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Neoliberalism, celebrity and aspirational content in ELT textbooks
Neoliberalism, celebrity and aspirational content in ELT textbooks
Overview
Overview
Researching textbooks
Researching textbooks
Gr?f, G. & S. Hoffmann (1968) English for You/2
Gr?f, G. & S. Hoffmann (1968) English for You/2
Gr?f, G. & S. Hoffmann (1968) English for You/2
Gr?f, G. & S. Hoffmann (1968) English for You/2
English for Islamic purposes
English for Islamic purposes
A I dont know how you can afford to buy all those fabulous clothes
A I dont know how you can afford to buy all those fabulous clothes
ONeill, R. (1970)
ONeill, R. (1970)
Soars, J.& L. Soars (2002) New Headway Pre-Intermediate
Soars, J.& L. Soars (2002) New Headway Pre-Intermediate
Textbook sample (1)
Textbook sample (1)
Textbook sample (2)
Textbook sample (2)
What is celebrity
What is celebrity
a contemporary celebrity is understood as someone who is well-known
a contemporary celebrity is understood as someone who is well-known
Types of celebrity: Ascribed e.g. member of an elite group such as a
Types of celebrity: Ascribed e.g. member of an elite group such as a
Vicky Pollard
Vicky Pollard
Theorising celebrity (1)
Theorising celebrity (1)
Theorising celebrity (2)
Theorising celebrity (2)
Theorising celebrity (3)
Theorising celebrity (3)
Neoliberalism
Neoliberalism
Bourdieu, P. (1998) Utopia of Endless Exploitation: The Essence of
Bourdieu, P. (1998) Utopia of Endless Exploitation: The Essence of
1987 Interview for Womans Own available at the Margaret Thatcher
1987 Interview for Womans Own available at the Margaret Thatcher
Corder, S. P. (1960)
Corder, S. P. (1960)
ONeill, R. (1970)
ONeill, R. (1970)
Miklos Nemeth; Alberto Juantorena; Bob Beamon; Annegret Richter;
Miklos Nemeth; Alberto Juantorena; Bob Beamon; Annegret Richter;
Jackson 5; Osmonds; Bee Gees; Corrs; Oasis; Boom Kat; Britney Spears;
Jackson 5; Osmonds; Bee Gees; Corrs; Oasis; Boom Kat; Britney Spears;
Schematic knowledge/ludic function
Schematic knowledge/ludic function
Viney, P. & B. Hartley (1979) Streamline Connections
Viney, P. & B. Hartley (1979) Streamline Connections
Soars, J. & L. Soars
Soars, J. & L. Soars
Soars, L. & J. Soars (2003) New Headway/Advanced
Soars, L. & J. Soars (2003) New Headway/Advanced
How to be a celebrity 7 Create your own formula for success If you
How to be a celebrity 7 Create your own formula for success If you
Work in small groups
Work in small groups
Speaking How to become an A-list celebrity It is time to start your
Speaking How to become an A-list celebrity It is time to start your
What do you think
What do you think
Slovenian state school teacher
Slovenian state school teacher
British teacher in German university language centre
British teacher in German university language centre
British ESOL teacher
British ESOL teacher

: Neoliberalism, celebrity and aspirational content in ELT textbooks for the global market. : Uel User. : Neoliberalism, celebrity and aspirational content in ELT textbooks for the global market.ppt. zip-: 5215 .

Neoliberalism, celebrity and aspirational content in ELT textbooks for the global market

Neoliberalism, celebrity and aspirational content in ELT textbooks for the global market.ppt
1 Neoliberalism, celebrity and aspirational content in ELT textbooks

Neoliberalism, celebrity and aspirational content in ELT textbooks

for the global market

University of Warwick October 19th 2011 John Gray j.gray@uel.ac.uk

2 Overview

Overview

Researching textbooks Celebrity what is and how has it been theorised Neoliberal ideology The case of textbooks Discussion

3 Researching textbooks

Researching textbooks

Cultural artefact vs curriculum artefact Textbooks are core commodities in the ELT industry ELT research is about inter-disciplinary boundary work Textbook analysis vs Textbook evaluation

4 Gr?f, G. & S. Hoffmann (1968) English for You/2

Gr?f, G. & S. Hoffmann (1968) English for You/2

Volkseigener Verlag: Berlin

5 Gr?f, G. & S. Hoffmann (1968) English for You/2

Gr?f, G. & S. Hoffmann (1968) English for You/2

Volkseigener Verlag: Berlin

Question tags and negative questions: A: Before 1933 Marx House was a workers club, wasnt it? B: I think so. Hadnt it been a school before? A: Thats right. Make up similar dialogues with: 1) Lenin printed the paper Iskra in Marx House a British socialist had given him a corner of his office.

6 English for Islamic purposes

English for Islamic purposes

7 A I dont know how you can afford to buy all those fabulous clothes

A I dont know how you can afford to buy all those fabulous clothes

B Still/Hopefully, Im going to get a bonus this month. I should do. My boss promised it to me. After all/Presumably, I did earn the company over ?100,000 last year. Basically/Actually, it was nearer ?150,000. I do deserve it, dont you think. B Of course/In fact, you do.

Soars, L. & J. Soars (2005). New Headway/Upper-Intermediate. Oxford: OUP

8 ONeill, R. (1970)

ONeill, R. (1970)

English in Situations. Oxford: OUP.

9 Soars, J.& L. Soars (2002) New Headway Pre-Intermediate

Soars, J.& L. Soars (2002) New Headway Pre-Intermediate

Oxford: OUP

10 Textbook sample (1)

Textbook sample (1)

Hartley, B. & P. Viney. (1979) Streamline Connections. Oxford: OUP. Abbs, B. & I. Freebairn. (1984) Building Strategies. Harlow: Longman. Swan, M. & C. Walter. (1990) The New Cambridge English Course 2. Cambridge: CUP. Soars, J. & L. Soars. (2003) The new Edition New Headway/Intermediate. Oxford: OUP.

11 Textbook sample (2)

Textbook sample (2)

Headway Intermediate (Soars and Soars, 1986); New Headway Intermediate (Soars and Soars,1996; 2003; 2009); New Headway Upper-Intermediate (Soars and Soars 1998); New Headway Elementary (Soars and Soars 2000a; 2011); New Headway Pre-Intermediate (Soars and Soars 2000b); New Headway Advanced (Soars and Soars 2003b); New Headway Upper-Intermediate (Soars and Soars 2005); New Cutting Edge Intermediate (Cunningham and Moor 2005a); New Cutting Edge Upper-Intermediate (Cunningham and Moor 2005b).

12 What is celebrity

What is celebrity

Celebrity = the attribution of glamorous or notorious status to an individual (Rojek 2001: 10) Celebrity = impact on public consciousness (ibid: 10) Celebrity = people who are objects of pronounced media attention over which they may have only a limited amount of control (Biressi & Nunn 2008: 159).

13 a contemporary celebrity is understood as someone who is well-known

a contemporary celebrity is understood as someone who is well-known

(in the sense of being publicly recognisable) as a result of pronounced media attention which is largely commercially motivated and whose impact on public consciousness is as a result of their capacity to embody and generate affect.

Gray, J. (2012) Neoliberalism, celebrity and aspirational content in English language teaching textbooks for the global market in Block, D., J. Gray and M. Holborow Neoliberalism and Applied Linguistics, London: Routledge

14 Types of celebrity: Ascribed e.g. member of an elite group such as a

Types of celebrity: Ascribed e.g. member of an elite group such as a

royal family or a political dynasty (e.g. Windsors, Kennedys, or Gandhis). Achieved e.g. Rafael Nadal Attributed e.g. Jade Goody celetoid and celeactor

Rojek, C. (2001). Celebrity. London: Reaktion Books Ltd.

15 Vicky Pollard

Vicky Pollard

16 Theorising celebrity (1)

Theorising celebrity (1)

Celebrity culture and the celetoid are the direct result of the revolt against tyranny. The celeactor is a symptom of the decline of ascribed forms of power and a greater equality in the balance of power between social classes (Rojek 2001: 29)

17 Theorising celebrity (2)

Theorising celebrity (2)

(Neo)Marxist perspective: The culture industry a from of mass deception (Adorno & Horkheimer 1944/1997) The cult of celebrities (film stars) has a built-in social mechanism to level down everyone who stands out in any way. The stars are simply a pattern round which the world-embracing garment is cut (ibid: 236).

18 Theorising celebrity (3)

Theorising celebrity (3)

In the public sphere, a cluster of individuals are given greater presence and a wider scope of activity and agency than are those who make up the rest of the population. They are allowed to move on the public stage while the rest of us watch. They are allowed to express themselves quite individually and idiosyncratically while the rest of the members of the population are constructed as demographic aggregates [...] Celebrity status operates at the very centre of the culture as it resonates with conceptions of individuality that are the ideological ground of Western culture. Moreover, the celebrity as public individual who participates openly as a marketable commodity serves as powerful type of legitimation of the political economic model of exchange and value the basis of capitalism and extends that model to include the individual (Marshall 1997: x).

19 Neoliberalism

Neoliberalism

The privatization of state assets Market deregulation Unrestricted free trade The creation of internal markets The dismantling or scaling down of institutions associated with welfare statism The marketization of areas of life which were previously outside the market or which were seen as the preserve of the state such as health and education

20 Bourdieu, P. (1998) Utopia of Endless Exploitation: The Essence of

Bourdieu, P. (1998) Utopia of Endless Exploitation: The Essence of

Neoliberalism. Le Monde Diplomatique.

Thus the absolute reign of flexibility is established, with employees [] on fixed-term contracts or on a temporary basis and repeated corporate restructurings and, within the firm itself, competition among autonomous divisions as well as among teams forced to perform multiple functions. Finally, this competition is extended to individuals themselves, through the individualisation of the wage relationship: establishment of individual performance objectives, individual performance evaluations, permanent evaluation, individual salary increases or granting of bonuses as a function of competence and of individual merit; individualised career paths; strategies of delegating responsibility tending to ensure the self-exploitation of staff who [] are at the same time held responsible for their sales, their products, their branch, their store, etc. as though they were independent contractors.

21 1987 Interview for Womans Own available at the Margaret Thatcher

1987 Interview for Womans Own available at the Margaret Thatcher

website http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/106689

I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand "I have a problem, it is the Government's job to cope with it!" or "I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!" "I am homeless, the Government must house me!" and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women ...

22 Corder, S. P. (1960)

Corder, S. P. (1960)

23 ONeill, R. (1970)

ONeill, R. (1970)

24 Miklos Nemeth; Alberto Juantorena; Bob Beamon; Annegret Richter;

Miklos Nemeth; Alberto Juantorena; Bob Beamon; Annegret Richter;

Rosemarie Ackermann; David Wilkie; Vasily Alexeev; Paul McCartney; James Hunt; UK Queen; J. F. Kennedy; Elvis Presley

Hartley, B. & P. Viney (1979) Streamline Connections. Oxford: OUP

25 Jackson 5; Osmonds; Bee Gees; Corrs; Oasis; Boom Kat; Britney Spears;

Jackson 5; Osmonds; Bee Gees; Corrs; Oasis; Boom Kat; Britney Spears;

Eminem; Ozzy Osborne; Kelly Osborne; Brian May; Freddie Mercury; Rowan Atkinson; Halle Berry; Paul McCartney; Ringo Star; Steve Redgrave; Ghandi; Martin Luther King; Evana Trump; Bill Gates; John Kennedy Jnr; Jade Jagger; Princess Diana; Liz Hurley; Oprah Winfrey; Tom Cruise; Robbie Williams; Woody Allen; Marilyn Munroe; Arnold Schwarzenegger; Alan Alda; Fred Allen; Harrison Ford; Brad Pitt; David Beckham; George Cluney; Jennifer Lopez; Tony Blair; Madonna; Nicole Kidman; Steven Spielberg; Ricky Martin; John Lennon; Jennifer Aniston; Ralph Fiennes; Hillary Clinton; Elvis Presley; Kiera Knightley; Parminda Nagra; Gurinder Chadha; Roman Polanski; Nirvana

Celebrities in Cunningham, S. & P. Moor (2005). New Cutting Edge/Upper Intermediate. Harlow: Pearson Longman

26 Schematic knowledge/ludic function

Schematic knowledge/ludic function

Drive fast/James Hunt ? Do you drive as fast as James Hunt? Advise these people: I dont know what to wear ... Im going to have tea with the Queen, and I dont know what to wear Brutus Cray (boxer); Elton Kash (pop singer) (Hartley & Viney 1979)

27 Viney, P. & B. Hartley (1979) Streamline Connections

Viney, P. & B. Hartley (1979) Streamline Connections

Oxford: OUP

28 Soars, J. & L. Soars

Soars, J. & L. Soars

(2003). New Edition New Headway/Intermediate. Oxford: OUP.

29 Soars, L. & J. Soars (2003) New Headway/Advanced

Soars, L. & J. Soars (2003) New Headway/Advanced

Oxford: OUP The inspiring tale of two Asian brothers who fled to Britain from East Africa and made a fortune

Vijay and Bhikhu Patel

30 How to be a celebrity 7 Create your own formula for success If you

How to be a celebrity 7 Create your own formula for success If you

want to make it really big, dont take any established, familiar path to celebrity and dont follow in anyone elses footprints. Create your own unique route. Someone said that genius is the ability to invent ones own occupation. People like Oprah Winfrey, the Queen of Talk Shows, or Bill Gates, the Chairman of Microsoft have reshaped and redefined an occupation and even an industry in their own image. Their fame is assured.

Cunningham, S. & P. Moor (2005). New Cutting Edge/Upper Intermediate. Harlow: Pearson Longman

31 Work in small groups

Work in small groups

You have decided that it is your destiny in life to be famous. You want to get on the A list of celebrities who are invited to all the best parties, opening nights, balls and social events.

Soars, L. & J. Soars (2003) New Headway Advanced. Oxford: OUP

32 Speaking How to become an A-list celebrity It is time to start your

Speaking How to become an A-list celebrity It is time to start your

journey on the road to fame and fortune. You want to make it to the big time as quickly as possible. You have identified two routes that could find you a way to join the rich and famous.

Soars, L. & J. Soars (2003) New Headway Advanced. Oxford: OUP

33 What do you think

What do you think

Games such as these are used in management training to practice the qualities of good leadership. What are the qualities of a good leader?

Soars, L. & J. Soars (2003) New Headway Advanced. Oxford: OUP

34 Slovenian state school teacher

Slovenian state school teacher

Celebrities are mainly individuals that our students see on TV, at the cinema or hear on the radio. So, often enough they tend to be people with whom our students can identify, people that they want to talk about because they idolize them and want to become them. I applaud celebrities in my teaching because it adds that spark needed for motivation to get the students talking, commenting. I recently used a text about John Lennon for Reading Comprehension as part of a test I had prepared for my group of 13 year olds. I usually collect the texts after the test, but they didnt want to give this text back to me. They wanted to keep it, because it was someone they admired. So, I let them keep it. Thats the kind of impact Im talking about.

35 British teacher in German university language centre

British teacher in German university language centre

I have a number of difficulties with their use. Firstly, overuse of celebrities in the materials and often an erroneous assumption that they (celebrities) help in some way to engage interest or to be worthwhile topics of discussion or that we care about them. Secondly, they appear to legitimise or standardise the notion that we should be interested in this type of content. Thirdly, even if they are good materials, the transient nature of celebrity means the materials can date very quickly (good business model for the publishers second, third, fourth, etc edition, but not good for the pockets of learners, schools or colleges). Lastly and with regard to ELT materials, without fail 95+% are anglocentric celebrities, be it music, actors, business people, etc.. Where are all the other people in the world?

36 British ESOL teacher

British ESOL teacher

The vast majority of immigrants in the UK choose to learn English for study, employment and to make a decent living. The life of a celebrity is so far removed from reality and how most ordinary people live in the UK. It is a dishonest portrayal of life in the UK. It creates false dreams and aspirations in the minds of language learners. Instead, I would argue for use of more realistic characters, like the average Joe and what he has to go through in everyday life to feed his family. This is particularly relevant given the current economic situation in the UK and the fact that the country is run by a bunch of toffs and wanna be celebrities completely oblivious to the plight of ordinary people. The other problem with the use of celebrities in ELT materials is that they all seem to be monolingual and even if they are bilingual then this is never emphasised.

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