EFL discourse as cultural practice

Muzna Awayed-Bishara*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents a culturally based discussion of the role English as a foreign language (EFL) plays in shaping the ideological positions of those involved in teaching, learning, and planning English in Israel. The English curriculum is uniform for speakers of Hebrew (the majority) and speakers of Arabic (the minority). Furthermore, the English curriculum states that EFL pedagogy should take a global rather than an Anglo-centric approach. This situation constitutes the paper’s main assumption regarding the cultural content of EFL materials being ideologically oriented toward: (1) reproducing and perpetuating dominant Western hegemonic ideologies; (2) maintaining social misrepresentations and inequalities regarding the Other. By employing critical discourse analysis (CDA) to uncover Westcentric cultural biases in EFL discourse and cultural discourse studies (CDS) to reconstruct the role of Eastern and local Arab discourses in EFL pedagogies, I examine a new culturally critical way of observing EFL discourse and linking it with social change. I suggest a holistic, ecological EFL pedagogy that constructs EFL discourse as cultural practice. Promoting an EFL ‘ecological discourse’ prioritizes narratives emphasizing positive multicultural values, respect, and acceptance of the Other and encourages learners to consider cultural differences as the source for reading EFL texts about the Other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-258
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Multicultural Discourses
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • EFL discourse
  • Westcentric/Anglocentric hegemonies
  • critical discourse analysis
  • cultural discourse studies
  • ecological discourse
  • holistic EFL ecological pedagogy

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