Global Textbooks in Local Contexts: An Empirical Investigation of Effectiveness

  • Gregory Hadley


Global textbooks (GTs) — full-featured English language teaching materials containing a range of workbooks, videos, CD-ROMs, and online materials — have become a major feature of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) pedagogy in the 21st century. However, they are much maligned by some scholars as tools of cultural imperialism that damage local cultures and contribute to the learners’ failure to acquire proficiency in English as a Foreign Language. This chapter uncovers a number of the sociopolitical dynamics that give rise to GT opposition, and questions some of the more strident claims of anti-GT scholars. The chapter then presents a six-year empirical study conducted at a university English language program in Japan, where nearly 700 students have used a GT as the core material. Drawing from both qualitative and statistical analyses, this chapter concludes that GTs have significant potential for becoming an effective resource for second language learning, but the greatest chance of pedagogical improvement seems most likely in language programs where major institutional stakeholders achieve an acceptable degree of political equilibrium.


Language Teaching Classroom Management Language Teacher Placement Test English Language Teaching 
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© Gregory Hadley 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory Hadley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OxfordUK

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