Banal Nationalism in ESL Textbooks

Gulliver, Trevor
August 2011
Canadian Journal of Education;2011, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p119
Academic Journal
Despite repeating claims that Canadians are less nationalistic than members of other nations, English as a second language (ESL) textbooks often participate in banal repetitions of nation-ness and nationalism. This banal nationalism takes the form of the marking of nation through flags, maps, routine deixis, and nationalized symbols. This study examines markings of nation in 24 ESL textbooks used in government-funded language instruction in Canada. This nationalized imagery is both taught and repeated, making the imagined community ubiquitous. Language teachers should be aware of and reflect upon the everyday nationalism that is performed in ESL textbooks.


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