Infusing moral education into English language teaching: an ontogenetic analysis of social values in EFL textbooks in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Adopting a social semiotic approach, it considers social values in textbooks as semantic categories which are constructed by complex semiotic discursive resources, and develops an explicit framework to model what values are selected and how the values are constructed. Analysis of 19 textbooks from Primary 1 to Secondary 4–6 shows that the social values change from the personal domain (e.g. good hygiene and healthy lifestyle), through the interpersonal domain (e.g. politeness and respect), to the altruistic concern for all mankind. The result also suggests that the textbooks are more concerned with the didactic education of good citizens than with cultivating children’s critical thinking. The analytical framework and the findings can be used for the explicit instruction and critical analysis of social values in English language teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Jul 2017


  • EFL textbooks
  • Hong Kong
  • Moral education
  • multimodal construction
  • ontogenetic development
  • social values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language

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