language teaching and learning literature. Further to this, the contributions to this collection examine a range of factors, including how culture is both a central factor in the very fabric of materials and how, at the same time materials convey views about culture and cultures; how materials are key commodities mediating neoliberal policies and practices, to the point that they act in effect as agents of neoliberalism; how materials position learners (and teachers) as particular types of people; how materials developed in one context condition and shape pedagogical practices in other contexts in another; and finally, how materials can be and are often resisted by teachers and learners. All of these issues, and more, are addressed engagingly and imaginatively in this volume, the result being an excellent source of ideas for anyone interested in language teaching materials in the 21st century.' - David Block, Universitat de Lleida, Spain
'Gray's Critical Perspectives on Language Teaching Materials is a timely and innovative addition to the field of language and education in collating state-of-the-art critical research on teaching materials not only in English but also in other languages by taking stock of diverse theories and methodologies. It is a significant contribution to critical literacy and critical pedagogy and it will be the mostvaluable to those who are working on these fields at both theoretical and practical levels.' - Language and Education
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