The Representation of Culture in Moroccan EFL Textbooks: An Investigation of Reading Texts
As language and culture cannot be isolated, the teaching of culture in foreign language textbooks has gained great attention from experts in the field. The issue of which culture to introduce and how to introduce it has been a subject of debate among practitioners. The present study examines the representation of culture and its potential influence on the development of learners' intercultural awareness in three popular Moroccan EFL textbooks, namely "Window on the World", "Ticket to English 1" and "Ticket to English 2". A quantitative research design is adopted to examine how the textbooks represent (i) learners' native culture, (ii) English-speaking culture and (iii) international cultures. The results show varying degrees of cultural integration across the three textbooks. While "Window on the World" emphasized English-speaking culture in particular, potentially shaping learners' perceptions of global diversity, "Ticket to English 1" showed a lack of cultural references, indicating a gap in integration. In contrast, "Ticket to English 2" relatively adopted a more comprehensive approach, incorporating learners’ native culture, English speaking culture and broader international cultures. Despite this variety, the study revealed that the textbooks did not integrate culture effectively to enhance learners’ intercultural awareness. These findings suggest that a systematic and balanced approach to cultural integration is essential for Moroccan EFL textbooks. A gradual approach is recommended, through introducing learners’ native culture first, followed by English-speaking culture and finally including international cultures. The present study provided some empirical evidence for the discourse on cultural integration in EFL contexts and offered insights into its impact on intercultural awareness. The findings have some implications for the pedagogical practices in Morocco and highlights the need to promote the learners’ cultural awareness in foreign language learning environments.