A Qualitative Analysis of Prospect Series and Vision 1 from Intercultural and Metacultural Communicative Competence Perspectives

Document Type : Original Article



 This article evaluates Prospect series (1, 2, 3) and Vision 1, the newly developed local textbooks used for teaching English as a foreign language in the Iranian junior and senior secondary schools. Liddicoat’s (2002) metacultural and Byram’s (1997, 2009) intercultural communicative competence models were adopted as the theoretical framework guiding the study. First, the textbooks were subjectively analyzed according to the above-mentioned models to see how metacultural and intercultural knowledge are included. Then, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 (male and female) teachers of the books to obtain a better understanding of the issue. The data were audio-recorded, transcribed, and subjected to content analysis. The accuracy and internal validity of the interviews were ensured using member checking (Bazeley, 2013; Flick, 2014b). The results revealed that some local aspects of the Iranian culture were incorporated in the books, but the major focus was still on grammar and teaching functions. The books, however, were found not to sufficiently deal with metacultural and intercultural knowledge development. Considering teachers’ accounts, two major themes were identified in the interview data: disassociation of culture from language and Iranianization of the discourse and contents of the textbooks. The article argues that these shortcomings can result in loss of allegiance to the principles of “active and self-reliant communicative approach” as the foundation of the textbook. The article concludes with some suggestions for revisions of the forthcoming editions of the textbooks.


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