Reflecting the continued rise of English as a global language, English as a foreign language (EFL) has become a compulsory primary school subject across many non-English-speaking countries. This trend has been accompanied by publishers’ investment in the development of EFL teaching materials for young learners. Such materials rely heavily on images, with relatively sparse writing in English and the children’s first language. This study examines EFL textbooks for the year in which EFL is first introduced as a compulsory primary school subject in South Korea. Specifically, we analyse whether and how the multimodal resources used in five EFL textbooks approved by the South Korean government for use in Grade 3 address the curriculum requirement to present English as an important bridge connecting different countries. The critical multimodal content analysis of textbook characters and their interactions suggests that a general western bias and implicit support of native-speakerism are still existent in Korean EFL textbooks.
- young English as a foreign language learners
- English as a foreign language textbooks
- critical multimodal content analysis