Focus Lecture 6

Construing an identity for a nation: Values education, English language teaching, and secondary school pedagogy in the Philippines

Priscilla Angela T. Cruz
Ateneo De Manila University


This focus lecture is concerned with how discourse works to construe the meanings that go into the linguistic construction of a communal self. As such, it is a study of identity as coded in the discursive unfolding, or logogenesis, of texts. In particular, it is a study of the discourse of identity as construed and realized through secondary school English language teaching textbooks from the Philippines. This lecture will argue for the role that interpersonal meanings play in the way a text attempts to construe the experiences of ‘a’ world in order to position individuals into a community’s value system. It will also examine how ‘national identity’ is construed and transmitted through the texts that play a role in the teaching of English in the country. As a study of how identity is coded in school texts, this lecture will also offer a framework for studying these texts to examine how they potentially construct Filipino students of English as nestled within a cultural value system that finds its way in to the possibly formative function of the language class. In this way, it is a study of how discourse works to prioritize some meanings over others as well as a study and critique of how identity positioning works within the practice and politics of ELT textbooks in the Philippines.


Priscilla Angela T. Cruz is a faculty member of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University. She has been teaching for about 15 years now. Her research interests include discourse analysis, education linguistics, language variation, interfacing language and literature work, and Systemic Functional Linguistics.

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