The Investigation of the cultural presence in Spot on 8 ELT textbook published in Turkey: teachers' and students' expectations versus real cultural load of the textbook

Iriskulova, Alena
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the cultural load of the reading texts of the Spot On 8 ELT textbook published in Turkey, and to find out the teachers’ and students’ perceptions concerning the presence of native, target and other world cultures (C1, C2 and C3 respectively) in ELT textbooks. In order to fulfill these aims, a checklist, a teacher questionnaire, a student questionnaire, a teacher interview were developed by the researcher. Moreover, the impressionistic overview and the item frequency procedure were applied for the analysis of cultural content of the textbook. Quantitative data were analyzed by calculating the frequencies, percentages, and the Chronbach alpha. Qualitative data were analyzed by applying the coding system for the categorization of collected responses and content analysis. The results showed that the cultural load of the textbook was insufficient and that the percentage of cultural elements in the reading passages is significantly low. The teachers’ satisfaction with the textbook appeared to be relatively low and students showed neither high level of satisfaction with their textbook nor dissatisfaction with it. Overall, there is a serious mismatch between teachers’ and students’ perceptions of culture and the real cultural load of the textbook. The target culture prevails in the reading texts although teachers considered native and other world cultures to be important as well, and students showed equally low interest in target and other world cultures giving the preference dominantly to their native culture.