Analyzing High School English Textbooks in Japan and Korea

Kouki Ookawa


It cannot be denied that intercultural understanding is and communication activities are crucial in the process of learning English at elementary school, junior high school, high school, and so on. This paper analyzes the high school English textbooks approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (henceforth, MEXT) in Japan and Korea from the perspective of intercultural understanding and communication activities. It elucidates the types of the articles, the countries the materials deal with, the purposes of the materials, and the numbers of four communicative activities.  Then it discusses the characteristics of those issues. The result of the research shows the materials contain various kinds of categories, many articles concerning English-speaking countries. Furthermore, there are some differences between the Japanese textbooks and the Korean textbooks that were examined.  For example, the Japanese textbooks contain many cultures of their own, while the Korean ones contain fewer cultures of their own. Finally, the paper suggests the future direction of the materials in order to facilitate the better intercultural understanding and communication activities in the global world.


textbook, cultural understanding, communication activities

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