Linguistic Colonialism in the English Language Textbooks of Multinational Publishing Houses

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Jairo Eduardo Soto-Molina
Pilar Méndez


The purpose of this paper is to examine and compare the concepts of linguistic colonialism and cultural alienation in University textbooks for teaching English as opposed to the theories about culture in the decolonial turn. Dichotomous categories were established based on the analysis of the cultural component of the textbooks for the teaching of English. The corpus consisted of six textbooks produced by multinational publishers and used in Colombia during the years 2006-2018. Documentary analysis procedures were used to discuss emergent themed contents in relation to cultural components from a critical perspective that unveiled imperialism practices. Results showed that the textbook contents dealt with high levels of alienation burden, superficial cultural components and instrumentation to the submissive person who favors the dominant culture of English and does not offer possibilities to embrace interculturality in ELF teaching contexts.

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Soto-Molina, J. E., & Méndez, P. (2020). Linguistic Colonialism in the English Language Textbooks of Multinational Publishing Houses. HOW Journal, 27(1), 11-28.
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Author Biographies

Jairo Eduardo Soto-Molina, Universidad del Atlántico

Jairo Eduardo Soto-Molina studied Social Research at Newbury College, Massachusetts, USA. Postgraduate Diploma in Epistemological Paradigms of Qualitative and Quantitative Research at Instituto de Estudios Avanzados (IAEU). He studied Teaching English to children at the University of California, San Diego, California. Master in Education, University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia. PhD in Human Sciences, University of Zulia Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Pilar Méndez, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas

Pilar Méndez is a Doctor in Education from Universidad Santo Tomás, Bogotá, Colombia; Master in Linguistics from Caro y Cuervo Institute, Colombia. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Languages from Universidad del Atlántico, Colombia. She is currently a tenured lecturer at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas at the Doctorado Interinstitucional en Educación (ELT Education) and the Bachelor of Arts in English as a foreign language.


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