A Critical Micro-semiotic Analysis of Values Depicted in the Indonesian Ministry of National Education-Endorsed Secondary School English Textbook

  • Handoyo Puji WidodoEmail author
Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 9)


While the inclusion of moral education (character education) in English language teaching (ELT) globally receives considerable attention, evaluating ELT textbooks as a moral/character agent remains under-examined since such textbooks are assumed to be value-free (Gebregeorgis MY. Afr Educ Rev 13:119–140, 2016a; Gray J. Appl Linguist 31:714–733, 2010). Informed by critical systemic functional linguistics (Fairclough N, Discourse and social change. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, 1992; Halliday MAK. Language as social semiotic. Edward Arnold, London, 1978; Kress G, van Leeuwen T. Reading images: the grammar of visual design (2nd edn). New York, Routledge, 2006), I contend that language textbooks should be viewed as sociocultural artifacts that feature particular moral values or character virtues. To fill this need, this critical micro-semiotic discourse study examines in what ways values are portrayed in one Indonesian Ministry of National Education-approved secondary school English textbook, which deploys various lexico-grammatical and discursive resources. This critical analysis reveals that visual artifacts and verbal texts with different genres in the textbook represent a myriad of values of which both teachers and students need to become aware. The implication of this study suggests that both teachers and students need to equip with skills in critical thinking and reading as well as in critical language awareness analysis. Both teachers and students should have the opportunity to engage critically with textbooks as a value agent, for instance.


Critical discourse analysis English textbooks Systemic functional linguistics Values 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English Language CenterShantou UniversityShantouChina

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