A Triangulated Accounting of Top Notch 2: Negotiating Ideologies in the Multimodal Discourse of an EFL Textbook in Korean University Classrooms

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  • Textbooks are artifacts of a pedagogical culture and in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) education in Korean universities, that culture pressures consumers to use generic publications for reasons more political than pedagogical. Critical studies of EFL textbooks in global and Korean contexts reveal they harbor certain social realities that favor Anglo-centric hegemony, while marginalizing their intended audiences, yet Korean university programs continue to prescribe their use as the course curriculum. While some research underscores content and consumption in Korean contexts, none yield a comprehensive look at the multimodal discourse in a specific EFL textbook or correlate how that content is negotiated, consumed and valued by consumers in a comparable fashion. Informed by frameworks rooted in critical applied linguistics, discourse analysis, critical pedagogy, and multimodality, this study attempts to fill that gap in research by drawing focus on Top Notch 2 (a popular choice for Korean universities) (TN2) and its use in two EFL programs, by answering the following research questions: 1) What power relations and ideologies are harbored in the multimodal discourse of TN2? 2) How do instructors and students negotiate and account for that discourse in class? 3) What pedagogical implications emerge from the triangulated findings about EFL learning and textbook consumption in Korean university programs? To answer these questions, this dissertation conducts a triangulation of studies: (a) multimodal critical discourse analysis (MCDA) of six units of lessons in Top Notch 2 (b) multimodal analysis of visually recorded EFL classrooms to observe how some of those lessons are negotiated by instructors and students, and (c) a values coding analysis of semi-structured interviews with some participants. The investigation gives credence to the perspectives of three different EFL textbook consumers - the researcher, current instructors, and students. The findings reveal narratives of cultural othering in the multimodal content of TN2, among other social injustices that, if not reflexively transformed by instructors, impede language learning, as evident in the values that the consumers afforded their textbooks. From these triangulated findings, the pedagogical implications suggest instructors play a key role in lessening the impact of social injustices in textbook content while raising the value of EFL learning in Korean university programs.

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  • Copyright © 2020 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
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  • 2020


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