This book offers unique insight into the role that English as a Foreign Language (EFL) discourse plays in shaping the ideological terrain of contemporary Israel/Palestine through constructing the subjectivities of those who plan, teach, and learn it.
While the EFL curriculum is uniform across Hebrew and Arabic-speaking educational contexts, this book traces how its cultural content reproduces dominant hegemonic ideologies, and perpetuates the social misrepresentations of the Other that underlie inequality. The language of English teaching textbooks, the way that students understand their content, and the official policy documents that guide both EFL materials and teaching practices, are all thoroughly examined through Critical Discourse Analysis. The theoretical and methodological foundation for further cross-cultural studies of Anglo-centric and other forms of hegemonic EFL discourses within local/global contexts, and for contesting their ideological effects, are also laid down.
Through promoting a transformative EFL cultural discourse which hopes to position EFL teaching as a possible arena for effecting social change, this book offers a unique context for students, scholars, and educators interested in linguistics, CDA, cultural discourse studies, English in local/global contexts, and EFL education.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Why English?
2. EFL Discourse: Beyond Language Education
3. EFL Textbooks as Ideological Vehicles
4. Storied Selves: Analysis of EFL Learners’ Cultural Representations
5. EFL Policy Discourse: Global and Local Perspectives
6. EFL as a Cultural Discourse: Towards a Transformative EFL Pedagogy
7. Closing Remarks: EFL as a Cultural Discourse of Action
Muzna Awayed-Bishara received her doctorate from the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Haifa. She is currently a postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for the Study of Multiculturalism and Diversity at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a tenured lecturer in the English Department at the Academic Arab College for Education in Haifa. Dr Awayed-Bishara is also currently a visiting scholar at the Paulo Freire Institute at the University of California in Los Angeles.
"Finally a book that offers a multi-pronged approach to EFL, through a detailed critical discourse analysis of language in education policies, textbooks and interviews with language learners. A must read for everyone interested in the global/local dynamics of English, particularly with a view to imagining a future of hope in a context of conflict." — Tommaso M. Milani, Professor of Multilingualism, University of Gothenburg
"Teaching and learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) may be compromised by becoming a cultural discourse reproducing difference and inequality. Though this claim seems controversial, the author presents a comprehensive and critical summary of her experience with EFL in Israel, and proposes an alternative reconstruction, moving EFL towards a critical pedagogy, a transformative cultural discourse of harmony, social justice and peace. Making EFL a central component in the struggle for global citizenship education in the global system, the rigorous critique and reconstruction, makes this book by Muzna Awayed-Bishara a must read in studies of cultural discourses and teaching English as a foreign language." — Carlos Alberto Torres, Distinguished Professor of Education, UNESCO UCLA Chair on Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education