Critiquing Culture in Reading Materials Used by ESL Private Middle Schools in the Philippines: A Critical Literacy Perspective

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This chapter shows to which extent two textbooks published by one of the leading publishers in the Philippines realize their goal of promoting a more critical approach to reading. Guided by the principles of critical literacy, content analysis reveals that despite the wide range of universally acknowledged values covered in the textbook, not all of them are necessarily relevant to the target audience. Also, it was found that the processing questions and activities remain limited to low order comprehension questions and language exercises, with few opportunities for users of the textbook to engage more fully with the values of the text or challenge ways of thinking embedded in the material despite the seemingly critical perspective preface that frames the series.