Abstract: Coinciding with the global boom in commercial English language teaching is the development of a sizeable publishing industry in which UK-produced textbooks for the teaching of English as an international or foreign language are core products. This talk takes the view that these 'curriculum artefacts' can also be understood as 'cultural artefacts' in which English is made to mean in highly selective ways. The article focuses specifically on representations of the world of work in textbooks from the late 1970s until the present and shows how they have drawn consistently on evolving discourses of the new capitalism. It argues that students are repeatedly interpellated in these materials to the subject position of white-collar individualism, in which the world of work is overwhelmingly seen as a privileged means for the full and intense realisation of the self along lines determined largely by personal choice. The talk concludes by suggesting that such materials have increasingly constructed English as a branded commodity along lines which are entirely congruent with the values and practices of the new capitalism.
This event is open to the general public.
Further information can be found at: http://www.uel.ac.uk/education/staff/johngray.htm