Zhang, Xiao; Su, Xiaoli (2021):
"A Cross-National Analysis of Cultural Representations in English Textbooks Used in China and Germany." SN Social Sciences 1.491.
Journal Article

Culture learning is complicated in teaching English as an international language (EIL), given the global contexts in which English is being used for various purposes. This study aims to examine cultural representations in four series of high school English language textbooks distributed in China and Germany. It categorized cultures into four cultural types and four cultural elements within each type of culture in order to question the breadth and depth of cultural representations. The findings indicate that China’s English textbooks seem to balance among different cultures, but they still present factual knowledge and static information. The underlying value orientations are therefore underestimated. Germany’s English textbooks encompass the majority of contents about the target culture and put the emphasis on students' multicultural perspectives, communicative competence and intercultural skills. Thus, target cultures dominate cultural contents and source cultures are rare in Germany’s textbooks. Lastly, the findings are discussed and some recommendations for textbook writers and English teachers are suggested.