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Volume 16 Number 1, Spring 2019, Pages 1-447   


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Exploring the Cultural Content in Chinese ELT Textbooks from Intercultural Perspectives

    Beibei Song


In EFL contexts like mainland China, many researchers made efforts to investigate the cultural content of Chinese government-authorized textbooks used in both public secondary schools and universities. However, few people pay attention to textbooks used in cram schools. This study aims to explore the cultural content in New Concept English (NCE), an extensively used textbook in Chinese cram schools for nearly 30 years. Meanwhile, it attempts to analyze its strengths and weaknesses of the cultural content from intercultural perspectives. Adopting content analysis under the guidance of two coding schemes, the results reveal that general culture (68%) has the largest percentage while source culture (2%) is significantly ignored in stark contrast to target culture (46%). Based on the findings, the prominent strength lies in the great deal of general culture (68%), which helps student understand culture from an etic view and makes them realize the cultural differences for cross-cultural comparison. The two weaknesses are the severely neglected source culture (2%) compared to target culture (46%) and the unbalanced distribution in international cultures. Findings of this study intend to raise teachers' awareness of the intercultural teaching and learning in cram schools.

Keywords: cultural content, intercultural perspectives, Chinese ELT textbook, cram schools